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Going Beyond Student Programs: 4 Ways Mentoring Can Transform Your University

  • 14/03/2023
  • Frances Campbell
  • 4 mins read

Student mentoring programs are a fantastic way to connect students for career development and pastoral support. There’s a reason this is likely the first thing you think of when we tell you mentoring can transform your university

But student experience is not the only concern universities face. 

There are approximately 233,930 full-time staff working in higher education institutions in the UK and 2,901,584 people employed in Colleges and Universities in the US. This represents a vast number of people that need support too. 

From preventing burnout and boosting faculty retention to adding a tangible benefit to your alumni program – mentoring is the multi-function tool that will transform your university experience across the board. 

Intrigued? Well, here are the top ways that mentoring programs can support your university, today! 

Student mentoring programs that foster inclusion 

Let’s start with the obvious one. Student mentoring programs are probably the most common way that mentoring is used in universities. There are a few ways to run a student program, the first is to use mentoring to foster inclusion in your university community. 

For example, at Kings College London, peer mentoring has been used to support BAME students. Much like a buddying scheme, new joiners are matched with 2nd or 3rd-year students to provide needed support navigating university life. 

Given the lack of representation in academia for BAME staff and students, providing people with mentors that relate to their experiences is a powerful way to foster inclusion. This benefits not only student retention rates but supports wellbeing and student satisfaction for underrepresented groups.

📖 Read more about how mentoring fosters inclusion in our guide 📖

Student mentoring program image

Alumni networks that provide real value 

Alumni networks are an important part of your university experience. Not only does your network build your universities reputation worldwide but it provides an essential channel for supporting former students and for fundraising. 

For starters, providing mentoring through your alumni network is another great way to support your student experience. Connecting your alumni to existing students opens up their network as they navigate the transition from education to work. 

On top of this, by offering mentoring to your alumni network you can provide an attractive benefit to joining. This means more alumni and a stronger community. 

Given that 89% of people that receive mentoring go on to mentor others, it’s highly likely that these mentees will choose to mentor your future alumni too. This creates a positive cycle of connection that can last a lifetime.  

Plus, let’s not forget that an engaged alumni network is an essential source of fundraising. Mentoring not only opens up connections for students past and present but can support your fundraising efforts long-term too! 

📖 Find out more about starting a mentoring program in our guide 📖

University mentoring programs that support your academic and core staff

Mentoring isn’t just for students and alumni. As we know, there are large numbers of core and academic staff that keep your university running. 

Attracting, retaining and developing talented employees is a must for any major employer today. A formal mentoring program is not only an attractive benefit to staff, but is essential in developing your people’s skills.

Mentoring is a fantastic way to connect people across your university. Through a Guider mentoring scheme, you can connect siloed departments and upskill with ease. 

This will not only improve the skillset of your core staff but can go a long way to make people feel supported and valued in the workplace. Best of all, with a virtual mentoring scheme, your program can be run from anywhere. 

📖 Find out more about how mentoring software works in our guide 📖

Mentoring for better staff wellbeing 

Even before the pandemic, stress, burnout and anxiety were prevalent among university staff. When tackling these issues, it’s important not to underestimate the impact of poor well-being on retention and positive working culture. 

According to The Times Higher Education: “The most common reason for staff sickness within education was stress, anxiety and depression, making up 25 per cent, according to the statistics from January 2022.” 

Staff want to be listened to. They want a safe space where they can feel seen, heard and valued. Getting this right is the key to tackling burnout and supporting people with their wellbeing. 

This is where mentoring plays an integral role. Staff at Staffordshire University have found success through peer mentoring in creating formal support for their academic faculty. When peers come together both mentor and mentee take turns giving and receiving support, making it a powerful tool for mutual support. 

The results show that this is an effective way to provide holistic support to your academic staff, as peers understand each other’s challenges and can come together in a supportive, non-judgmental way. 

📖 Learn more about peer mentoring with Guider 📖

As you can see providing formal mentoring programs at your university can go a long way to tackling some of the most pressing issues faced in the sector today. 

Through different types of mentoring, such as peer to peer, you can support core and academic staff and your student body. And with mentoring software such as Guider, you can give access to mentoring to everyone through one smart, cost-effective solution. 

Want to find out more? Talk to our expert team today and see how we can transform your university experience.