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University College of Estate Management (UCEM) case study - Alumni Engagement

Case Study

June 29, 2023

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Alumni Sustainability Survey and Case Studies

Related Responsible Futures Criterion: IO004

Overview of initiative/action

In partnership with SOS-UK, the University College of Estate Management (UCEM) facilitated its first sustainability-themed, alumni survey between May – August 2022. Alumni were asked to share their experiences of sustainability during their time as a student at UCEM and how this has influenced them in their careers, and they also had the opportunity to opt-in to produce a case study around the topic. The survey and case studies aimed to capture UCEM’s long-term impact, and help the institution understand how built environment education could be improved to enable better outcomes for society, economy and the planet.

UCEM received 101 responses for the survey and, as of May 2023, have published 5 alumni case studies, with a further 14 in progress.

Impact of initiative

UCEM has published a summary of the findings from the survey on its website and intends to also publish an infographic with key results. This is similar to our approach to the publication of results for the SOS-UK Skills Survey which we facilitate bi-annually. We have used the findings from the alumni survey and the case studies to inform student, alumni, and staff activity to help inspire students, staff, and other alumni to think and act sustainably. The quantitative and qualitative results have supported the creation and development of our first Alumni Lifelong Influencing Plan, which has sustainability embedded throughout.

Our survey and case studies have captured voices from across the world, and the case studies have provided our alumni the opportunity to reflect on their journey and recognise sustainability and social responsibility within their workplaces. This initiative has also supported reflection on our own work and how UCEM has progressed in its sustainable practices, teaching, and learning, particularly over the last decade.

Role that RF criteria/programme has played in this initiative

UCEM has been working with colleagues at SOS-UK for some time on this initiative before its launch in May 2022 with the aim of achieving criterion IO004. The work in progress was shown to student auditors at UCEM’s reaccreditation in June 2022 and was received positively by them.

The Responsible Futures programme has supported UCEM in taking a whole-institution approach to sustainability, and the breadth of criteria proved valuable in engaging colleagues to incorporate sustainability into their work.

The Responsible Futures Criterion:  

  • IO004 – The Partnership has reflected on and identified their long-term impacts and outcomes in relation to positive outcomes for students.


Additional Comments

UCEM will be looking for opportunities to run the survey again in 2024 and will continue to capture sustainability case studies. We will seek to enhance how these initiatives are delivered and presented to our learning community.

“Our first sustainability alumni survey certainly had its challenges which we will be reflecting on and making changes for when we run the survey again in 2024. However, the findings have proven very insightful and have been integral in the planning stage of our future sustainability activity with both students and alumni. I’m excited to continue working with colleagues, students, and alumni to enhance our sustainability agenda here at UCEM.” - Jessica Gordon-Calvert, UCEM’s Sustainability Education and Engagement Officer, who worked with UCEM colleagues and SOS-UK to launch the survey.