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Student mentoring scheme

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Contributor(s): Jerusha Kimani, Sarah Bailey, Muzaffar Khan, Jan Sramek, Karina Robinson

Released on 6 August 2010.

For many undergraduates, starting university for the first time will be the biggest challenge they have faced so far. Often they will be experiencing for the first time, not only a new country, city and culture, but the fact that they now have to manage their time without structure or close supervision.

LSE's student mentoring scheme, open to all first year undergraduates, aims to support new students. LSE assigns a student mentor to every new undergraduate when they arrive at the School, and each year, around 200 second and third year undergraduates volunteer to mentor the newest year. But how important is having a mentor? In this ten minute film, Jerusha explains why she became a student mentor and examines what it takes to become a mentor, and how both mentors and mentees can benefit from the scheme.

Sarah Bailey, student mentoring coordinator at LSE, explains the thinking behind the scheme: 'We have a lot of students that come from overseas. They're coming to a big city that they know nothing about, so students need additional support apart from their departmental support. Why not do it through their own peers? People who have been there before and can empathise with their situation?

Mentors attend a series of training sessions by the School and learn the dos and don't of mentoring. 'The important thing is to empower our new undergraduates, not to foster their dependency' says Sarah Bailey. 'Encourage them to make their own way and also reassure them by your own example.'

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