New research shows schools underperforming in alumni networking

Lauren Williams's picture
Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Alumni networking provider Graduway today published its first Annual Business School Graduation Survey to reveal how schools are performing versus the expectations of their recent graduates and alumni.

Graduway surveyed 1,081 graduates from business schools across the US, UK, Canada and Australia. When asked which factors influenced their choice of school, recent graduates’ first priority by far, with a 77% response rate was a recognized and valued qualification. Access to an exclusive network and career mentors took second place at 43%. This was closely followed in order by desired location, quality of research and teaching, and flexibility to fit in with individual needs. Surprisingly, affordability was ranked the sixth priority when choosing a school, followed by access to companies targeting the school, and finally, the ability to make lifelong friends.

Graduates were then asked to grade how their school performed in each of the factors that influenced their choice of school. Graduway was able to compare how alumni rated their schools actual performance versus their own expectations.

The results were intriguing. On the positive side in most criteria schools over delivered versus the expectations of their graduates, in particular in the areas of quality of research and teaching, and the ability to make life-long friends. However the top two factors when choosing a school also appear to be the top two areas of biggest disappointment. Graduates are most disappointed with their schools’ ability to provide them with access to an ‘exclusive network and career mentors’ with a ranking of minus 12% and are also disappointed in their ‘recognized and valued qualification’ with a ranking of minus 9%.

Daniel Cohen co-Founder of Graduway commented, “Although as with all surveys the conclusions are generalizations, I think it gives a clear picture of where schools are doing well and what are the opportunity areas. Facilitating better networking and mentoring between graduating students and experienced alumni appears to be a priority. The results will be of particular interest to the admissions, career and alumni relations departments of schools as they discuss the strategic direction of their institution and we look forward to partnering with more schools in the coming academic year to help them in this vital area.”