Alumni centres at the Czech University of Life Sciences discussing the CPR 18+ project

On 7 June 2022, representatives of the Alumni centres met in the meeting room of the Rector’s Office at the Czech University of Life Sciences (ČZÚ) to discuss graduate tracking and its specific procedures, practical use, pitfalls, and barriers of current questionnaire surveys. This meeting represents the next step towards the implementation of the CRP 18+ project, which aims to find a common approach to collect feedback from alumni.

The project is coordinated by ČZÚ in Prague, where an initial information meeting was held on 17 March 2022, at which the participants learned the objective of the project and its individual phases. The aim of the CRP 18+ project is to map current surveys at each university and to unitize the questions and timing of alumni questionnaires. The output of the project is going to be a general methodology with an international overlap, with a vision of greater efficiency due to the cooperation of various universities and sharing mutual know-how. After the kick-off meeting information was gathered from each university between March and June 2022 and following meeting of the working groups was set on 7 June to discuss the issue in more detail.

The composition of the individual working groups was sent to the participants via email by the Project Manager Mr. Marek Šedivý from the External Relations. On Tuesday 7 June, in addition to VŠE, four other universities were present, namely Masaryk University, University of West Bohemia in Pilsen, Veterinary University in Brno and Charles University. The Director of the Alumni & Corporate Relations – Mgr. Ing. Martin Rey, Head of the VŠE Alumni Centre – Ing. Lucie Böhmová, Ph.D. and coordinator of the VŠE Alumni Centre – Bc. Michaela Strnadová.

The following topics were discussed among the working groups:

  1. The goal of surveys
  2. The content of surveys
  3. Respondents

During the first session participants discussed the reason of conducting the alumni surveys, what universities expect from the results and how they use the data. This session also investigated the process of collecting the data and how to increase the number of respondents. Second part of the meeting was focused on the content of questionnaires.  Topics regarding the Eurostudent and Eurograduate surveys were opened as well, and it should be noted that universities do not have a very positive attitude towards these types of questionnaires. Last session was dedicated to the respondents, and it was discussed how the universities stay in touch with their alumni. An important point of this session was the motivation of alumni to complete the questionnaires and what, on the contrary, discourages them.

The meeting of the working groups was held in a friendly spirit. The discussion among the participants was fluent and many useful comments were expressed.  The next step of the implementation of the CRP 18+ project is to analyse and synthesise the information received from each university, complemented by international experience in the field. It will be followed by the proposal of common methodology of the alumni surveys. The final results will be presented in winter 2022 at the conference.