Polytechnic University and Leading Universities of Spain Share Their Experience in Interacting with Alumni

19 January 2016 Affiliates 353

An important area of activity for Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University is interaction with alumni. The Alumni Interaction Center, which is part of the Corporate Public Relations Department of SPbPU, regularly organizes events that enable to expand the network of the university’s friends and partners. Thus, the Association of SPbPU’s Alumni and Friends, which was set up relatively recently, in 2014, helps them to be in close contact with the university. Meetings of the alumni who graduated from the faculties and later from the institutes of the Polytechnic University, the first Forum of SPbPU Alumni and Friends, which took place in summer 2014, – these and some other events have proven to be efficient platforms for maintaining contacts and connections, communications and succession between different generations of the Polytechnicians.

The university is actively involved in projects aimed at strengthening contacts and close cooperation with the foreign alumni, who shape positive image of both our university and Russia abroad. The latest project was a visit to Spain of the Deputy Director of the Corporate Public Relations Department of SPbPU, I.V. Kolomeitsev. First, the visit made it possible to communicate and establish contacts with the Polytechnic University’s alumni (there are about two hundred of them) who continue their studies or work in Cervantes and Gaudí’s motherland. Second, which is most important, during the trip it was possible to learn about valuable experience in organizing consistent contacts with alumni and share ideas with the representatives of three leading Spanish universities: University of Barcelona, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Polytechnic University of Catalonia.

Polytechnic University and Leading Universities of Spain Share Their Experience in Interacting with Alumni

During the visit Elisenda Rius Bergua, Director of the Office for Institutional Activities and Protocol of the University of Barcelona said that the university pays a lot of attention to interaction with its alumni. She emphasized the importance of consistent contacts with them and shared her experience in this area. The University of Barcelona is involved in versatile and dynamic cooperation with its alumni, based on open and friendly relationships. Its modern technical and information database helps to do so. In particular, Elisenda Rius Bergua revealed that out of 750 thousand alumni, 295 thousand are included in the university’s electronic database. Moreover, there are about 5.5 thousand active participants of the Alumni Partner Program (counterpart of the Association of SPbPU Alumni and Friends – Editor’s Note). Paying annual fees – a fixed amount of 30 or 50 euro, the alumni become members of the university’s loyalty program. This program implies various types of preferences for the alumni, starting with the free wi-fi on the university’s campus (in Spain access to the Internet is relatively expensive, about 100 euro per month - Editor’s Note) and finishing with substantial discounts for additional educational programs.

Polytechnic University and Leading Universities of Spain Share Their Experience in Interacting with Alumni

I.V. Kolomeitsev, in his turn, spoke about the Polytechnic University’s projects aimed at interaction with the alumni. He spoke about the actual state and main lines of activity of the Association of SPbPU Alumni and Friends, Endowment Foundation and Alumni Interaction Center, mentioned the most acute problems they meet in their work. Thus, the Association of Alumni and Friends, according to Mr. Kolomeitsev, is trying to overcome such problems as the lack of feedback and interest from the alumni, absence of a single alumni database. So, the Spanish colleagues’ experience, which could be learned about due to their kind invitation, can play an important role in overcoming these difficulties.

In their further communication, the colleagues discussed capabilities for further joint work in this area and discussed its prospects. The Spanish part announced specific proposals for developing the cooperation, in particular, its readiness to provide the relevant methodological and information support, assist the Polytechnic University in communicating with its alumni. At the end of the visit, there was an informal meeting with the Polytechnic University’s alumni who now live in Spain. In friendly atmosphere, the comers shared their memories about the years of studies in their St. Petersburg alma mater.

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