Change, challenge and choice: being a student mentor

Diane Simpson, Karin Crawford, Ian Mathews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


– This collaborative project, undertaken in the context of higher education in England, examined students’ motivations for undertaking a voluntary extra‐curricular mentoring role with young people in public care. It also considered students’ perspectives on what they gained from this experience.

– The research was undertaken using a qualitative case study approach, with a focus on students undertaking mentoring in addition to their studies. The case study was a community project that drew on student volunteers to mentor children and young people who are looked after by the local authority. Methods included semi‐structured interviews, focus groups, development of individual exemplars, and the use of Web2 technologies, specifically a blog site and vodcasts. Data were collected between September 2010 and May 2011.

– Findings reported in this paper demonstrate the reasons students engaged with mentoring looked after children as an extra‐curricular activity and the benefits they gained from this experience. As such, institutions and educators might consider how student engagement in mentoring can be valued and embedded in the wider student experience.

– This literature provides evidence of mentoring as an important social and political phenomenon. Whilst much is known about benefits to mentees and, to a lesser degree, for mentors in the mentoring relationship, this research explores the issues in more depth by considering the interface between being a mentor and completing undergraduate or postgraduate level studies. In particular it discusses the potential for mentoring to become embedded within the curriculum to ensure education for sustainable futures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137 - 148
JournalInternational Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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