Before 1998 a majority of English youth were supported to attend university. The government paid out "living grants" to students who enrolled in universities across the country. Some of the grants covered all living and school expenses outside tuition; others were not as generous. The subsequent story in England, however, is one of a society having been given a public good, like education, to then experience that security dwindling away in the form of new tuition and fees. This study analyzes the perceptions of former students who have been caught in the financial spiral and whether their own experience while at university and as recent alumni motivates their involvement with their university. Specific attention to the most recent tuition increases effective in 2012 and the changing nature of alumni relations services across three institutions illustrates how universities have reacted to their own awareness that students and young alumni may be expecting more from universities. A qualitative methodology including document analysis and interviews with three peer universities was conducted in efforts to study this phenomenon. Alumni engagement, however, is not a one-way street. Higher education institutions in England are aware of the notion of alumni as consumers and some are preparing proactively for addressing the needs and interests of their constituents. The quantity and quality of these interactions between the young alum and alma mater may be influenced by what is perceived today as a lifelong transaction. Success in building relationships with recent graduates faced with greater financial debt rests with the ability of the institution to provide relevance and value for students and young alumni alike.
|Advisor:||Zemsky, Robert M.|
|Commitee:||Conroy, Philip A., Garland, Peter H.|
|School:||University of Pennsylvania|
|Department:||Higher Education Management|
|School Location:||United States -- Pennsylvania|
|Source:||DAI-A 74/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Education finance, Higher Education Administration, Higher education|
|Keywords:||Affinity, England, Fees, Fundraising, Perceptions, Tuition, Young alumni|
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