Alumni want to help

May 12, 2016

I have to disagree with Richard Budd’s belief that alumni donations are just weird (“Isn’t asking for alumni donations, well, just weird?”, 25 April).

For 11 years I worked on the senior leadership team at Birkbeck, University of London. There I witnessed students, young and old and from every walk of life, transforming their lives by studying in the evening. No surprise then that once they graduated, Birkbeck alumni were extremely motivated to stay connected and support the non-traditional students following after them.

In the past six months I’ve started working for the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. At CASE, we help universities across the world to build resilience and capacity at a time of change and challenge. Many of the universities that I have worked with are experiencing cutbacks in government funding. They all believe that their alumni can and wish to help.

I’ve met many alumni donors who believe that they are making a difference. Like me, they believe that their universities are engaged in the business of nation building; that they are anchor institutions in their city, region, country or continent; that they help individuals achieve their potential, create opportunities for social mobility, shape the future of society and help to build future leaders.

It would be nice if governments were able to fully fund higher education but that aspiration seems to fly in the face of global reality. In the real world, I don’t think it’s at all weird that alumni want to play their part. Nor do they.

Tricia King
Vice-president, global engagement
CASE


Send to

Letters should be sent to: THE.Letters@tesglobal.com
Letters for publication in Times Higher Education should arrive by 9am Monday.
View terms and conditions.

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Assistant Recruitment - Human Resources Office

University Of Nottingham Ningbo China

Outreach Officer

Gsm London

Professorship in Geomatics

Norwegian University Of Science & Technology -ntnu

Professor of European History

Newcastle University

Head of Department

University Of Chichester
See all jobs

Most Commented

men in office with feet on desk. Vintage

Three-quarters of respondents are dissatisfied with the people running their institutions

A face made of numbers looks over a university campus

From personalising tuition to performance management, the use of data is increasingly driving how institutions operate

students use laptops

Researchers say students who use computers score half a grade lower than those who write notes

Canal houses, Amsterdam, Netherlands

All three of England’s for-profit universities owned in Netherlands

As the country succeeds in attracting even more students from overseas, a mixture of demographics, ‘soft power’ concerns and local politics help explain its policy