Update Survey - a snapshot of alumni group activity


Thanks to all alumni groups who completed the 2019 Update Survey, which looked at group activity between 1 August 2018 and 31 July 2019.

Below is a summary of the results*, which we hope you will find useful. A PDF report can also be found here.

*Figures refer to percentages of the total number of groups who responded to the survey, rather than the total number of groups.

Top-line statistics:

  • 110 of 177 groups emailed (62%) completed the survey.
  • There are now almost 190 alumni groups in over 90 countries.
  • 44% are run jointly with Cambridge. 
  • The newest groups are in the U.S – OUS Raleigh, OUS Charlotte and the Oxford Entrepreneurs Network (North America).
  • More than 600 events were hosted by groups in 2019, with dinners and lunches being the most popular (68% of groups).
  • More than a third of groups now hold freshers events.


  • 67% of groups recruit members primarily by word of mouth. 
  • More than a third of groups now have between 100-250 members.
  • 10% of groups’ memberships has increased by over 50 members in a year.
  • Just over half of groups recruited new members primarily at events.


(Please note that the activities listed below relate to the period 1 August 2018 and 31 July 2019)

  • Dinners and lunches are the most popular events for groups - 68% said they held them.
  • 52% hosted a speaker from Oxford.
  • 50% held at least one drinks reception.
  • 49% organised at least one boat race event.
  • Some groups reported attendance figures of up to 900 (not unique attendees) across their events collectively for the year.



  • 22% of groups produce a newsletter for members.
  • 13% use social media as their primary method of communication with members 
  • Facebook is the most popular social media channel - 52% of groups have an account. Around 33% of those post monthly.
  • LinkedIn -25% have an account, nearly 75% of which post on an ad-hoc basis.
  • Twitter – 10% have an account, 46% of which post monthly, the remaining 54% posting on an ad hoc basis.
  • Instagram – 9% have an account, with 80% of those posting on an ad-hoc basis.
  • Some groups also reported using EventBrite, WeChat and WhatsApp.


Key challenges:

  • The biggest challenge for groups is attendance at events, with 49% reporting this as their primary concern.
  • Nearly 40% said their biggest challenge was recruiting younger members, with 35% saying they faced challenges in recruiting members generally.
  • Other key challenges included succession planning (around 30% of groups), contacting alumni (33%) and organising events (26%)