University of São Paulo: USP alumni platform helps university management

USP is much more than classrooms and laboratories, it has a lot of life on the campuses, the cultural, sports, social and political activities are numerous and most students enjoy the life experience they had at the University”, this is just one of the reasons that justify the increase of more than 300% in the number of people registered on the Alumni Platform in recent years, according to Dean Vahan Agopyan.

The software behind the Alumni platform was created in 2015 by a startup of three graduates of the Escola Politécnica (Poli) at USP, Etienne Cartolano, Allan Veiga and Marcelo Burdelis, and in October 2016 it was launched across USP. In April 2018, at the beginning of Professor Agopyan’s administration, it was made official as the USP Alumni Program and went from about 20 thousand registered to more than 96 thousand by the end of 2021. The Information Technology Superintendence (STI) at USP manages and ensures the security of the databases that make up the Alumni.

The Alumni USP program is coordinated by professors Marina Helena Cury Gallotini, from the Faculty of Dentistry (FO) at USP, and Fernando Josepetti Fonseca, from the Escola Politécnica (Poli) at USP, who have been working on the platform since 2016.

Professor Marina says that at the beginning the objective was to create a culture of pride, gratitude and recognition for the University of São Paulo, regardless of the School, College or Institute from which the former student graduated. “It was a tremendous challenge! Starting with the name of the project: Alumni USP”.

In a good mood, the teacher says that at the beginning some asked if Alumni was an English school. “We were imposing our name, clarifying the concepts, showing our logo, until today, it is rare for a member of the USP community not to know what USP Alumni is all about”, he celebrates.

The dean reminds that the student has every opportunity to enjoy the wealth of options offered by USP, in order to have a broader and more diversified education.

Marina Helena Cury Gallottini, Vahan Agopyan and Fernando Josepetti Fonseca – Photo: Alumni Disclosure
Attractive actions to alumni include the right to e-mail, through the use of G Suite USP tools with unlimited Google Drive storage, download of the Certified Virtual Diploma for students who graduated from 2014, access to USP’s digital collection with online content, books, periodicals and technical production, use of the Eduroam Wi-Fi network on the University’s campuses for free internet access to various discount coupons on leisure, education and culture. See here the advantages of being a USP Alumni.

Professor Marina informs that the pandemic has changed marketing and approach strategies with graduates and also with those students who would soon be alumni.

Even with the pandemic, we reached 96 thousand undergraduate and graduate stricto sensu graduates, who voluntarily entered the platform and shared current information about their professional performances.”
management tool
As of December 31, 95,981 students were registered and able to use the Alumni platform, 29% of the number of USP graduates, 28% of undergraduate users and 35% of graduate students.

In absolute numbers, the Faculty of Philosophy, Letters and Human Sciences leads in the number of former students registered on the platform (11,702), followed by Escola Politécnica (9,377), Escola de Engenharia de São Carlos (5,810), Faculty of Medicine (4,984) and Faculty of Law (4,653).

In terms of numbers related to the five units with the most registered alumni, they are: Faculty of Law of Ribeirão Preto (68.6% of graduates), Institute of Brazilian Studies (62.4%), Institute of Architecture and Urbanism (62%) , Institute of Tropical Medicine of São Paulo (56%) and Museum of Zoology (55%).

From the register, the Alumni gathers data from Jupiter, a system that has information from USP undergraduate students, and from Janus, a system with information about graduate students. “By combining this data, the Alumni platform can become an excellent management tool”, says Fonseca, vice-coordinator of the Alumni Program.

The professor explains the information offered by the systems, such as teaching unit, time since graduation, in addition to updated data provided by users registered in the Alumni, such as occupation, location, satisfaction, among others. enables planning to have an even better University.

If, before the Alumni platform, USP accompanied its students until graduation, today it is possible to be with them for life and listening to them we can have a faster curriculum renewal cycle that is more adjusted to the needs of these professionals and the market.”
For professor Agopyan, who ends his term as dean, on the 25th, the Alumni Program is still in the initial phase of its implementation, which is to attract the maximum number of professionals who studied at USP.

The dean recalls that USP’s objective is to train good professionals, but also good citizens. Thus, says Agopyan, the feedback from former students on how teaching and training within the University met the challenges of their professional life is essential for the improvement of the University’s didactic activities. “On the other hand, alumni are USP’s link with society, therefore, their considerations guide the interaction with the external environment, which today is called the University’s Third Mission – the relationship with society”.

Satisfied with the results, coordinator Marina says that it all resulted from a lot of effort from a small but very dedicated team. There are only two USP employees, two volunteer journalists who work at USP, in other Units, and two scholarship holders, undergraduate students, in addition to the fundamental participation of Professor Luciano Vieira de Araújo from STI.

Future challenges, emphasizes Marina, include motivating a greater number of university managers by showing them how knowing and listening to their graduates can benefit current students. Another ongoing effort of great importance is always to increase the bridges that connect the university and society.

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