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The results of the website surveys and plans for 2020!

Alumni news

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03.10.2020

In the summer of 2019 we asked you what the main reasons are for coming to our website and in the beginning of 2020 we asked you what you think of the communities and how we can improve them. The results are out, have been analysed and we are starting a plan to improve the website according to your wishes and recommendations! Thank you all for helping out! More than 1500 visitors and members filled in the 2 surveys and gave us great input. Keep on reading to learn more about the results of the surveys and what we will be working on the coming year. 

Most popular topics on the website

In the first survey we asked you to tell us what the main reasons are for visiting our website. Out of the 57 topics you can find on the website, you selected your top 5. 

And these are the topics that you are most interested in: 

  1. Scholarships
  2. Refresher courses
  3. Agriculture and food sector
  4. Finding a job or internship
  5. Networking event
  6. Knowledge sharing (articles, discussion)
  7. Conference
  8. Career development (professional skills)
  9. Scientific research in Holland (PhD)
  10. Water sector

Regardless of age, country of origin and frequency of visiting the website, scholarships top the list of almost everybody.  Also the other topics in this top 10 are shared as favorites among the different groups of alumni.  Only international students in the Netherlands are relatively more interested in topics related to a career in the Netherlands.  

The online communities

In the second survey we asked you what you think of the communities, what kind of content you would like to see and how we can improve the communities. Overall the online communities are rated positively. The score to the question "How likely is it that you would recommend friends to join a community?" is 7,6 on average (1 to 10 scale) and 30% is already part of community and another 30% is not part of community yet, but would very much like to join one. If you belong to the latter group, please see the community overview and just click on "join" to join any of these communities. 

The members in the communities range from senior professionals (more than 15 years of work experience) to students, so you might think their interests would be very different. But you are wrong! Their interests are very similar and show great correspondence with the top 10 popular topics of the website in general:

  1. Scholarships and refresher courses
  2. Professional career development
  3. Job and internship offers
  4. Personal growth and skills development
  5. Conferences
  6. New business projects and opportunities
  7. Research findings and best practices
  8. Networking events

Most of the members indicate they are satisfied with the quality and quantity of the content provided and a big majority would like to receive a newsletter and contribute to the community by either posting news and events or help manage and moderate the community. Many members have also left their contact information for us to contact them about working together to improve the communities. Many thanks for that! And we will personally contact you soon! 

Plans for 2020

One of the other things we asked you is how we can improve the communities and we received a lot of good ideas an input for this! So thanks again for that! We saw some similarities in the input, so we divided it into different categories: Events, Communication and Content.

Events

Many members show a strong interest in more frequent events and activities, both digital and face-to-face. There is good news about this! The calls for Orange Knowledge programme Alumni Activities have just opened, so alumni associations and Dutch Higher Education Institutions can apply for a grant of maximum € 5,000 to organise alumni activities in 2020. If you are interested in this, read more about the criteria in this article

Nuffic will continue to organise regional alumni conferences and we will also keep on posting interesting events on the website matching your country or area of expertise. We will also work on strengthening our collaboration with partners, so the event calendar will be filled by a diverse group. But note that you can also be a very important contributor! As a member of the network you have the opportunity to share events that you are organising, but also events that are organised by others. Let your fellow community members know about the interesting events that you are also interested in joining! Don't know how this works? Read this online help article on how to create an event.

Communication

The coming year we will focus on more frequent posts and newsletters. For this we will work closely together with the Community Managers and Moderators and other volunteers to help disseminate the content. We will also make some changes in the Main Menu of the website so that the top 10 popular topics on the website are more easily to find and we will expand the information on these topics as well. 

Another focus point the coming year will be the promotion and explanation of the technical features that the website has to offer and the new features that will be available. All Community Managers and Moderators are invited to join the Practitioner Hub to keep up-to-date about changes on the website and share best practices. We will also expand the online help to make it easier to use all the features of the website. 

Content

We have received a lot of good ideas about the type of content and the formats we can use. From contests and competitions, to podcasts to sharing (life and work) experiences. We will certainly focus more on testimonials and interviews with Holland Alumni living in and outside the Netherlands and we will also explore the possibilities for more interactive engagement. We will do this closely together with the Community Managers and Moderators and other partner organisations. And also for this we can use your contribution! As a member of the network you can contribute by posting news articles, short messages on the community wall, starting a discussion or answering a question in a discussion or post events. Feel free to use the community to ask for help, pitch ideas and look for collaborations and share updates and events!

If we all work together, 2020 will be an amazing year for the Holland Alumni network!

And also special thanks to you for all the support we received. Here are some (anonymous) words of support we received:

Thumbs up for the progress, it's quite a relief to know that there is a community one can relate with as internationals. 

Thank you very much for creating and supporting the community, giving us the opportunity to connect and keep up to date with the things we value in our lives. 

It's a great place to share news, events and current research.  

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