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Alumni associations in Kazakhstan: Building the future of higher education institutions through its graduates

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Alumni associations in Kazakhstan: Building the future of higher education institutions through its graduates

Sagitova Roza

Submitted in partial fulfillment to the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Educational Leadership

Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Education June, 2018

Word count: 21 750

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Declaration

I hereby declare that this submission is my own work and to the best of my knowledge it contains no materials previously published or written by another person, or substantial

proportions of material which have been submitted for the award of any other course or degree at NU or any other educational institution, except where otherwise stated, and the views expressed here are my own.

Signed:

Date:

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Ethical Approval Dear Roza,

The NUGSE Research Committee reviewed your study proposal and decided:

☐ To grant approval for this study

Approval: This approval is effective for the life of the study. However, any time you change any aspect of your project (e.g., recruitment process, administering materials, collecting data, gaining consent, and changing participants) you will need to submit a request for modification to the NUGSE Research Committee. Make sure to address all of the information requested on the request for modification form(s). Please be advised that in some circumstances, changes to the protocol may disqualify the project from approval.

Sincerely,

NUGSE Research Committee

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CITI training certificate

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Acknowledgments

I would like to express my grateful acknowledgment to my supervisor Professor Ali Ait Si Mhamed for his knowledge and expertise which he kindly shared with me and which assisted in conducting and writing this research. His positive vibes kept my spirit alive and helped me to make it to this point.

I would also want to thank my dear group mates: Tselenko Yelena, Ogay Svetlana, Abdykulova Aidana and Bizhanov Nursultan, who were always there to provide their moral support.

But foremost, I would like to thank my father Sagitov Ramzavi for his unconditional love and his unfailing belief in me.

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Alumni associations in Kazakhstan: Building the future of higher education institutions through its graduates

Sagitova Roza

As HEIs are becoming autonomous, the sheer need to search for new ways to

overcome financial difficulties and diversify the sources of revenue becomes a necessity, not just a choice. The research problem, therefore, is underpinned by the need for higher

education institutions to adapt new approaches to income-generating projects, allowing to conduct an investigation of the topic of alumni associations for them historically to serve as one of the fund-raising and networking venture at the universities of the US and Europe.

Moreover, together with financial donors, alumni may serve as institutional ambassadors, student recruiters, and potential employers. Hence, this research is focused on understanding how the process of alumni associations is and how officials and students from Kazakhstani universities understand and foresee the importance of alumni associations. It is a mixed method exploratory study from which we learn the opinions of university officials and

undergraduates towards alumni associations. In particular, the study was aimed to assess how university undergraduate students view their role with alma maters after graduation. At the same time, this research study examines the experience of universities which have already established alumni associations in Kazakhstan. The results of the qualitative and quantitative analyses revealed differences in understandings of alumni associations between university officials and students. It was also found that while university officials are positive about the future of alumni associations, the majority of undergraduate students is not salient towards being alumni and is reluctant to take on alumni roles.

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Ассоциации выпускников в Казахстане: Будущее высших учебных заведений в лице выпускников.

Аннотация

В свете реформы высшего образования о фискальной автономии вузов, остро стоит вопрос поиска новых путей финансирования. В связи с чем, следует обратить внимание на ассоциации выпускников так как, исторически, такие ассоциации

выполняли функцию предприятия по привлечению дополнительных средств в высшее учебное заведение, а также служили платформой для профессионального нетворкинга в университетах США и Европы. Более того, выпускники могут выступать в роли

амбассадоров родных университетов, рекрутеров студентов, а также в роли

работодателей. Тем не менее, тема ассоциаций выпускников не развита среди вузов Казахстана. Поэтому мое исследование преследует две цели: во-первых, узнать мнение представителей университетов и студентов об ассоциации выпускников. В частности моя работа, используя концепцию «отождествления себя выпускником»

(Alumni role identity salience) разработанной Макдермоном (США), нацелена на то, чтобы выявить вероятность построения студентами последнего курса университета отношений с Alma Mater по окончании учебы; во-вторых, изучить опыт отдельных университетов, которые воплотили в жизнь идею ассоциации выпускников. В частности, интерес вызывает история создания данных ассоциаций, а также их

нынешняя деятельность. Результаты количественного и качественного анализа данных выявили существенную разницу в понимании ассоциации выпускников

представителями университетов и студентов. Также было найдено, что в то время как представители университетов уверенны в будущем ассоциаций выпускников в

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Казахстане, опрошенные студенты не видят себя в роли выпускников и не готовы взять на себя ответственность в виде оказания финансовой помощи Alma Mater.

Қазақстандағы түлектер қауымдастығы: Түлектер - жоғары оқу орындарының болашағы

Аңдатпа

Жоғары білім туралы реформа тұрғысынан жоғары оқу орындарына

фискалдық дербестік беру, қаржыландырудын жаңа жолдарын іздестіру мәселесі өткір тұр. Осыған байланысты түлектер қауымдастығына назар аудару керек өйткені, тарихи, мұндай қауымдастық орындады жоғары оқу орнына қосымша қаражат тарту кәсіпорынын атқарды, сондай-ақ АҚШ және Еуропаның университеттеринде кәсіптік нетворкинга билеуші плотформасы болып табылған. Айта беретін болса, түлектер университеттерінің амбассадор рөлінде, студенттер рекрутері, сондай-ақ жұмыс берушілердің рөлін атқара алады. Дегенмен, түлектер тақырыбы Қазақстанның қауымдастығының ЖОО-ның арасында дамымаған. Сондықтан менің зерттеудің екі мақсаты бар: біріншіден, университеттер өкілдері мен студенттердің түлектер қауымдастығы туралы пікірін білу. Атап айтқанда, менің жұмысым Макдермонмен (АҚШ) әзірленген "(Alumni role identity salience),"түлегті өзіне ұқсастыру"

тұжырымдамасын пайдаланып отырып, соңғы курс студенттері оқу аяқталған соң Alma Mater- мен мамандық қатынастар құру ықтималдығын анықтау үшін; екіншіден, өмірге идеясын сәтті өткізген жеке университеттер тәжірибесін анықтауға бағытталған. Атап айтқанда, қауымдастықтар құрылуының тарихи деректері қызығушылық тудырады, сондай-ақ олардың қазіргі қызметі. Университеттердің студенттері мен өкілдері түлектер қауымдастығының түсіну сандық және сапалық талда нәтижелері у елеулі

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айырмашылық барын анықтады. Сондай-ақ, университет өкілдері түлектер

қауымдастығының Қазақстанда болашағына сенімді болғанмен, сауалнамаға қатысқан студенттер өздерін түлектердің рөліне және Alma Mater қаржылық көмек көрсету түрінде мойнына жауапкершілік алуға даын еместерін айтты.

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Table of Contents

Chapter One: Introduction and background of the study ... 1

Introduction ... 1

Research Purpose ... 4

Research Questions ... 5

Summary ... 6

Chapter Two: Literature Review ... 7

Introduction ... 7

Alumni associations ... 8

Communication and alumni giving ... 8

Alumni demographic ... 9

Student/alumni experience ... 10

Alumni and related concepts ... 11

Life-long relationship ... 12

Discretionary collaborative behavior ... 13

Alumni loyalty ... 14

Alumni role identity ... 15

Summary ... 16

Chapter Three: Methodology ... 18

Introduction ... 18

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Research Paradigm ... 18

Research design ... 18

Sample ... 20

Procedures ... 25

Data analysis ... 27

Summary ... 30

Chapter Four: Findings ... 31

Introduction ... 31

Quantitative part: What do students think? ... 31

Background of the research participants. ... 31

Academic and social experience. ... 33

Alumni identity salience: Multivariate analyses ... 37

Alumni role expectations ... 44

Qualitative part: What do university officials think? ... 51

The present situation of alumni associations ... 52

Alumni support ... 61

Alumni loyalty ... 63

Summary ... 68

Chapter Five: Discussion ... 70

Introduction ... 70

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Universities and alumni associations. ... 70

Understanding alumni associations within the Kazakhstani context. ... 73

The roles of alumni associations in Kazakhstan. ... 74

Summary ... 76

Chapter Six: Conclusion and Recommendations ... 77

Introduction ... 77

Concluding findings and discussion ... 77

Recommendations ... 78

References ... 80

Appendices ... 87

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List of Tables

Table 1. The Descriptive Statistics of the Research Population………32

Table 2. The Descriptive Statistics for Academic Experiences………...…..33

Table 3. The Descriptive Statistics for Social Experience……… 35

Table 4. Correlation Coefficient Values (Spearman’s rho) between the Variables…………...36

Table 5. The Descriptive Statistics for the Salience Scale……….37

Table 6. PLUM Results for Salience 1………..39

Table 7. PLUM Results for Salience 2………..39

Table 8. PLUM Results for Salience 3………..40

Table 9. PLUM Results for Salience 4………..…41

Table 10. PLUM Results for Salience 5………42

Table 11. The Descriptive Statistics for the Role Scale………. 45

Table 12. PLUM Results for Role 1………..46

Table 13. PLUM Results for Role 2………..47

Table 14. PLUM Results for Role 3………..48

Table 15. PLUM Results for Role 4………..49

Table 16. PLUM Results for Role 5………..50

Table 17. Assessment of Alumni Associations of the Site Universities against Selected Criteria………...67

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Chapter One: Introduction and background of the study Introduction

The present chapter begins with the background information of the study under investigation, followed by the research problem and the purpose of the research. It also provides the research questions that present the framework of the research and states the significance of the study.

Background of the Study

As if waking up after a long dream of the Soviet history, Kazakhstan opened its eyes to see the modern globalized world and found itself in the middle of nowhere. Estranged from the Soviet past and lagging from the modern globalized world the country realized the need for transformations to adapt to new realities. That period of Kazakhstani history McLendon (2004) describes as the state of “turbulence and reform” (p. 276), as after the collapse of the Soviet Union the country has undergone major economic, political and social changes. The leader of the nation in the annual addresses to the People of Kazakhstan has often set the priorities of goals and objectives, necessary to improve national economy and social

prosperity in the age of globalization. However, during the first decade of independence, the development of the education sector was not in the priority agenda, as Yakavets (2014) claims

“until the end of the 1990th, educational reforms had an incidental, fragmentary nature and were largely unsupported by any scientific programme of research” (p. 20). For the first time, the necessity of systemic changes in the education system was emphasized by President Nazarbayev in the Address to the Nation from 19th of March 2004. Since then and until now the vast majority of reforms have been introduced into all levels of education systems under the Ministry of Education and Science (hereinafter MES), which “emerged as the key

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governmental organization responsible for higher education reforms” (Hartley, Gopaul, Sagintayeva, & Apergenova, 2016, p. 5). These reforms in higher education include the transition to the three-tier education system, consisting of bachelor’s degrees, master’s

degrees, and PhDs, and creation of a national education quality assessment system (Kukeyeva, Delovarova, Ormysheva, & Davar, 2014). Another major reform in higher education is

connected with the Bologna Process as in 2010 Kazakhstan signed the Bologna Declaration and became part of the European Educational Community. This has brought about another set of reforms into the system of tertiary education including the transition of higher educational institutions (hereinafter HEIs) to institutional autonomy. The OECD report on Higher

Education in Kazakhstan (2007) asserts that autonomy is necessary for universities to function and emulate in a market economy while recommending all accredited HEIs to enjoy the right to organize their programmes, improve governance, manage their budgets and create other fund-raising projects. At the same time, there is a concern that Kazakhstani universities are not ready yet for fiscal autonomy as the major source of universities’ funding is the government.

According to the national survey conducted by JSC Information-Analytical Center in 2014 in public universities, HEIs are more prepared to the introduction of autonomy in academic sphere (72.4%) and least prepared to the introduction of fiscal autonomy (56.2%) (p. 25). The respondents further explain that universities are not ready for institutional autonomy because of the weak financial environment (8.8%) (Information Analytical Center, 2014). Likewise, the study by Sagintayeva and Kurakbayev (2015) revealed the concern of their participants, e.g. senior administrators, middle managers and faculty members that they will not be able to survive without government financial support, due to the absence of experience in fund-raising businesses. One of the participants emphasized, “we have not reached such a stage when we could earn money as top universities like Harvard and MIT” (as cited in Sagintayeva &

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Kurakbayev, 2015, p. 207). Obviously the majority of public HEIs are reluctant to become financially autonomous and take the responsibility of managing their budgets. Then, another question comes out: What are the underpinning reasons for such concerns?

Probably, the main reason lies in the fact that MES defines strategic priorities and provides funding as well as the drafts of education budget (Yakavets, 2014) thus putting HEIs into limits drawn by MES. Moreover, the existing budgeting system, e.g. line-item budgeting,

“focuses on percentage adjustments (increments) to the existing base budget rather than on specific priorities” (Zierdt, 2009, p. 345-346). In other words, specific priorities of HEIs are not considered, and they cannot get or spend more than they received on particular needs defined by MES. As stated by Abdrasheva (2016) Kazakhstani HEIs can independently manage only 20% of state funds. Seemingly, the existing budgeting system itself hinders HEIs from taking the responsibility of managing their budgets and, what is more important, from being creative in income-generating businesses. However, it is still the responsibility of a university to generate income and diversify its sources of finances. Though Kazakhstani HEIs rely mostly on governmental revenue sources as well as tuition fees, the world practice shows that there are many other sources of revenue which, according to Johnstone (2002), include contract research, teaching high demand courses, sale or lease of university assets, and donations. Besides economic rationales underpinning the necessity to develop alumni associations at HEIs in Kazakhstan ‘the establishment and nurturing of mutually beneficial relations between a university and its alumni as a primary stakeholder group, should be a top priority for any higher education institution that wants to prosper and grow in a fast-changing and highly competitive market’ (Barnard & Rensleigh, 2008, p. 433).

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Research Problem

As HEIs are becoming autonomous, the sheer need to search for new ways to overcome financial difficulties and diversify the sources of revenue becomes a necessity, not just a choice. The research problem, therefore, is underpinned by the need for higher education institutions to adapt new approaches to income-generating projects, allowing to conduct an investigation of the topic of alumni associations for them historically to serve as one of the fund-raising and networking venture at the universities of the US and Europe. The statistics show that 25, 6 billion dollars constituted voluntary contributions to colleges and universities in the US in 2004-2005, while 27% of Higher Education support came from alumni (Levine, 2008). Moreover, together with financial donors, alumni may serve as institutional

ambassadors, student recruiters, and potential employers, while development of the university’s alumni database is seen as “an investment in the institution’s infrastructure to maintain contact with alumni” (Gallo, 2012, p. 45). Therefore, it is a timely issue worth to be investigated within the Kazakhstani context, as yet apparently no research has been conducted on this topic in Kazakhstan. The results of the study will benefit university officials when considering new approaches to fund-raising activities, as well as students, for whom alumni associations may become the platform for field networking and employment.

Research Purpose

This research study is two-fold. It is a mixed method exploratory study from which we learn the opinions of university officials and undergraduates towards alumni associations. In particular, the study is aimed to assess how university undergraduate students view their role with alma maters after graduation. At the same time, this research study will examine the experience of universities which have already established alumni associations in Kazakhstan.

As a result, several questions emerge that present a framework for this research.

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Research Questions

For the purpose of this study the following overarching research question and subsidiary questions were developed:

Overarching research question:

Given current policies and reforms in Kazakhstani higher education, how do university officials and students understand and foresee alumni associations in Kazakhstan?

Subsidiary questions:

1. What is the probability that university undergraduates would build a relationship with the university after graduation?

1.1: What are the university experiences of senior students?

1.2: Which demographics and experience variables contribute to alumni identity salience and students’ alumni role expectations?

2. How do university officials understand alumni associations?

3. How are alumni associations organized and managed in the selected universities that have an alumni association?

4. What is the difference in opinions between university officials and students towards alumni associations?

5. What lessons can be learned from universities that have established alumni associations?

Significance of the Study

The present paper contributes to the understanding of the alumni associations by university officials and undergraduates within the Kazakhstani context. It also fills the gap in the existing literature. Moreover, the findings of the study will communicate some tangible recommendations to higher education institutions in Kazakhstan regarding the creation and

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maintenance of alumni associations. In addition, the study is significant for undergraduate students who may start seeing membership in alumni associations as a platform for field networking and increased career opportunities.

Summary

Having presented the background of the study and the rationale underpinning the research interest of the topic under investigation, the thesis is then structured in the following order:

Chapter 2 discusses the body of literature on alumni associations which involve the results of the previous studies and concepts developed by scholars in the relevant field.

Chapter 3 is a methodology section which presents the researcher’s philosophical worldview, research design, research instruments, sampling and data analyses procedures followed by the limitations of the study.

Chapter 4 reveals the main and interesting findings which shed light on students’

attitudes towards alumni associations and the experiences of established alumni associations in Kazakhstani HEIs.

Chapter 5 communicates quantitative and qualitative findings in regard to the analyzed literature to provide in-depth analysis of the research results.

Chapter 6 provides concluding remarks for the study and recommendations for HEIs to develop new and enhance existing alumni associations.

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Chapter Two: Literature Review Introduction

There is a vast body of literature of American origin which is devoted to the topic of alumni associations. This can be explained by the extreme popularity of alumni associations in the US where millions of dollars are raised every year from alumni donations (Vieregge, Robinson, & Drago, 2013). Recently, growing interest has emerged among European universities. In particular, the literature shows that the majority of European universities are developing alumni associations in attempts to diversify their income (Gallo, 2012; Daly, 2013), while American universities, with established culture of alumni associations, are looking for ways of improving alumni giving indexes (see Levine, 2008; Khanfar, Swaidan, &

Mujtaba, 2009; Borden, Shaker, & Kienker, 2013). As a result, the majority of literature on alumni associations is of American origin and is focused on factors predicting alumni giving.

At the same time, there are authors who view alumni not only as university donors, but as public workers (Osborne, Alkezweeny, & Kecskes 2015), institutional ambassadors and potential employers (Galo, 2012). The literature of special interest for the present research scrutinizes more intangible variables such as student/alumni expectations and satisfaction (Vieregge, Robinson, & Drago, 2013; Coll & Tsao, 2005; Brady et al., as cited in Levine, 2008), preferences (Khanfar, Swaidan, & Mujtaba, 2009), motivation and experience (Sun, Hoffman, & Grady, 2007; Coll &Tsao, 2005), alumni role identity (McDearmon, 2012), affinity with the institution (Gallo, 2012), relationship with alma mater (Gaier, 2001) and others. In order to comprehensively present the existing literature, I grouped the studies under the following themes: communication and alumni giving, alumni demographics,

student/alumni experience, and alumni-related concepts. However, before discussing these themes, it is vital to understand the nature of alumni associations.

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Alumni associations

Though first alumni network dates back 200 years (David & Coenen, 2014), it is still problematic to find an explicit definition or explanation of an alumni association. Surprisingly, among 28 articles related to the topic of alumni association, only one has attempted to

understand its nature. Thus, Vieregge, Robinson, and Drago discuss alumni association in terms of social and business networks (2013). The authors assert that it is inherent in human nature to be a part of a network or a social group. Vieregge, Robinson, and Drago (2013) distinguish between social networks and business networks by stating that social networks are naturally arising networks, while business networks are artificially created ones. However, both kinds of networks are characterized by certain amenities and obligations as well as advantages and disadvantages. To describe university alumni networks, the authors cite Balke, Mut, Stoop and Strattman (2006) who see alumni networks as the coalescence of students, graduates and employees (as cited in Vieregge, Robinson & Drago, 2013 ). To define the purpose of this social group, the authors refer to Seebacher and Klaus (2005) who defined it as the promotion of social, political and career networks as well as fund-raising for the

university’s endowment (as cited in Vieregge, Robinson & Drago, 2013 ).

Following all of the above stated, it is possible to conclude that alumni association is a social network, which bears the characteristics of a business network where students,

graduates, and employees merge to promote social, political and career networks while raising funds for universities.

Communication and alumni giving

Even though there is little written to define alumni associations, there are other studies which contribute to the understanding of the complex nature of alumni associations, their performance, and alumni motivation to become part of such associations. Thus, one group of

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studies investigates alumni communication strategies. There is a significant correlation between communication tools, acknowledgment programs, and alumni giving behavior, supported by the studies of Levine (2008), Quingley, Bingham, and Murray (2002), Sun, Hoffman, and Grady (2007), and others. The study by Quingley et al. (2002) shows that the standard acknowledgment procedures (procedures informing alumni about their donations being received and expressing the institution’s appreciation for the gift) result in a higher giving rate among alumni, while more frequent communication may decrease alumni contributions. Though the frequency of communication does not increase alumni donations, personal messages, signed by a significant person in the university, has a positive impact on alumni giving. The benefits of a personal appeal are also highlighted in studies by Coll and Tsao (2005), and Nickols (as cited in Levine, 2008). However, it is a time- and cost-

consuming way of communication as a result, direct mail is used instead (Levine, 2008).

Together with Quingley et al., Levine did not find a significant correlation between the number of communication pieces and alumni giving but found that specific communication pieces, like alumni magazines, contributed to higher participation rate among alumni. To sum up their findings, alumni solicitations may be increased if alumni fund-raisers and university administration “create a comprehensive communication strategy to reach alumni” (Sun, Hoffman, & Grady, 2007, p. 307). These findings assisted in creating interview questions for the qualitative part of the study.

Alumni demographic

Another group of studies investigates the correlation between demographic variables and alumni giving. These variables include age, gender, race, major, socio-economic status, and others. For instance, the study by Belfield and Beney (2000) found that age, gender, and income affect the size and probability of alumni donations. In particular, they found that

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females are more likely to donate money, but males donate more. Single alumni donate more than married ones and the higher the age of the alumni the higher the probability of alumni giving. Le Blanc and Rucks (2008) would concur Belfield and Beney’s general claim, but still, question the impact of marital status on alumni giving. They found that married but older alumni may contribute more to their alma mater. Moreover, the analysis of 33 thousand university alumni records in the US showed that the most generous donors among alumni are white males who graduated between 1930 and 1959 and received major in engineering (Le Blanc & Rucks, 2008). Other studies reveal that majors in business, medicine, law and academic majors are significant predictors of alumni giving (as cited in Okunade & Berl, 1997). To conclude this group of findings in the US it is possible to assert the prospective alumnus/alumnae donor to be a wealthy middle-aged female or male who majored in prestigious specialties. Though in the American context it is possible to draw the image of a prospective alumnus/alumnae donor, in Kazakhstan it is still unclear who those potential alumni donors may be. Nevertheless, these findings were helpful at the stage of data analysis when comparing my research findings with those from the US.

Student/alumni experience

Another part of the literature scrutinizes the effect of graduate/alumni experience and satisfaction on alumni giving and participation. Some authors use these notions

interchangeably, and whenever they speak about student/alumni experience, they speak about their level of satisfaction with student life or services provided by alumni associations. In the present study, I refer to the experience which is conceptualized by Koenig-Lewis (2016) as

“students’ recollection of their involvement in academic and social activities while at university” (p. 61). Gaier (2001) asserts that “the college experience is comprised of a multiplicity of student factors, which directly influences the satisfaction with the

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undergraduate experience” (p. 16). According to Sun et al. (2007), such factors are the quality of education, relationships with the faculty and academic performance. Coll and Tsao (2005) support their claims reporting that the satisfaction with the quality of educational programs contributes to alumni donations. Moreover, according to Stanford University News Service report (1994) the graduate satisfaction with the undergraduate experience is the only

significant predictor of alumni giving (as cited in Khanfar et al., 2009), that is to say “the more satisfied alumni were as students, the more likely they were to be generous donors tomorrow”

(Levine, 2008, p. 180). Such undergraduate experiences like involvement in clubs, sports sections, favorable interaction with the faculty also contribute to student/alumni satisfaction with the university experience and increase the probability of alumni interest in and support of alma mater. These findings assisted when defining variables and constituting survey questions for the quantitative part of this research.

Alumni and related concepts

The above-presented literature on alumni associations investigates factors influencing alumni giving. As a result, the studies are focused on communication tools, demographic characteristics, or undergraduate experience contributing to alumni giving behavior.

Nevertheless, there are studies which are delving deeper into the issue by developing and/or proposing various concepts. Some of the concepts include those related to the life-long relationship between alumna/alumnus and alma mater (Gallo, 2012; 2013), discretionary collaborative behavior (Heckman, & Guskey, 2015), alumni loyalty (Iskhakova, Hilbert, &

Hoffman, 2016), and alumni identity salience (McDearmon, 2012).

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Life-long relationship

In her studies, Maria Gallo (2012; 2013) sought to gain deeper understanding of the alumni-academy relationship thus developing the alumni relationship-building cycle.

According to the author, when entering a university, a freshman is involved in a unique relationship with the university. Then, after graduation, this relationship undergoes various stages of the relationship building process, and while some alumni occupy one particular position in these relationships, others terminate them (Lippincott, n.d., as cited in Gallo, 2013, p. 1152). Gallo distinguishes four stages of the alumni relationship building cycle as

affiliation, affinity, engagement, and support (2013).

Affiliation stage is a pro-active stage when graduates are connected to the university through the degree received, or through involvement in sport, social, cultural and other activities (Gallo, 2013). This stage is rather important as the experience gained within this stage can influence involvement in subsequent stages.

Affinity stage is an inactive or reactive stage, when alumni forge ahead, being seized by the outside world while losing ties with the alma mater (Gallo, 2013). This is the stage when alumni associations have to communicate with the alumni by informing them about changes happening in the university, faculty achievements or social events, to “build or re-build the affinity and nostalgia in the institution” (Gallo, 2013, p. 1153). This is where effective communication strategies discussed above1 can reanimate alumni-academy relationship.

Engagement stage is an active stage when alumni start participating in university events such as reunions, networking events or special interest groups (Gallo, 2013). Gallo argues that

1 See Communication and alumni giving

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alumni would not proceed to this stage without communication work done at the affinity stage (2012).

Final stage - support stage - is an interactive stage characterized by alumni philanthropic intentions to give back to the institution by donating money or doing volunteer work (Gallo, 2013). This is the stage at which institute reaps the fruits of labors.

Discretionary collaborative behavior

Like Gallo, Heckman and Guskey (1998) examined the long-term relationship between alumni and universities. However, the authors focused on the engagement stage of the

relationship building cycle by applying marketing principles to the higher education setting.

Heckman and Guskey claim that “relationship marketing” (1998, p.97) is relevant to alumni/university relations where alumni could be treated as customers and university as a seller. In particular, they applied the concept of discretionary collaborative behavior (hereinafter DCB) which is defined by authors as:

Behavior performed by a customer in order to help a vendor, company, or institution, which contributes to the effective functioning of the relationship, which is outside formal contractual obligations, and is performed without expectation of direct reward (as cited in Heckman and Guskey, 1998, p. 98).

In other words, the discretionary behavior is an extra-role behavior which is not required, recognized or rewarded by any formal entities. According to the authors, the DCB concept can be applied to the alumni/university relationship because alumni perform a similar behavior when participating in university campaigns, talking to prospective students

(customers), providing employment opportunities, and what is more important when becoming a word-of-mouth influencer of family, friends, and acquaintances. Heckman and Guskey

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distinguish between collaborators and contributors as the latter provide material help. At the same time, DCB could be performed by the university. Whether performed by alumni or university DCB contributes to an effective relationship (Heckman, & Guskey, 1998).

Therefore, it is possible to conclude that in order to build a healthy collaborative relationship both alumni and university should perform a discretionary behavior which goes beyond formal obligations.

Alumni loyalty

Another widely discussed concept in the international literature is alumni loyalty.

Numerous studies, conducted every year, are devoted to the topic of alumni loyalty supported by the increased interest in the topic by universities (Iskhakova, Hoffman, & Hilbert, 2017).

Nevertheless, until recently there was no consistent definition of alumni loyalty as different scholars view the concept in their particular way. Furthermore, some of the studies examining variables constituting alumni loyalty had contradictory results (Iskhakova, Hoffman, &

Hilbert, 2017). The more multi-faceted approach to define alumni loyalty was made by Iskhakova, Hoffman, and Hilbert who developed an integrative model of alumni loyalty (2016) and conducted a systematic literature review on the topic (2017). As a result, the authors proposed the following definition: “Alumni loyalty is the faithfulness or devotion of alumni, based on two interrelated components: attitudinal (intention to alumni loyalty) and behavioral (action loyalty)” (Iskhakova, Hoffman, & Hilbert, 2017, p. 29). Intention to alumni loyalty is described as a desire to perform certain behavior, while action loyalty is an active stage at which certain behavior is performed. This definition strongly resembles the concept of alumni loyalty proposed by Koenig-Lewis (2016), who also distinguished between attitudinal and behavioral loyalty. The authors then explain that intention to alumni loyalty and action

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loyalty could be expressed both materially and non-materially thus resembling the study by Heckman and Guskey (1998) who distinguished between collaborators (non-material help) and contributors (material help). Moreover, the authors found a close relationship between benefits offered by an alumni association, predisposition to charity, perceived quality of service provided by the institution, and the degree of loyalty displayed by alumni toward alma mater (2016).

Alumni role identity

One more concept related to the topic of alumni associations was proposed by

McDearmon (2012) who investigated alumni role identity. He created the instrument which fits the conceptual framework of Stryker’s symbolic interactionism. Stryker developed the concept of identity salience, which is defined as the “readiness to act out the behaviors

expected for a particular role which formulates identity” (McDearmon, 2012, p. 287). In other words the social roles we play form our identity, and we act in accordance with this identity.

This notion was then transferred, and adopted to alumni role identity by McDearmon. He then applied other conceptual frameworks to define dimensions of alumni role identity. Thus McDearmon distinguished three dimensions of alumni role identity such as alumni identity salience, alumni role expectations, and social expectations of alumni. Two of the presented dimensions, alumni identity salience, and alumni role expectations, are of research interest for the present study. The social expectations dimension is unable to fit the present research due to the novelty of alumni role for Kazakhstani society. In other words, there are not yet social expectations of a person to be alumnus(a). On the contrary, there are alumni institutional expectations (alumni role expectations) which could be assessed in the present research.

Moreover, McDearmon found that alumni identity salience is correlated with alumni role

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expectations as those who had salient identity toward the role of an alumnus(a) the more likely they were to utilize the expectations of that role. His findings also revealed that “those who responded higher on the role alumni identity salience scale towards being an alumnus or alumna, more frequently engaged in the support behaviors” (p. 299). Strictly speaking, people who accept a role of alumnus(a) are potential alumni donors because the higher the role salience of the person the higher the probability that the person will act in accordance with the role for which he or she was assigned. However, his study did not investigate what kind of experience would increase or decrease alumni role identity. Following this, the present research investigates which undergraduate experience contributes to greater alumni identity salience, and their readiness to take on different alumni roles.

Summary

The present literature review revealed the variety of concepts related to the topic of alumni associations as well as articles of practical interest for universities. However, despite the variety of the literature on the topic of alumni associations, there is an issue which runs like a golden threat through the articles, i.g. the importance of undergraduate experience for the continuous relationships between alumni and alma mater. The pleiad of authors, such as Gaier (2001), Call and Tsao (2005), Sun et al. (2007), Levine (2008), Khanfar et al. (2009), Gallo (2012), McDearmon (2012), Koenig-Lewis (2016), Iskhakova, Hoffman and Hilbert (2017), in different years, spoke about the impact of student experience on alumni-university relationships. Thus, Gallo (2012) stresses the importance of experience gained at affiliation stage for relationship building cycle; Gaier (2001) determines the factors comprising university experience, while McDearmon (2012) suggests university experience to affect alumni role identity. Similarly, Iskhakova, Hoffman, and Hilbert (2016), as well as Koenig-

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Lewis (2016) claim that satisfaction with student experience (named by authors as academic and social integration) contributes to alumni loyalty.

However, due to the complexity and multilevel of alumni-university relationships not only undergraduate experience that influences these relationships, but the variety of other factors such as demography (Okunade & Berl, 1997; Belfield & Beney, 2000; Le Blanc &

Rucks, 2008), alumni communication strategies (Quingley, Bingham, & Murray, 2002; Sun, Hoffman, & Grady, 2007; Levine, 2008), and discretionary behavior performed by university (Heckman & Guskey, 1998; Gallo, 2012; Iskhakova, Hoffman, & Hilbert, 2016) were

identified.

These literature review findings justify the investigator’s research interest in students’

background, and undergraduate experience (quantitative part), as well as university

discretionary behavior (qualitative part) which will be assessed for the purpose of the present study.

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Chapter Three: Methodology Introduction

The following section provides information on the researcher’s philosophical worldview which drives the methodology of the present study, followed by the research design, sample, site, instruments, and materials. It also presents data analyses procedures and limitations of the study.

Research Paradigm

The philosophical basis of this study is presented by a pragmatic worldview which drives the choice of the mixed methods inquiry. Pragmatism which derived from the work of Peirce, James, Mead, and Dewey (Creswell, 2009) heralded the end of the paradigm war and the emergence of mixed methods by stating that qualitative and quantitative methods are actually compatible (Tashakkori &Teddlie, 1998, p. 4). In contrast to post-positivist and social constructivist worldviews, which perceive the reality as something “independent of the mind or within the mind” (Creswell, 2009, p. 11), pragmatism perceives the reality as

something experienced or tested. The key question for pragmatists is “does it work?” As a result, pragmatist researchers utilize the variety of approaches for collecting and analyzing data in order to get the deeper understanding of the problem (Creswell, 2009). In other words, pragmatists use pluralistic approaches typical of mixed methods inquiry as it combines both qualitative and quantitative methods. Driven by the pragmatic worldview of the researcher this study is therefore employed mixed methods design which will be further explained in details.

Research design

One of the main aims of the study is to understand whether the idea of alumni

associations is applicable within the Kazakhstani context. Therefore, it is necessary to define students’ readiness to build life-long relationships with a university while learning from the

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experience of Kazakhstani HEIs with established alumni associations. Framed by the two-fold nature of the study, the research applies mixed methods design to answer the main research question. As stated by Tashakkori and Teddlie (1998), Morgan (2007), and Patton (1990) mixed methods research is used when a researcher focuses on a research problem rather than on research methods for the purpose of deriving knowledge about the problem. As apparently the problem of alumni associations in Kazakhstani HEIs has not been yet investigated, the present study, therefore, aims to derive knowledge about this problem by applying mixed methods design. Being defined as a type of inquiry which combines both qualitative and quantitative research elements to reach the breadth and depth of the problem under

investigation (Johnson et al., 2007) the mixed methods design is therefore thought to fit the best the purpose of this study.

There are six types of mixed methods procedures, distinguished by Creswell, which are contingent on four factors: timing, weighing, mixing, and theorizing (2009). In terms of timing, both qualitative and quantitative data were gathered roughly at the same time when the researcher was in the field collecting data. In regard to weighing, the present study grants equal priority both to qualitative and quantitative data. The mixing of the data happens in the form of connecting survey and interview findings to answer the main research question.

Regarding theorizing, the quantitative part of the survey is guided by the conceptual

framework of McDearmon’s alumni role salience, no other theories or frameworks are applied in qualitative part of the study. Therefore, it is possible to conclude that the present study employs concurrent mixed methods design which bears the characteristics of both concurrent embedded strategy (both qualitative and quantitative methods are used study different groups or levels) and concurrent transformative strategy (the two types of data may have equal or unequal priority).

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One ‘strand’ of the present work aims to define students’ readiness to build a life-long relationship with the university by determining students’ salience to becoming an alumnus/a.

For this reason, the quantitative method is employed. As asserted by Creswell (2002),

quantitative data “can provide useful information if you need to describe trends about a large number of people” (p. 535) such as student population in the present study.

Another ‘strand’ of the present work aims to learn the experience of Kazakhstani HEIs with established alumni associations. Due to the absence of the research on the topic of alumni associations in Kazakhstani HEIs, it was relevant to use a qualitative descriptive study as

“qualitative descriptive study is the method of choice when straight descriptions of phenomena are desired” (Sandelowski, 2000, p. 334). Sandelowki also suggests that qualitative descriptive study is especially useful when an enquirer wants to know who, what, and where of the events (2000, p. 339). Given the fact that the present study aims to describe the experience of

Kazakhstani HEIs with operating alumni associations, the fundamental qualitative descriptive design is thought to fit the best the purpose of this research.

Sample

The survey participants were randomly sampled from the number of undergraduate senior class students. There are several reasons which identified this choice. First of all, because the departments of alumni associations are not common for Kazakhstani HEIs, it would be difficult to access alumni records and invite alumni to participate in the research.

Secondly, senior students are the closest to becoming alumni, and thirdly, by the senior year, they already have enough academic and social experience to be able to answer all survey questions and provide sufficient data.

The senior student population was reached when the researcher was in the field collecting the data. Over the half of the respondents (78) filled in hard copies of the survey,

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while the rest of them filled in an online form (75). It was difficult to reach 4th-year students because during the phase of data collection almost all of them were out of their universities because of the internship. Therefore, an online survey was distributed among university administration to be further forwarded to senior students. Though the planned number of survey participants was 500, in total of 153 students participated in the survey which constitutes 30, 6 % of the response rate. Among them are 91 females (59%) and 62 males (41%) the majority of which are aged from 18 to 21 (131).

The participants of the qualitative part of the study are selected using purposeful sampling. Purposive sampling, which is a feature of qualitative research, is used when it is necessary to reach ‘knowledgeable people’, in other words, those who by virtue of their professional role, power, or access to networks can provide in-depth knowledge about

particular issues (Cohen, Manion, & Morrison, 2011). For the purpose of the present study, it is necessary to access people with understanding and knowledge about alumni/alumni

associations in their HEIs. Therefore, university administration of the universities with

established alumni associations, those working closely with alumni and/or alumni associations was selected as the participants of present research. Gender or nation factors were not critical at this point because it was more about participants’ professional experience rather than demographics.

Concurrent with survey participants, interview participants were reached when the researcher was in the field. Due to a purposeful sampling of the population, interview participants were mostly higher education professionals with working experience ranging from two to forty years, some having both teaching and administering experience. The total number of participants constitutes 19 people among which 13 were interviewed individually, and six interviewees participated in focus group discussions.

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Research site

This research sought to learn from the experience of Kazakhstani HEIs with operating alumni associations. Unfortunately, there are not so many universities in Kazakhstan which could boast of successful alumni associations; therefore, it was vital to gather information about Kazakhstani HEIs’ alumni associations upfront. Because Almaty has a major concentration of Kazakhstani higher education institutions, it was decided to look at the examples of Almaty HEIs. It was found that there are some private, joint-stock, and national universities whose cases are worth to be investigated. Several reasons identified the choice of these site universities: 1) these universities have established alumni associations which are currently operating; 2) these universities receive both material and non-material support from alumni; 3) these site universities have alumni funds, and 4) these site universities are actively promoting their alumni associations in public. Moreover, in one of the site universities, an alumni association was set by alumni themselves which also provoked my research interest.

However, as the study aims to look at the example of a state university in Kazakhstani periphery as well, one state university with established alumni association was chosen.

Overall, six universities were selected as site universities for the present research among which are: three joint-stock companies, one private, one national, and one state university.

Instruments and materials

The survey was used to collect quantitative data. The tool was validated by

expert review in the face of my supervisor. The findings of the previous studies were used to create survey questions. This is how the validity of the instrument was ensured. To ensure the reliability of the instrument, Cronbach alpha procedures were applied. The survey was divided into three sections: participants’ background information (gender, age, university, major, socio-economic status, etc.), academic and social experience (the quality of the education,

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involvement in social events, involvement in extracurricular activities, academic performance, relationship with faculty staff, etc.), role identity questions. Five-point Likert-style scales were used for all scaling questions.

The last section of the survey was used to identify a senior student’s role identity as a university’s alumnus (a). For this reason, role identity scales developed by McDearmon (2012) were adopted in the present survey. The first role identity scale is called ‘alumni role identity salience’ which consists of five items:

• Being an alumnus (a) is something I often think about (Salience1).

• I really don’t have any clear feelings about being an alumnus (a) (Salience2)

• For me, being an alumnus (a) means more than just contributing money or time (Salience3).

• Being an alumnus (a) is an important part of who I am (Salience4).

• I would feel lost if I were not an alumnus (a) (Salience5).

Another role identity scale assesses alumni role expectations and consists of another five items:

• As an alumnus (a), it is my duty to support the university through financial contributions

(donations or gifts) (Role1).

• As an alumnus (a), it is my duty to support the university through volunteering (Role2).

• As an alumnus (a), I am expected to attend alumni events (on- and off-campus) (Role3).

• As an alumnus (a), it is my duty to serve on a university board or committee (Role4).

• As an alumnus (a), I am expected to attend athletic events (Role5).

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Thus, the survey instrument was created firstly to learn students’ background information (independent variables), then to learn about students’ social and academic experience

(independent variables) at their universities, and in the last section, to determine students’ role identities as universities’ alumni (dependent variables) based on students’ background and university experience. Due to the fact that not all of the research participants are fluent in English, the survey was conducted both in English and Russian languages.

Thirteen individual and two focus group interviews were employed in this study as qualitative data collection instruments. Interviews serve to be an excellent tool for learning the opinions and ideas of the participants. Physical presence allows not only to presuppose an interviewee to talk openly but also to make observations, which can be later filled in the researcher’s notes. One-on-one interviews allow seeing the attitudes of people towards this or that issue through body language which cannot be controlled by people. The present study used two types of in-depth qualitative interviews: individual semi-structured interviews and focus group interviews. As stated by Hitchcock and Hughes semi-structured interviews are more flexible version of the structured interview which allows the researcher to probe and expand the interviewee’s response thus allowing to achieve in-depth views of the participants (1993). The use of semi-structured interviews allowed me to be flexible in terms of asking the interview question not according to their order in the list of questions, but according to the answers I got from the participants. This ensured a continuous flow of interviewees’ thoughts, ideas, and experiences.

Likewise, I conducted two focus group discussions. Usually, the aim of a focus group discussions is to “gain a broad range of views on the research topic (…) and to create an environment where participants feel comfortable to express their views” (Hennink, Hutter, &

Bailey, as cited in Hennink, 2013, p.1). Paying attention to this opinion, I tried to create a

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comfortable atmosphere to ensure vigorous interaction among interviewees by inviting a smaller number of people who know each other for an extended period. Thus, three

participants, employees of one department, were interviewed in each focus group. I acted more as a moderator of these group discussions allowing interviewees to talk openly and provide reasoning for the views they hold.

The questions were divided into three main parts: ice-breakers, back-ground questions, grand tour questions. To ensure high quality of the interview questions, they were discussed with my supervisor. Due to the fact that interviewees’ language of interaction varied greatly from university to university, interviews were conducted in three languages (English, Russian, and Kazakh) depending on interviewees’ preferences.

Procedures

Having received ethics approval, I started the process of data collection. The first steps in the data collection were associated with communicating the site universities in Almaty. I requested official letters addressed to the rectors of the site universities in order to provide a legal base for my interest in these universities. In the initial stage, university administration representatives were called to be informed about the study and asked to participate. Then official letters signed by the dean of the GSE were sent via e-mails to representatives of university administration. The same letters contained the information about the purpose of the study, its importance and possible benefits for the universities and future studies. Having received universities’ permission and having negotiated the most convenient time for the research participants I started my research journey. I spent two weeks in Almaty collecting both qualitative and quantitative data at the same time.

The interview participants were carefully selected from the number of universities’

administration in accordance with the sampling criteria. Because they were already informed

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about the study and agreed to participate I met with them in the designated time and place.

During the interviews the protocols were developed. Having handing out the consent forms I asked their permission to record our interviews. With participants’ permission the dialogues were tape-recorded and notes were taken. Participants’ personal information was coded and all the information was stored in my laptop secured by the password. Besides that, the majority of the interviewees provided additional data in terms of alumni magazines, leaflets, invitations, photos, and other artifacts. All these artifacts as well as interview records, and researcher’s notes were then used for data analysis to ensure data integrity.

The survey was self-administered, web- and paper-based. For the online version of the survey I used Qualtrics software, access to which was provided by Nazarbayev University.

Prior to gaining access to students I communicated university administration to present the purpose of the present study and introduce them with survey questions. Though each site university agreed to give interviews, not every HEI granted an access to senior class students.

Paper-based survey was held while the researcher was in the field collecting the data. To ensure high response rate I planned to survey senior students by distributing hard-copies of the questionnaire while I was in the field. However, the majority of senior students were out of the universities due to internship. As a result, 78 paper-based surveys were completed.

Then, I had to send an email invitation stating the purpose of the study and providing a link to the secure survey website to university administration to be further forwarded to senior students. The invitation was sent from the researcher’s generated from a university domain email address in order to minimize the invitation being marked as spam. When the number of the survey participants did not reach necessary amount, several email reminders were sent to university administration which resulted in an additional surveys being completed. Then I decided to use another strategy to reach senior students population by signing in social

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students’ groups on various social media such as VK and Facebook. Being accepted as a member of these social groups I posted a message stating the research purpose and the benefits of my research to the system of higher education as well as contribution that students can make by completing the survey. In total 75 web-based surveys were completed. The overall number of completed surveys is 153.

Data analysis

As mentioned above, this is a mixed methods study. Therefore, each design serves the purpose of addressing one of the questions. However, it is worth noting that these mixed methods complement each other to generate an overall data-driven understanding of alumni associations in Kazakhstani HEIs.

The Quantitative part

To determine students’ alumni identity salience and alumni role expectations I have conducted quantitative analysis using SPSS software access to which was provided by Nazarbayev University. I have applied both descriptive and inferential statistical analyses to answer the research questions and test the hypotheses. However, prior to conducting any analysis Cronbach’s alpha procedures were applied to ensure internal reliability of the survey items. Thus, Cronbach’s alpha internal consistency coefficient for the experience scale (№ of items=10) was calculated to be α=.71, while for alumni identity salience (№ of items=5) and alumni role expectation (№ of items=5) it was calculated to be α=.84 and α=.89 respectively.

Having ensured the reliability of the survey instrument other statistical analyses were to follow.

In the initial stage the descriptive statistics was used to provide the investigator with the general picture of the participants’ background. Similarly, descriptive statistics provided an

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insight into senior students’ academic and social experiences at their universities and the level of satisfaction with these experiences.

Inferential statistics was used in order to find out an association between students’

background/experiences and alumni identity salience/alumni role expectations. The variables used in the study are ordinal (experience, identity, etc.), therefore it was necessary to use 'robust' statistical analysis to answer research questions and test the hypotheses. In this regard, ordinal logistic regression model, in particularly, the polytomous universal model (PLUM) was utilized. Regression analysis is advantageous as it not only allows us to determine how well all our predictor variables together predict the outcome variable, but allows us to look at the relationship between each of our predictors separately and the outcome variable. PLUM in particular, “considers the probability of that event and all events that are ordered before it”

(Muijs, 2011, p.165). In other words, this model is utilized to predict the probabilities of the different possible outcomes, given a set of predictors. The conducted analysis showed that the whole model of PLUM fits the data very well (№=153, a²=.606, p= .00). Following this procedures, allowed the researcher to answer the research questions and test the hypotheses, the analysis’ results will be presented in the findings section.

The Qualitative part

To learn how alumni associations are organized and managed in the selected

universities, it was necessary to conduct qualitative analysis of the interviews and focus group discussions. The interviews ranged in length from eight to thirty five minutes. The interview records were transcribed and then the three step procedure: open coding, axial coding and thematic coding were applied for the analysis. Individual codes which were defined during open coding process highlighted single issues in the data, therefore it was necessary to organize the codes into groups based on similar attributes. These groups of codes were later

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developed into themes. However, coding is not a straightforward exercise as asserted by Cohen, Manion, and Morrison this process is continuous and requires constant comparison of the codes to ensure consistency of the data (2002). Having considered this opinion, I

repeatedly looked through the data and the emerged codes to eliminate any kind of human error. This repetitive action helped to enlarge emerged themes with newly found individual codes. Having ensured the consistency of the emerged themes I then triangulated the data using researcher’s notes, and involving the participants via email and phones for member- checking process. Following this procedures, allowed the researcher to answer the research questions posed in the qualitative part of the present study. The results will be presented in the following section.

Limitations

The research question implies that the results of the study are highly theoretical in nature. My study attempts to predict the future of alumni associations in Kazakhstan, utilizing such intangible variables like 'salience' and 'identity', adopted from the previous research on university alumni by McDearmon (2012); while my study translates them onto senior students. To verify survey results it would be better to complement my quantitative part with qualitative interviews with students, but the time and cost issues could have arisen. Another limitation refers to the small sample size which implies that the sample is not as representative of the student population as possible.

As to qualitative part of the study, the interpretations of the qualitative data could be limited to the researcher’s knowledge and understanding of the problem under investigation as well as personal experience. Together with it, it is difficult to verify the information provided by interviewees against the real-life experiences of Kazakhstani alumni associations.

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Summary

This section presented the methods employed for the purpose of this study and provided rationales justifying their use. It also discussed the procedures undertaken to answer the research questions as well as limitations of the present study. Next chapter will present the study results.

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Chapter Four: Findings Introduction

The following chapter presents the results of both the quantitative and qualitative data analyses. It also presents the findings in such a way that makes it easier for the reader to follow how research questions are answered and which data is used to answer which question.

Therefore, I first report the results of the quantitative analyses to explain about university experiences of study participants. Then, I present which demographics and experience

variables contribute to alumni identity salience and role expectations. In the qualitative part of findings I present the understandings of an alumni association by administration of the site universities. Last, the experiences of alumni associations are discussed.

Quantitative part: What do students think?

The quantitative ‘strand’ of the present work aims to define students’ readiness to build life-long relationships with the university by determining students’ salience to becoming alumni as well as students’ alumni role expectations. Likewise, the researcher investigates what background and experience variables predict salience for students and the role expectations they hold of being alumni. Therefore, this section reveals the findings on students’ background, academic and social experience, followed by students’ alumnus (a) identity salience and alumni role expectations.

Background of the research participants. The conducted descriptive analysis (see Table 1) showed that the majority of the research participants are female students. Those aged 18-21 also constitute the greater part of the population. Among study participants 95.4% of the students report to having earned the first academic degree. In terms of financial assurance of the study, the major share is accounted for by parents and state grants. The majority of the respondents report having a high income and represent 36.6% (56) of the population. Students

Ақпарат көздері

СӘЙКЕС КЕЛЕТІН ҚҰЖАТТАР

Kudaibergenova Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Kazakhstan, Almaty *e-mail: kairanbayev.n.s@gmail.com THE INTERNATIONAL CAMPUSES’ ROLE IN HIGHER EDUCATION IN THE UAE