Outside image of the new Forum building

"Exeter outperformed the Russell Group, on average, in every metric."

International CASE Alumni Relations Survey (ICARS)

Each year, Exeter participates in the International CASE Alumni Relations Survey (ICARS), which measures alumni relations activity in universities outside the United States. This helps us assess our progress for our own activities year-on-year, and see how we are doing against other universities.

The survey focuses on a few key indicators of success:

  • Alumni attendance at events
  • Number of volunteers
  • Number of donors, specifically measuring the number of each per 10,000 contactable alumni, so that universities of different sizes can rate their activities against each other.

Exeter always performs well in the survey, and we are very pleased that we have seen an increase in our absolute numbers of alumni attending events, volunteering and donating year-on-year.

A particular area of success for the University of Exeter is volunteering. Our volunteer numbers grew by 5% last year, and we have more than double the number of volunteers (per 10,000 alumni) as is rated ‘successful’ amongst universities.

This year, as we recently joined the Russell Group, we focussed on assessing our progress against other Russell Group universities. Sixteen of the 24 Russell Group universities (two-thirds) participated in this year’s survey.

Exeter outperformed the Russell Group, on average, in every metric. We ‘punch above our weight’ for alumni relations, despite having joined the group only this year. For example, of this group, there were only two universities with more volunteers per 10,000 alumni than Exeter.

Overall, the survey demonstrates that:

  • We remain a sector-leading university for volunteering. This is due, in very large part, to our wonderful group of alumni volunteers. Thank you.
  • We continue to be supported by large numbers of alumni who make financial gifts, despite the challenging economic climate. Again, thank you to all our donors.
  • We do well in the Russell Group, despite being the smallest university and one of the newest entrants in the group.

As with all surveys, the data is only as useful as we make it. Exeter will be looking at these metrics as we plan our activities for the coming year, to understand how they are useful to us and what we want to do differently.