October 1, 2016
International Scholarship Graduates Influencing Social and Economic Development at Home: The Role of Alumni Networks in Georgia and Moldova
Author: Anne C. Campbell
Publisher: Current Issues in Comparative Education (CICE)
Many students from low- and middle-income countries seek scholarship support to pursue higher education overseas. Often scholarship programs mandate that recipients "give back" to their home countries following their studies so scholars "apply" their experiences to aid their countries of origin. In this comparative qualitative study, 40 Georgian and Moldovan scholarship alumni who studied in the United States were asked how alumni networks assist their ability to influence social and economic change in their home countries. The comparative findings point to the value of alumni networks in terms of graduates backing each other's activism projects and feeling part of a community of like-minded individuals who seek change. Where these networks were not present, alumni desired a supportive association to assist in their attempts to influence reform. Findings suggest the development of alumni networks facilitate individual scholarship participants' efforts to "give back" to their countries of origin.