At Kingston University we want to ensure that all of our students and staff have the best possible chance to succeed in their study or work. Our Beyond Barriers Mentoring Scheme is available for both staff and students and is just one of the strategies we are using to help the University make progress against its equality objectives and our One Kingston strategy for equality, diversity and inclusion (PDF).
We want all our students to complete their degree with the best possible results. We know that career prospects for students are greatly improved if they have the life skills needed to succeed in the workplace, know what will be expected of them and know how to meet these expectations. Our successful Beyond Barriers Mentoring Scheme for under-represented second-year and postgraduates are designed to give students the confidence and skills to gain that all important graduate job, to address the BME attainment gap and help them to develop techniques to enhance their studies. Elisa Tamanini, Mentee of the Year talks about her experience.
We actively seek professionals and entrepreneurs to offer invaluable support through one-to-one mentoring and help our students achieve their potential. Mentors can offer impartial advice, encourage new experiences and positive choices and help to inspire self-confidence. Our mentors have benefited enormously from taking part in the scheme on a professional level as well as the satisfaction gained from 'giving back'.
The scheme runs from October to April and only requires a commitment of two hours per month; this can be a combination of meeting in person, email and Skype. At the end of the scheme the Vice-Chancellor presents all participants with a certificate at a special award ceremony.
The Student Mentoring Scheme is available for second-year and postgraduate:
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The Beyond Barriers scheme for BME staff and female staff is one of the strategies we are using to address the under-representation of these staff groups at senior grades.
Taking part in a mentoring scheme is beneficial to everyone involved, and can help to:
"The whole experience was awesome. I had a brilliant mentor, who went out of her way to make sure I achieved my targeted goals. My confidence as an individual has improved and I have been able to overcome the fear about facing an interview. I will definitely recommend this mentoring scheme to others."
Blessing Ogbenna Nlems, student mentee
"It feels really rewarding to have taken part; I felt so uplifted that my mentee thanked me for what they achieved on their journey at university. I highly recommend the programme."
Lisa-Marie Noronha-John, student mentor
Lucy Jones, Interim Dean of the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing, has recently taken on the role of Gender Equality Champion at Kingston University. As well as contributing to projects such as Athena Swan, Lucy is a strong advocate for the Beyond Barriers mentoring scheme. Read more about Lucy's involvement in the scheme as a mentor and champion.