Last week we participated at CASE Europe Nordic Summit 2015 here in Stockholm. We met new and familiar faces, took part of trends, inspirational sessions – and challenges within higher education. And for those of you who was not able to participate, here is our summary and our reflections.
Christer Fuglesang, Director at KTH Space Centre, former astronaut, and an alumnus at KTH opened the conference by greeting us all welcome. Thereafter we moved on to parallell sessions. Many of the dialogues during the conference landed in how to seize and take advantage of the value in the universities external relations across the institutions, and how to better visualize and market the work that is done on the faculties – to better show how the entire organization benefits from the work that is done.
Lene Lund from Aarhus University talked about this in her session about CRM and how to make a case for data in a data-less world. Lene presented Aarhus University’s strategy “cross department approach”. She also pointed out the importance of internal project management – and data’s impact on the the organization. All very important parameters. Aarhus University is definitely on the cutting edge regarding their strategy with integrated CRM across the departements. Lene also pointed out the value of integrating your CRM Solution with LinkedIn. Extra fun since we developed Mira’s LinkedIn Integration with Lene and her friends at Aarhus University.
Our dear friends at KTH held a session about alumni giving. The conclusion is that it is doable – not impossible, and every little helps. KTH have a fund called Opportunities Fund through which alumni can give back to their alma mater by making a donation or giving their time.Today donations given to KTH Opportunities Fund enable KTH to give grants to new student initiatives which improve the student experience, fund research projects led by young researchers, and support scholarships to attract and retain talented international students. In 2014 KTH conducted its first telephone campaign ”we are getting in touch” which has raised over one million in donations and pledges from alumni. KTH worked hard to find some of their most engaged students and matched them with alumni so they would have something in common. The students got a lot out of it as they received career tips from those who had studied their program maybe 10 or 20 years previously. The conversations averaged around 15 minutes in length so they were really meaningful exchanges. The picture is a summary checklist of what they did.
Corey Morris, Chief Alumni Evangelist at Aarhus University held a session about how to leverage the useful reciprocity that can exist between alumni and student career services. The conclusion is that alumni loves to give back. Whether it is time, talent or treasure. So if your university has a gap between the alumni and career department, start cooperating with each other. There are lots of benefits. Sharing CRM is in this case definitely a must have.
KTH and Örebro University held a very good presentation about measuring what matters and counting what counts. Working with measurable parameters is something that we are constantly pushing for and this session gave solid advice on how to measure and report on your progress and the value of benchmarking against other institutions. We know for a fact that many of you out there are struggling with this. There is not always a clear process for analyzing numbers and figures and it is also hard to find the “story”. This subject is something that we want to be even more supportive in. We want to help our customers and other universities to work more with benefiting from metrics. We talked to Tim Stubbings from Örebro University afterwards and he thought it will be superb to see universities making more and better use of metrics to help provide them not just with an idea of their success, but also to build confidence in their professionalism within their institutions and also help align their activities more strategically to institutional goals. So keep an eye on our blog for inspiration and tips regarding this subject.
Last but not least. Nick Miller talked about global trends in education and the importance of advancement. Nick mentioned five key trends. 1) The Economic Mode 2) Internationalisation 3) Student Employability 4) Excellence, Expansion and Equality 5) New Technologies. Many of them vi recognized from the TCO Conference earlier this year. Nick rounded up his presentation by telling us that the universities that are best equipped to the market changes and these five trends are those who share information about the relations across the departments. That there are lots of good reasons why universities should share information. He took an example of a university that operates in this way, and 75% of the alumni had contact with more than one department because of the fact that they share information across the departments.
So, we are are full of inspiration. And a lot seems to be about sharing information about the external relations and letting the whole university benefit from each others work. Now we want to become even better at helping our customers and other universities in the Nordic Region to achieve this. Because this is our passion and what we do every day – unlocking the value of external relations.
Thank you #nordicsummit15 and the planning committee for a great conference – we hope to see you next time!