University of São Paulo - Brazil

Alumni USP: reaching out to 100,000 former students

(by Filipe Albessu Narciso | reviewed by Raissa Costa and Kiara Neves – June 13rd 2022)

The Alumni USP project has recently reached the milestone of a hundred thousand participants among its former students. The platform, created in 2015, was only made available to the entire USP community in October 2016. In April 2018, the platform was officially launched as the Alumni USP program and it has grown significantly since then. With a purpose of maintaining former students connected to the university and consequently gathering valuable data and opportunities, Alumni USP benefits both the university administration and its former students. Learn more about Alumni USP here.

As an eighty-eight year old higher education institution with 48 schools and institutes, the University of São Paulo (USP) has been home to an expressive number of students throughout its history. 

On March 18th, 2022, the Alumni USP platform reached a hundred thousand members, reaching a goal established by the new presidential administration for its first 100 days in office. Alumni USP is a database that gathers information on USP’s former students’ professional experience. The platform is considered an important piece of the university’s experience, both for its former students and its administration.  

The platform, which was created in 2015 by three students of Poli/USP, was only made public to the entire USP community in October 2016 and, two years later, officially became the Alumni USP program. 

Managed by USP’s Superintendence of Information Technology (STI), Alumni USP offers former students a series of benefits, such as the right to an email address, access to USP’s G Suite with unlimited Google Drive data storage, to a downloadable Virtual Degree Certificate (available for students who graduated after 2014), access to USP’s digital collection of books, journals, and technical production, access to the university’s campus wi-fi connection, and even the right to discounts on cultural, educational, and recreational activities.

According to data gathered by the project, around 30% of USP former students have registered on the platform. The university’s presidency recognizes the initiative as an important management tool which bolsters the institution’s relations with alumni, promoting improvements in undergraduate and graduate course curricular grids. The administration also considers Alumni USP a display opportunity for the contributions that the university makes to society. Considering the alumni’s educational background and professional experience in different areas, there are many former students in positions of leadership in local, regional, national, and international scale.

When new users are registered, the Alumni platform gathers data from USP’s Jupiter system, which has information on the university’s undergraduate students, and Janus, the system that has data on graduate students, to create a thorough database for the administration. Information offered by these systems, such as the student’s institute/school and study period, added to information offered by users registered at Alumni USP, such as occupation, address, and satisfaction, enables the presidential administration and faculty staff to promote a better organization and a constantly improving environment for the ever-growing USP community.

Next Challenges 

With the accomplishment of a hundred thousand registered students, the Alumni USP Office has designed new objectives for the program. Among them, the Office seeks to increase the number of graduate students registered on the platform by 20% each year. To increase the program’s reach and become more appealing to former students, the Office plans to execute actions, such as increasing the number of job offers shared through the program, including USP job opportunities, promoting campaigns with former students’ associations, creating a digital gallery of the Alumni USP classes, with photos and texts about the professional lives of former students, fostering former students’ participation in research, investing in digital marketing, creating the Alumni USP International Scientific Forum, and offering specialization courses and continuous diffusion of education.  

One of the most awaited features is the creation of the Alumni USP Distinction Award, destined to honor USP’s former students who excel in different areas due to their contributions to improvements in society’s quality of life, the planet’s sustainable development, and the creation of an ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship. The award will be given annually.

Another aspect that will be intensified is the communication between former students, promoting the diffusion of newsletters with information regarding decisions made by the University Council, campaigns and actions related to fundraising, international academic exchanges held by Alumni, as well as analytic data about users registered on the platform. These are some of the important steps to build an even better environment for USP’s former students.