UCL is proud to have a global alumni community, with groups and networks led by volunteers around the world. This guidance is provided to help support group leaders and volunteers, as well as those interested in setting up and running an official alumni group or network.
You can find a full list of existing alumni groups and networks on the alumni website.
- Purpose of alumni groups and networks
- Setting up an alumni group or network
- Deciding your structure and volunteer roles
- Expectations of a group or network volunteer lead
- Running group and network events
- How UCL supports alumni groups
- Using the UCL brand
- Financial responsibility and data protection
Volunteer-led alumni groups play an important role in the development of a strong and engaged global community of UCL alumni and supporters. The purpose of an alumni group in each geographical area is to:
- Facilitate connections between each other and the university
- Provide opportunities for alumni to volunteer
- Support prospective and current students, and welcome new graduates
- Advocate for UCL and help raise UCL's profile globally
- Support UCL engagement and philanthropy campaigns
There are over 40 groups and networks operating globally, all of which are listed on the alumni website. Please contact the UCL Alumni Relations team at email@example.com, if you are interested in setting up a new group or network.
Steps for setting up a new group or network
- Find other UCL alumni who would be interested in co-leading the group. New groups and networks need at least two lead volunteers before moving on to the next step.
- Run two trial events within six months - in-person or online. Events that focus on community-building and/or professional development often work well. We’ve highlighted some examples of format below.
Community-building event formats:
- Informal social, for example dinner, picnic, drinks or group walk
- Welcome back party for returning graduates
- Gallery/museum tour
Professional development event formats:
- Panel talks
- Small roundtable led by a successful member of the community
- Speed networking
- Company visit
After each event, a completed attendee register and any photos that were taken must be sent to the Alumni Relations team (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please remember to collect photo permissions at your events by putting up clear signs – more information on this can be found below.
Getting official status
If there is strong interest in more alumni activity for your trial events, you can request a conversation with the Alumni Relations team about getting official status for your group or network.
While some existing groups and networks operate with a committee, we encourage a flat, non-hierarchical, volunteering structure. The following roles have worked well for existing groups and networks:
Alumni Relations Liaison Lead
- Maintaining regular contact with the Alumni Relations team, including answering requests from UCL.
- Acting as the main contact for Alumni Relations, collecting feedback and updates from other lead volunteers.
- Sharing information from UCL with other group volunteers.
- Delegating tasks as needed, to enable the running of a minimum of two events per year.
- Ensuring events are inclusive and welcoming to the whole community your group or network represents.
- Collating event data, including recording the registrants and attendees. We often find this role works well when split between two volunteers, for example a Professional Development Lead and Community-Building Lead.
- Leading communications within the group or network, such as drafting social media posts, to ensure alumni stay up to date. See details on using the UCL brand below.
- Taking photos at events to help share your activity with the wider UCL community.
- Ensuring your group or network understands our policy on holding and sharing personal data. You should not keep data lists on file and delete any registration lists after use.
As a volunteer lead for an official group or network, you would be expected to:
- Agree to and complete our UCL Volunteer Agreement.
- Run a minimum of two events per academic year (September-August).
- Inform the Alumni Relations team when organising or running an activity, keeping in mind the lead times outlined below.
- Be an inclusive and welcoming UCL ambassador for the communities your group or network represents.
- Be respectful and supportive of all current and prospective group or network volunteers.
- Be responsive to all requests for information by the Alumni Relations team.
Alumni groups and networks are expected to organise a minimum of two events per year. They should be inclusive and representative of all alumni in their communities.
It is the responsibility of the event organiser(s) to ensure:
- The Alumni Relations team is notified a minimum of four weeks in advance of any event.
- The Alumni Events Code of Conduct is stated on the event invitation(s).
- Relevant photo permissions gathered if event photography is taken. This means putting clear signs up at your events, with details of who to contact should they not wish for their photo to be taken.
- Attendee registration lists are returned to the Alumni Relations team after each event. Please see further guidance on handling data below.
- Consider welcoming other UCL audiences including prospective students and current students when planning events.
6. How UCL supports alumni groups
The Alumni Relations team supports official groups and networks by:
- Providing support and guidance through a dedicated UCL Alumni Relations staff contact.
- Helping to promote global events on UCL channels.
- Maintaining a database of alumni contacts and mailing lists on your behalf to ensure data protection compliance.
- Where appropriate, sending invitations through the central database to alumni in your community.
- Connecting group and network volunteers with each other and supporting volunteer recruitment as necessary.
UCL’s logo, portico icon and the letters ‘UCL’ are registered trademarks and must not be used, recreated or modified without permission.
UCL is extremely fortunate to have a prestigious brand that is recognised around the world. It is important to ensure a consistent design for alumni group and network logos, so that UCL’s brand and reputation is legally protected from misrepresentation.
Each officially recognised alumni group or network has a tailored logo which can be requested from the Alumni Relations team.
If you wish to set up social media groups or other online profiles using the UCL brand/logo, you will need to contact the Alumni Relations team in the first instance at email@example.com.
8. Financial responsibility and data protection
Please note the following:
- UCL bears no financial responsibility for the finances of an alumni group or network.
- UCL’s insurance does not cover alumni groups or networks (including their events and activities). Groups and networks are encouraged to seek independent advice regarding insurance.
- Personal data relating to alumni is held by UCL. You should not hold any data.
- Alumni groups and networks do not have access to personal data, but we can work with you to advise on the best way to promote events and activities to alumni. Read our further guidance on data privacy and data protection.
The Alumni Relations team sits within UCL’s Office of the Vice-President (Advancement), which oversees all fundraising activity for the university.
If you are considering fundraising as part of your group’s activity, please contact the UCL Alumni Relations team to discuss your plans, receive advice from UCL’s team of professional fundraisers and gain access to approved materials and resources.