Networking, staying in touch and interacting – these are some of the host of benefits that an alumni network can offer its graduates. Prior to the digital age, most of the best practices for a University Alumni Office to have any alumni engagement would have been in the form of direct mail campaigns, phone calls and reunions. However, having an alumni network that spans all around the world would pose some challenges in connecting with members of the alumni in this way. Now with the advent of the digital age, universities can utilise technology to engage with their alumni on a more consistent basis. With the above mentioned challenges in mind and to facilitate connectivity with its alumni, the International Medical University (IMU) in Malaysia has recently launched its secured digital alumni portal, which can be accessed online or on a mobile app, on 2 September 2020 in a ceremony at the University’s auditorium in Bukit Jalil. The ceremony was attended by Prof Dr Zabidi A. M. Hussin, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Academic, Noraidah Yusoff, Registrar, Dr Gandhi Nathan Solayar, President, IMU Alumni, Deans of Schools, faculty members, members of the alumni and IMU staff. From the moment they graduate, IMU graduates become part of a global network that currently has 13,000 members across 51 countries. With a network as broad as this, it is important for IMU’s Alumni Office to facilitate connections among its alumni in order to build a strong, engaged global community. Therefore, with participation from healthcare professionals from as far back as the graduating class of 1998, the IMU Alumni Portal was launched to provide a platform for its alumni to connect with each other, keep abreast with current happenings and news at the University, connect with and seek assistance from IMU’s Alumni Relations Office, learn of opportunities for continued learning and leverage the network to further their professional and personal interests. The portal is also an important platform in which the alumni can find out on the bursaries that they are eligible for, in the event that they wish to continue their studies at IMU. For those who are planning to pursue their postgraduate studies at IMU, a bursary of up to 25% is available for all self-funding IMU alumni who meet the eligibility criteria. Some of the postgraduate programmes are offered in both Conventional and Open and Distance Learning (ODL) modes. The ODL mode of learning provides flexibility and convenience for the student to schedule their studies around these obligations and around their lifestyle – allowing a student to plan and pace their own learning at a time and learning environment that is most suitable for the student. It also saves students from spending time travelling to the university, the costs of travelling to the university and the costs of staying near the university.
Speaking at a ceremony to launch the portal, Dr Gandhi Nathan Solayar said, “The initiative is in keeping with other universities and centres of higher learning across the globe. This will help to foster partnerships between alumni and the School when required. Apart from being a source of information dissemination, this portal will help alumni grow their potential, serve and help other alumni and hopefully better achieve their full individual potential as well as serve the community as healthcare providers. My appeal to all of you is to please get involved. Register and please encourage your batch mates to do the same. This portal belongs to you and me. It is ours to make full use of it”.
Clearly, the sharing of information and connectivity with other alumni will prove that the Alumni Portal will be a useful tool to all members of the IMU alumni presently and in the future.