Higher Learning Research Communications

Digital Object Identifier



Despite conclusive evidence from high performing Higher Education (HE) institutions worldwide demonstrating the benefits of strong alumni-relations, institutions in many evolving countries often neglect their graduates. And this, despite rapid advances in technology that can support ongoing relations. The objective of our year-long project was to address this neglect. We (re)connected with 220 English Pedagogy alumni through a digital newsletter. The newsletter provided a forum for building community and mediating professional development among graduates and current faculty. Our qualitative mini case study focused on uncovering the emotions, perspectives and needs of former students through the lens of sociocultural and identity theory using a Likert scale questionnaire, field notes and writing-based interviews to collect data. Positive gains from this initiative were evidenced in clear signs of alumni’s increased recognition of their agency in mediating empowered professional identities through continuous learning. This recognition accompanied a trajectory of their investment in their professional development, characterized by a sense of affinity, then engagement with and support of the institution and community building. We believe these findings speak volumes of the potential of such outreach for all stakeholders in education, including society at large.