Fifty year 10 and year 12 students across 10 Lincolnshire secondary schools took part in an online mentoring scheme this year organised by LiNCHigher in partnership with Brightside mentoring.

In Lincolnshire, young people are less likely to go into higher education than in other areas of the country despite similar GCSE results. LiNCHigher works across Lincolnshire as part of the National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP), funded by the Office for Students (OfS), to change this. It brings together Bishop Grosseteste University and the University of Lincoln with 45 schools, colleges and other local organisations to give inspiration, increase aspiration and support young people in years 9-13 to plan their future education.

The 16 week programme partnered young people with undergraduate mentors currently studying at the Bishop Grosseteste University and the University of Lincoln.

Mentors and mentees swapped messages via the monitored online portal between February and June with the aim of raising aspirations and motivation and ultimately equipping students with the confidence and knowledge to make an informed decision about their future.

Mentors provided information on a range of topics including; university life, money and budgeting and alternatives to full-time university such as degree apprenticeships.

Students completed surveys before and after taking part in the project with the following key observations;

  • 100% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they felt positive about the future having completed the mentoring program
  • Mentees now find it slightly easier to deal with important problems in life
  • 100% of respondents stated they were either ‘extremely confident’ or ‘quite confident’ about the decisions they were making. Those who are extremely confident moved from 26% to 78% upon completion of the programme
  • Mentees who completed the exit survey feel more confident and in control of their own futures

LiNCHigher Project Officer Helen Lee met with mentees at Skegness Academy who wanted to share their stories about being part of the mentoring programme, she said, ‘It was really great to hear first-hand the positive impact of the mentoring project and to hear that it has actually changed lives.

‘I am confident that mentoring is an effective intervention [to raise aspirations and increase participation in Higher Education] and we look forward to continuing with both online and face-to-face mentoring in schools across Lincolnshire in the new academic year.’

Iain Farlow
Why did you sign up to mentoring?

I wanted to make sure I cleared up any misconceptions I had about higher education and find out about university life and accommodation options.

What did you get you get out of the online mentoring?

I found out more about university societies, the costs of study and whether going to university or doing an apprenticeship would be best.

Would you recommend mentoring to another student?

Yes, it was very useful. If I hadn’t taken part I would have been unsure about the future

What are your next steps?

I will be completing A-levels in maths, physics, law and business. I plan to attend university after year 13.

 

Abigail Bentley
How has being part of the mentoring programme helped you?

It has been life changing. I’ve grown as a person and in confidence as well. I am now confident to say what I would like to do in life knowing clearly that this is what I want and why.

Would you recommend the scheme to others?

Yes, it will change your life for the better and help you to be able to think about your future more clearly than you ever thought possible.

What are your next steps?

I want to become a teaching assistant and will be going to study at Boston College.

 

Owen Timmins
Why did you sign up to mentoring?

I took part in this because I wanted to get a clearer image of what I wanted to do in the future.

Would you recommend mentoring to another student?

It’s really easy to send messages via your phone or computer. Other people should take advantage of the mentoring because it is extremely useful and you can ask questions of experts about what it’s like at uni.

What are your next steps?

I will be in year 13 finishing A-levels in film, history and psychology. I want to study Japanese at university.

In the new academic year LiNCHigher are offering two e-mentoring programmes for year 12 and 13 students.

SECTOR INSIGHT (year 12)

This 12 week programme gives students a focused insight into a particular area of work or study. Launching in October 2018 – Year 12 students will be matched with a mentor from a particular sector to go through a highly focused and structured programme of activities and topics to get a flavour of the sector as they start to think about choices for higher education. We will be offering places in: Business, Finance, Education, Healthcare/Medicine, IT, Engineering & Law.

HE APPLY (year 13)

Year 13 students are matched to an undergraduate mentor for 12 weeks (September – December 2018). They are provided 1:1 support throughout the higher education application process, helping them to choose a suitable course and institution, write a strong personal statement and confidently respond to offers. Students also access activities and resources over the online platform, designed to help them make confident and informed decisions.


Schools and colleges! If you would like to get involved please email linchigher@bishopg.ac.uk for further information.

Individuals are also welcome to join the programme, contact us today.

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