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17 Jul 2014

What does this year's survey tell us about you?      
We, in the Alumni and Development team, are always keen to make sure that the service we provide is what our alumni are looking for, and so in May 2014 we sent out a sample survey to alumni who had graduated from the University in anniversary years: 1954, 1964, 1974, 1984, 1994 and 2004 – and who had supplied an email address.
Coming back to Chester
We had a positive response and identified a number of trends among our alumni across the decades.  We asked what sort of activity would be of most interest, and where?  The most popular answers were a meal, an on-campus event and an outdoor activity.  That gives us plenty of food for thought!
The services which most respondents had used since graduating were: the Annual Reunion, the University Library and help with contacting friends.
The services which respondents were most likely to use in the future were: reunions, help with contacting friends, professional networking, University Library and public lectures and events. 
In this, our anniversary year, we are hosting a wider range of activities and welcome feedback on your experiences.  Whilst much of what we do is proactive, we are open to new ideas!
Communicating electronically
One of the surprises was that 38% of respondents were unaware that we have a website, despite the fact that they are clearly internet users. 
We will concentrate on publicising that our new website is here to inform everyone of exclusive benefits, events and to help you keep in touch.
Our magazine, The Cestrian, is published biannually and keeps alumni updated with new initiatives at the University as well as keeping in touch with friends from the past.  We noted the requests for more articles on old friends, their lives and careers.  This is where we need your help: tell us what you have achieved and help us to create great stories, based on YOU!  Likewise suggestions were made about adding more information on specific year groups…. We need you to tell us about your year group to be able to publish it!
Further qualifications
Almost half of the respondents had undertaken some form of postgraduate education and one quarter had returned to the University of Chester to do this. If you are considering topping up your qualifications, the University provides a great selection of full and part time courses, just give us a call to discuss what you have in mind and we’ll gladly put you in touch with the relevant person.
Giving something back
Philanthropy is something which many of our alumni have on their minds.  Whether making a donation, setting up a legacy or volunteering to help at an event, we have a lot of very generous people out there, and we want to thank you!  If you have not yet contributed in the way that had planned, you are welcome to contact Fiona Roberts on 01244 511 078 for a chat about your idea. 
We also wanted to give something back, and as a token of our appreciation for everyone who gave their time to complete our questionnaire, we picked out a winner from those willing to participate in the draw for the kindle.  Laura Hartland-Adams (2004) is the lucky alumna!
“After Graduating from a combined degree, Arts and Cultural Management & Drama and Theatre Studies, I have held Events Management-related jobs for 10 years.  Without my degree I wouldn't be starting out in a new role as Events and Operations Manager for Bid Sunderland.  

“I received a lot of support from my Arts and Culture lecturers whilst at the University, and am still in contact with them via Facebook and LinkedIn.  Kate Malone-Smith even emailed to congratulate me on my new role so I know they still keep an eye on past students!   I still recommend the University.  I loved my time there, made life-long friends and am very proud to put my degree to practice every day.”
We often hear about the dedication of the staff and how they made a difference, why not tell us about your experiences and champions?
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