The increasing globalization of higher education has made it easy to compare problems, goals and tools associated with conducting alumni research around the world. This volume draws of the perspectives of authors from the United States, German, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands to illustrate the opportunities and challenges of applying alumni research to guide public policy and institutional reform. Topics covered in this title include: making an impact with alumni surveys; alumni studies as instruments of public policy - the US experience; increasing potentials of alumni research for curriculum reforms, German Research Institute; measuring competencies of higher education graduates; using alumni research to align program improvement with institutional accountability; the emerging uses of alumni research in Spain; and, alumni studies in the United Kingdom. The chapter authors examine ways in which alumni research in the United States and Europe is becoming more relevant to key audiences outside the university and how it is being used to inform important constituencies about the impact, purposes, and successes of higher education. The goal of this volume is to help institutional leaders use alumni research to respond to the increasing demands of state officials, accrediting agencies, employers, potential students, parents, and the general public. This is the 126th volume of the Jossey-Bass higher education report series "New Directions for Institutional Research". Always timely and comprehensive, "New Directions for Institutional Research" provides planners and administrators in all types of academic institutions with guidelines in such areas as resource coordination, information analysis, program evaluation, and institutional management.