The Challenge


The University of Oxford is the world’s top university, according to the Times Higher Education rankings. So the alumni relations team have an important job on their hands. They first worked with YouthSight on a major survey five years ago to gauge alumni perceptions of the benefits and services that the university offers them. The survey revealed a low level of awareness – which the team has since been working to improve.

Five years on, the alumni relations team wanted a more detailed understanding of how alumni feel about the university and its 38 colleges. Did they feel a closer affinity with the particular college where they studied, their subject department, or the university as a whole?

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The Solution


The university’s alumni relations team came back to YouthSight to conduct another major survey using its alumni database, looking at feelings towards the university, and how these are influenced by people’s age, location and life stage.

The results revealed that people have just as much affinity with the whole university as with their individual college where they studied and that there was an opportunity for subject departments to engage more with alumni.

It also revealed that while alumni were keen to attend events, they often weren’t able to travel to the university.

The Outcome


The findings have helped the university and its individual colleges to clarify their value propositions.

The alumni relations team have used the results to build profiles of its alumni as they move through their lives, creating a map of their journey that can be used to target comms and outreach activities.

The findings also supported the case for getting more academics to travel, in order to make the university more visible to its alumni.

What next?

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