It's quite worrying when you take a look at your own blog and realise that it's been so long since you posted anything to it however, it does mean that the team has been busy and focused.
After meeting with our Cluster group members in London at the start of September, the project team have been kicking on with defining the key aspects of our programme. Whether this be process flows, definitions of roles or the actual structure of the programme, it has really made us very aware of the level of detail and planning that is involved in a project like this.
There have been a number of factors that have assisted us in getting to this point.
Firstly, attending the CASE Europe 2011 conference in Manchester showed that volunteering within the HE sector is a 'hot topic'. It also showed that whilst a lot of HEI's are very keen to start or develop their programmes, no two are exactly that same. However, having said that, most if not all have the key aim of furthering and developing engagement with alumni.
Secondly, we should also acknowledge the help and advice of other institutions around the country. We're very lucky within HE that people are happy to share information, both good and bad practice. Come the completion of our project, the input from Development & Alumni, Careers and Recruitment offices around the country will not be underestimated.
Thirdly and finally, our Cluster group. It was really interesting to meet and see what the other projects were doing (and how far along they were). It allowed us to reflect a little and take a look at the amount of planning and research that we were doing and how appropriate it has been. Meeting also allowed us to share common problems and discuss potential solutions but it also raised a couple of questions for us. One response to the content of our programme was so strong from the rest of the group, that it showed that no matter how much you try and plan to offer something to everyone, you'll still potentially miss something.
We're also pleased to say that we will be informally launching one aspect of our programme in India this month, with a small group of our international alumni in attendance. We hope to update you with a little more information in one of our next posts.
Finally project members James Coleman, Laura Henaghan and Pete Speak will all be attending the Service Design event in Birmingham this month. We're very much looking forward to this and hope to see some familiar faces there.