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

Most Viewed

Most Commented

Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford will host a homeopathy conference next month

Charity says Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford is ‘naive’ to hire out its premises for event

women leapfrog. Vintage

Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O’Gorman offer advice on climbing the career ladder

Woman pulling blind down over an eye
Liz Morrish reflects on why she chose to tackle the failings of the neoliberal academy from the outside
White cliffs of Dover

From Australia to Singapore, David Matthews and John Elmes weigh the pros and cons of likely destinations

Mitch Blunt illustration (23 March 2017)

Without more conservative perspectives in the academy, lawmakers will increasingly ignore and potentially defund social science, says Musa al-Gharbi