Institutional Alumni Surveys at Ghent University
Organizing alumni surveys at Ghent University is not a new feature: central alumni surveys have taken place in the past, but were discontinued due to low participation rates (among other things). In the meantime, faculties and study programmes set up their own surveys. A new round of central alumni surveys will take place in the spring of 2021.
Co-ordination at Institutional Level: Why?
In recent years, there has been an increased demand for centrally co-ordinated alumni surveys by our faculties. This should come as no surprise: the current quality assurance system as well as the feedback Ghent University received after the institutional review (2016) placed great store by (external) stakeholder involvement. In addition, international rankings have revealed a need for reliable information on alumni and (their) employability.
A centrally co-ordinated approach has several content-related, and practical and logistic advantages: (1) every step of the survey process (design, data collection, data processing) allows for cooperation, (2) the generic question set allows comparison between study programmes and faculties, and (3) the results are processed together (one dataset). Because our study programmes often have widely varying questions to put to their alumni based on their specific contexts, we decided on a questionnaire that left sufficient room for faculty- and/or study programme specific questions in addition to the generic question set.
Start and Frequency
On 23 April 2020 the Education Council gave the go-ahead for a (renewed) centrally coordinated alumni survey with a focus on education policy and quality assurance at Ghent University. The first round will be held in the spring of 2021. From then onwards, a university-wide survey of the three most recently graduated cohorts will be held on a three-yearly basis; cohorts that graduated longer ago, will be surveyed on a six-yearly basis.
The central alumni survey results will be analysed and reported using UGI – Ghent University’s Business Intelligence System. A direct link to/integration into the central education monitor, the faculty and study programme monitors will be provided.