The Cumbria Network Survey - our response

The Cumbria Network Survey - our response name

The Cumbria Network is for all our alumni, and we hope that we can continue to build a platform that is useful and engaging for you.

We recently carried out a survey and the response was really positive and encouraging, so thank you for that.  We wanted to take this opportunity to address some of the ideas and suggestions and let you know a bit more about our plans for the Cumbria Network going forward.

I am pleased that the majority of people found it easy to register, but there were a couple of people who had difficulties and also a few issues with viewing the network on apple devices.  I have been informed that the Apple issues have been rectified, but if this is not the case, please get in touch with me and I can look into this further.  If you have any trouble registering please contact us.

If you have further suggestions or want to get further involved with the Cumbria Network here is how you contact us:

Email: or drop Joanne Lusher a message through the Cumbria Network.


A number of people suggested we have more ways for alumni to share their stories. Particular suggestions included covering regions like Africa, Asia and America, updates on successful alumni, stories about hobbies as well as careers and space where people can share what they do now and what they would like to do in the future.

Yes please! Excellent ideas, we would love more alumni to share their stories with us and we are interested in all aspects of life, hobbies, and interests as well as careers. Sharing more stories from alumni around the world would be great. You can find alumni stories in our regular feature ‘what are you up to now’ you can find previous editions of this on our news listings page here. You can share your experience through our alumni profile form here, and if anyone has any different stories in mind, please get in touch. 


Users would like more job listings and support for the unemployed.

We are pleased to announce we have just released our jobs feature.  We have linked Cumbria Network with our careers and employability platform, My Career Enriched and all graduate opportunities are now listed in the jobs section. At the time of writing, we had over 1,400 opportunities. 

Careers and employability are here to support graduates up to three years after graduation. You can get support from the careers team through My Career Enriched. You will also find resources for job searches, CV writing, and interviews on our webpages.  The careers team have a blog so we can ensure that content is shared regularly to all Cumbria Network users.


Users would like more business opportunities, business classified, business discussion, business influencer interviews on trending topics.

The Cumbria Network has a business directory and all users are welcome to use this feature. You can list your business through the directory and even include details of a benefit or discount for our alumni community. We have started a new spotlight series showcasing alumni businesses and we aim to showcase a new business each month. You can find a business profile form here if you would like to get involved. Further discussion would be welcomed and all alumni are encouraged to post discussion topics onto the news feed at any time.


Users suggested some ideas for smaller groups: Introduce the Entrepreneur Zone where we can network with others who want to work in start-ups etc. A group for alumni who live outside of UK, create a local/regional/county level alumni network groups.

The Cumbria Network has a groups feature so we can set up groups for specific course areas, campuses, industries, locations etc. To facilitate these groups we would be keen for volunteers, if you would like to be involved, drop us an email.


Make a blog page.

The news area of our webpages works as a blog, we list all our article content here which is then shared across the Cumbria Network and social media.  There is no blog feature in the Cumbria Network yet, but we will suggest it to Graduway, who are the company that make our platform. It would be great to share more blog posts here and we are really keen for alumni to share their own posts, if you are interested in writing for us, get in touch.


Can updates be sent when there is new content?

Yes, so we have a couple of ways in the platform to do this.  Individual posts to the news feed can be tagged and we have a news digest. We are very aware of sending too many emails to alumni, we don’t want to spam people, so we aim to use the tag all feature sparingly. The digest will be sent out monthly and you will get a round-up of content from the platform. Additionally, all alumni should receive a monthly copy of Aluminate, our e-newsletter.  There is fresh content on the newsfeed most days, so do keep logging in to check it out.


Can we use instant chat, like slack for example.

Cumbria Network has many different ways to connect with others. You can comment on posts on the feed, post your own messages to the news feed or contact others privately. Click onto a person’s profile and you will see the contact details they have shared with others.  Users can choose to share social media links and email address for example.  You can message directly through the platform. Any messages received you will be notified by a red dot on the envelope on the top right of your page, and you will be emailed also. You can see when users are online with a green dot on their profile and you can even video message.


Graduation year photos.

Fantastic idea yes! We have started to pop a few albums in the photos section so do check these out, we will certainly be posting more. All users are more than welcome to post photos here, if you have any photos from your time at uni or graduation day perhaps please do feel free to post them.


Suggestions for content: Leadership, work-life balance, stress management and health tips, issues which are of common interest to members, interesting news about the Lake District,    architectural profiles of University of Cumbria buildings, features on academic staff, topics related to my degree, educational strategy.

These are all excellent ideas, thank you. The Alumni Association as a whole is made up of over 50,000 graduates worldwide so we have a lot of experts on many diverse topics amongst us. We would be very interested to hear from alumni who would like to share blog posts on these topics.


Can we search for Alumni by geographic area.

You most certainly can, the map feature is my favourite way to view the directory. Click on the directory you can then view all users by list or by map. You can zoom the world map in and out and it shows with markers the numbers of network users in each location. If you keep clicking on the dots it takes you to lists of individual users in that location. You can also use the filters on the right hand said to narrow down your searches, or simply type in a country or town to the ‘location’ field.


If people could tag themselves as "wanting a mentor", it'd be great to be able to search for people and offer to chat.

Yes, Cumbria Network allows you to search for people who are seeking help. In the directory on the right-hand side click on ‘Mentoring’ and you can search for people seeking mentoring.  Or click on ‘get involved' and then ‘seeking help’ and this will list all those seeking help or mentoring. We are sure these users would be really happy to receive a message from you.

Don’t forget you can change your offering or seeking help settings at anytime.  Click on the down arrow in the top right by your profile photos and click on ‘edit profile’ and scroll down to the offering/seeking help settings.


I love to go back to Ambleside once or twice a year. I know some universities allow past students to rent accommodation in university residences during the long summer holidays. Could this be available for us?

Yes, we do offer this! We have some accommodation available for alumni to rent.  Our accommodation, particularly in Ambleside, can be quite popular and is often booked up by groups or conferences, but do get in touch and we can discuss availability.


Users suggested their ideas for alumni benefits: Alumni holiday and get-together, business conference and trip, discounts with key providers of products and services, alumni branded credit card, online discounts for other courses.

These are great suggestions, thank you. We are a very small team currently so we have limited resources, but as we grow the Alumni Association we do hope to be able to offer more. Institutes do put on conferences regularly, for example the university hosts an annual social work conference which alumni are welcome to attend, we will keep you informed of all university conferences and events through the Cumbria Network.


Suggestions for getting more alumni to join: Publish class lists on the network, provide a link for users to share with their classmates.

We are not permitted to publish class lists due to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) but we do have a database of all alumni who receive an update email from us regularly.  Alumni can unsubscribe from our emails at any time.

The link to Cumbria Network is if you are in touch with fellow alumni please do share the link with them and encourage them to join, the more the merrier here, always!


Encourage people to sign up by offering guidance on becoming chartered managers.  I earned my CMgr registration through this route.  I found CMI very helpful, and of course they provide excellent CPD opportunities.  Alumni need to be aware of the opportunities open to them.

Excellent suggestion, thank you. I would be very interested to hear from you, perhaps you can share your experiences of becoming charted in a blog post that we can post?


We need more engagement and intellectual debate.

Couldn’t agree more. We are keen for volunteers to facilitate some discussions, if you are interested get in touch.  The Cumbria Network belongs to all users, please feel free at any time to post onto the discussion feed.


Start a private group on linkedin.

We engage our alumni in a variety of different ways, through the Cumbria Network, through Linkedin, through Facebook, Twitter and Aluminate our graduate newsletter. Different platforms will appeal to different users, that’s why we like to have a variety. The University of Cumbria Alumni Association has a group on Linkedin you can find it here.  We would welcome volunteers to help facilitate discussion on LinkedIn, as we found engagement levels very low. Cumbria Network is ever-evolving with new features and benefits are added all the time. The Cumbria Network gives us greater opportunity for engagement, with added benefits of smaller discussion forums, searchable directories, jobs listings, business directories, not to mention networking and mentoring algorithms and programmes, all of which Linkedin does not have.


Provide campus tours of the university.

We regularly host open days and tours of all our campuses, you can find details of these here, there are many throughout the year, including virtual options.  We have some recorded campus tours on Youtube, you can watch the full playlist here. We would love our alumni to attend open days to introduce the university to your family and friends.


The overall feel to me is scattered and sporadic, it has all bark and no bite, a lack of follow up feel.

The Cumbria Network is a new platform for us and we are still in the roll-out phases, we hope that the network will continue to grow and be used by students as they graduate.  We have received some really positive feedback from users so we are confident that the platform is useful for many.  The idea for the Cumbria Network is that it is ‘owned’ by our community, we are so keen for our alumni to post to the feed, to facilitate discussion, to share ideas, jobs, business listings and to connect with each other to network and mentor.  We appreciate constructive feedback and suggestions on how to improve, please do get in touch if you would like to discuss further.