5 September 2013 15:08

Lancaster University's Target Uni mentoring programme has been singled out as an example of best practice in the UK. 

The Target Uni mentoring programme is geared towards year 12 pupils who are academically gifted but need encouragement to apply to top universities. 

This may be because they are the first in their family to study for a degree or have other issues such as a disability, being from a low income family or are cared for by someone other than their parents. The award winning scheme each year employs 55 student mentors from the University to help 250 gifted pupils at over 20 schools and colleges in the Northwest. 

In early 2013 Lancaster University’s Target Uni mentoring programme was successful in achieving the national Mentoring and Befriending Foundation quality mark.

Now, the Foundation has identified elements of the Lancaster programme, such as the use of Senior Mentors, as being a national example of good practice and plan to include it as part of their National Training Programme.

Each year four Senior Mentors are trained and selected by the Lancaster Target Uni team after they have themselves demonstrated excellent skills and experience in mentoring and supporting others. They also work to support and advise the 55 Lancaster student mentors out on placements in schools and colleges throughout the year.

This year’s Senior Mentors are: Jenny Hughes (MA Language and Linguistics), Lizzie Caisey (Criminology and Sociology), Adam Corbridge (Physical Geography) and Emily Gannon (Psychology).

Lizzie Caisey said: “It is fantastic to see our good work recognised. As a Senior Mentor, it is important to make the most of this brilliant programme by inspiring the pupils and supporting the other mentors too and I can’t wait to begin.”

Adam Corbridge said “It is great to be a part of the mentoring programme, working alongside other mentors and sharing our personal experiences of the benefits of studying at university. Receiving the award shows the hard work that has been put into the programme so far has been worthwhile.”

Run by Lancaster University’s UK Student Recruitment and Outreach team, the Target Uni Student Mentoring Co-ordinator is Kate Haywood.

She said: “It is a testament to the innovation of our programme coupled with the high quality of our Senior Mentors that have led to us being singled out by the Mentoring and Befriending Foundation. I am so proud of the achievements we have made; we are very much looking forward to getting started this year.”

All year 12 pupils who complete the Target Uni Mentoring programme and choose Lancaster University are guaranteed the offer of a place. To qualify for the programme, school and college students  must be capable of achieving at least ABB level at A-level (or equivalent).