The University Mentoring Project

Goals of the University Mentoring Project

The goals of the University Mentoring Project were:

  • To find out what mentoring is happening at Reading.
  • To undertake a close analysis of a number of mentoring schemes.
  • To provide resources to support mentor scheme organisers, mentors and mentees across the institution.
  • To investigate student and scheme accreditation.
  • To create a plan to establish new pilot mentoring schemes in 2014/15.
  • To recommend how mentoring should be supported at the University in the future.

The project group

The project group brought together interested parties from across the University including the Director of Student Development and Access, the Director of Campaigns and Supporter Engagement, the Director of Student Recruitment and Outreach, the Head of Student Wellbeing Services, the Welfare Officer from the Students' Union and the Project Manager, Project Officer and Project Administrator. This ensured that the work of the project included the range of staff that had a stake in mentoring at the University.

A focus on career mentoring schemes

The project focus began to sharpen after the mentoring scheme survey took place in November 2013. It seemed clear that the main gap in terms of mentoring efforts that the University should be focusing more attention on was that of career mentoring. This resulted in the decision to undertake an analysis of two of the current career mentoring schemes running at the University to understand the activities involved in putting a scheme together and running it smoothly and how this connected with the likely outcomes for those involved. The findings from this work were disseminated via a poster presentation at the Higher Education Academy conference in July 2014.

The future

Funding has been secured to take the project forward for a further two years where two departments will be selected so the Project Team can establish two new career mentoring schemes for them and continue to undertake research into the supporting activities of a mentoring scheme and the related benefits and risks. For an update on progress of phase two of the project, please access the link opposite.

To find out more about the project or if you would like advice on starting a new mentoring scheme, please contact mentoring@reading.ac.uk.

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