Mentoring in other Higher Education institutions

Over the last decade or so, mentoring has been increasing in popularity as a tool that can be used to support students throughout their journey to, within and beyond university. These developments have often been in response to: the desire, and subsequent funding, to widen student participation at University; an increasing focus on transition to work themes; the pressures provided by the graduate level employment measures and league tables that have been established and the general massification of Higher Education that has led to a focus on value for money for the student. In addition, there has been a recent shift towards the commercialisation of education and a resulting need to encourage students to participate in providing learning and support to others as part of a community and to encourage their active self-management and avoidance of the potential trap of passive consumption.

Schemes can be run centrally within institutions, or can be deliberately decentralised. Universities are only just beginning to take more of an overview and control of their mentoring programmes, with many universities still operating a range of disparate schemes, but with some looking to put in place more formalised networks and staff to help co-ordinate and focus the mentoring effort.

Aston University is an example of a centrally run programme. Their mentoring schemes reflect the entire student journey and embraces over 2000 mentors and mentees with some students working as mentors and being mentored over the same period.

Leeds Business School's 'Nurturing Talent Mentor Scheme' is an example of a school based scheme and was established two years ago.

Of course, there are many schemes within the University of Reading that you can also read about by clicking on the link opposite.

To find out more about the state of play with peer mentoring in a number of UK Higher Education Institutions look at the 'Peer Mentoring Works' reportcreated by Andrews and Clark 2011.

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