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Niall G. MacKenzie and Qiantao Zhang

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Shiri Breznitz, Brendan Hills and Qiantao Zhang

Universities are an essential part of the entrepreneurship and innovation system on both the local and global scale. As such, understanding the impact of university alumni is important. Historically, the great majority of alumni studies have focused on measuring engagement, competencies and alumni giving. This chapter highlights the distinctly new phenomenon of alumni impact surveys, which are mostly used by universities to address policy makers and future students. These new surveys do focus on entrepreneurship, but it has not been connected to the wider role of universities, nor to the social impact of alumni. In particular, the chapter provides an overview of the origin of alumni impact surveys, the reasons for and the process of survey implementations, and the results from the surveys in the form of both reports and academic papers. The chapter highlights the difficulties in translating these surveys into academic studies. It concludes with a discussion on the state of alumni impact surveys and the future of research in this field.