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CTU in Prague hosted the international conference ICAReAlumni 2024 on 13-14 June. This prestigious conference connecting experts in alumni relations from universities around the world was held for the first time in the Czech Republic. At the Masaryk Institute of Advanced Studies, representatives of universities shared their experiences and discussed the latest trends in alumni relations.

The area of alumni relations is still relatively young at Czech universities. While universities in the UK and the US have a long tradition of building strong links with their former students, Czech universities are still learning how to effectively engage their alumni in the academic and professional life of the university. "It was a great honour for CTU to host this conference this year and create opportunities not only for sharing best practices, but also for discussing innovative trends, tools and methodologies, networking and strengthening the professional community. It is great that the conference provided the broadest perspective on Alumni Relations, including the areas of fundraising and engagement," said Dr. Oleg Fetisov, Head of the Department of International Relations at CTU in Prague.

The co-organiser of this year's conference was the Czech National Agency for International Education (DZS), which presented national Czechia Alumni programme and the Study in Czechia initiative. Participants had the opportunity to hear the presentations by Michaela Takácsová "How to think strategically in Alumni Marketing" and Lucie Matějková "Leveraging Alumni Events for National Educational Advancement" focused on sharing DZS' experience in developing alumni relations, marketing and ambassadorship. "Collaboration between key institutions in the Czech higher education sector improves the nurturing of international talent, which has a direct impact on the development of the country's economy. We consider the holding of this international conference in the Czech Republic to be a significant contribution for which we are grateful to the Czech Technical University in Prague," said DZS representatives.

In the US and UK, it is common practice for universities to maintain active and dynamic relationships with their alumni, often through dedicated departments and sophisticated programmes. Alumni are regularly invited to events, conferences and social gatherings that serve not only to strengthen relationships but also to create networking and professional opportunities. Donations from alumni represent a significant source of funding for these institutions, enabling the development of new programs and scholarship funds.

Czech universities have only recently begun to pay more attention to this area. However, they have considerable opportunities ahead of them. With an increasing number of graduates gaining experience abroad and returning to the Czech Republic, there is potential for transferring best practices from abroad. The introduction of modern communication technologies and digital platforms can also make it easier to build and maintain relationships with alumni. The key to success will be the ability of universities to adapt to new trends and to actively seek opportunities to engage with alumni at different levels.

„It became eviden that alumni play a crucial role in the ongoing strengthening of the institutions, acting as ambassadors and mentors, helping to prepare current students for the job market. In turn, the institution continues to offer professional development and networking opportunities, highlighting the mutually beneficial relationship between alumni and the institution. This cycle of support and collaboration is essential for the success of both, forming a dynamic and interconnected community.“ said conference participant Carolina Mountinho, International Relations, Alumni & Careers Office Assistant, Universidade de Coimbra.

ICAReAlumni 2024 has become a key event for Alumni Relations professionals focused on innovation and excellence in alumni relations.

For more information and details about the conference, visit the ICAReAlumni website or watch the conference video. To view photos, click here.