UNDERSTANDING GENDER DIFFERENCES IN THE PERCEPTION OF THE RELATION BETWEEN ALUMNI & THEIR UNIVERSITY
Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PERU)
About this paper:
Conference name: 15th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 7-9 November, 2022
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:Iskhakova, Hoffmann and Hilbert (2017) identify the benefits of a close university-Alumni relationship. On the one hand, material benefits are donations or financial contributions and repurchase behavior based on the lifelong learning theory. On the other hand, non-material benefits are levels of commitment and loyalty of Alumni towards the university. Some of these benefits are:
(a) the professional profile of the university's graduates for the accreditation processes,
(b) the positioning of the university in the labor market,
(c) the direct connection with organizations, and
(d) voluntary participation in aspects such as teaching, mentoring and tutoring that provide a better learning experience for students (Hummel, 2010; López & Jaramillo, 2020).
It is safe to recognize Alumni as one of the university's main stakeholders. Faced with this need, many educational institutions use relationship marketing to resolve it. Relationship marketing is the creation of a strategy that seeks to attract and retain relationships with the main stakeholders (Mallada & Colom, 2010; Palacio & Rondón, 2018; Schlesinger, Cervera & Iniesta, 2012). Thus, this research seeks to apply the Alumni-University Identification Model proposed by Schlesinger et al. (2014; 2012) which measures the relationships between the "Quality of the student-professor interaction", "Alumni satisfaction with their university", "Identification between the Alumni and the university", "Loyalty" and "Image of the university" ( Girard & Pinar, 2020; Kotler & Keller, 2016; Schlesinger et al., 2021; Vargo & Lusch, 2004). The study develops a quantitative approach to empirically verify the proposed research problem. The reason is that the theoretical model to be used requires performing a hypothesis test for each of the proposed relationships between the variables already mentioned above. Because the model variables are unobservable, we apply multidimensional scaling for measurement and validation. The estimation of the relationships is carried out under the structural equation model using the partial least squares regression method. The case study is at PUCP, specifically at the School of Management students who graduated between 2010 - 2019. Preliminary findings show that the model improves when rejecting the hypothesis that the interaction between the student and professor impacts the identification of Alumni with the university. This result allows us to deduce that the relationship between professors and their students is positive during the educational experience, but it is not necessarily relevant over time. This conclusion does not mean that the relationship has no impact on identification, but instead that it happens through the positive image of the university, where this relationship does have a considerable impact. The most robust relation in this study is between the quality of the interaction between professors and students and the positive effect on the student's satisfaction It is critical to understand and propose that alumni management and its relational marketing strategy start before students graduate.
 Schlesinger, M., Taulet, A., & Bonillo, M. (2012). La identificación egresado-universidad: un modelo desde un enfoque de marketing relacional.
 Schlesinger, W., Cervera Taulet, A., Iniesta Bonillo, M. Á., & Sánchez Fernández, R. (2014). A relationship marketing approach to education as a service: An application to the University of Valencia
Keywords: Relationship marketing, higher education, loyalty, Alumni-university relationship, commitment.