In November, members of the Alumni Advisory Panel 2023-2025 were invited to consult on the proposed event series which aims to prepare scholars for the initial post-scholarship period once they have completed their studies and returned home.

Preparing scholars for the post-scholarship period

In 2019, the CSC Alumni and Evaluation Teams conducted two surveys to understand the reintegration experiences of recently returned Scholars, or ‘new alumni’.

Survey responses highlighted key concerns and challenges experienced by both groups and suggestions on ways they could be better supported by CSC to tackle these. Based on feedback, the CSC Alumni Team developed activities to address the challenges new alumni may face during the initial return home period and in the immediate years following this.

In 2023/24, the CSC Alumni Team seeks to develop more accessible, creative, and interactive opportunities to communicate this information. The team proposes to deliver a fireside chat event series which aims to spotlight successful and senior alumni leaders and through an informal conversation learn more about the positives and challenges that have influenced their achievements and success, and identify important lessons and takeaways that new alumni can learn from.

Panel insights

Members of the Alumni Advisory Panel were asked to review the proposed event series and provided access to the reintegration survey analysis as background material. Panel feedback and responses will be used to develop the series proposal and pilot an initial series for scholars completing their studies in 2024.

All panel members were invited to consult on this activity and 72 shared their feedback, a response rate of 61%.

Below you can read some of the key insights:

  • Participating panel members reported that event series topics identified were appropriate and shared their personal experiences to further shape the scope and brief.
  • Whilst members felt that in-person events would provide greater connection for the type of content the series will explore, panel members agreed the online fireside chat format would facilitate the discussions and attendee engagement.
  • Panel members recommended a wider review of the communications sent to completing scholars to ensure they access the support provided.
  • It was also suggested that alumni associations could be better utilised in supporting recently returned scholars.

A full report on the responses gathered is available on the CSC website. The report will be used to advise future updates. Members of the Alumni Advisory Panel and wider Commonwealth Alumni may be called on to provide further feedback and insights.

Thank you to all panel members who took part in this consultation.

About the CSC’s Alumni Advisory Panel

The CSC’s Alumni Advisory Panel provides a platform for Commonwealth Alumni to support the future of the programme and its Scholars by sharing personal insight and expertise to contribute to the development of CSC activities. Panel members are appointed for a two-year term and represent the multitude of knowledge and expertise within the CSC alumni community, with members selected from across the Commonwealth and CSC Scholarship and Fellowship schemes.

You can find out more about the panel on the CSC website.