peer mentoring

Peer Mentoring


Peer mentoring is a relationship that takes place between a person who has lived through a specific experience (peer mentor) and a person who is new to that experience (the mentee) to form a partnership.

Peer mentoring can benefit staff, programme teams and personal academic tutors - by giving a little of your time you can reduce time spent responding to general enquiries such as programme information, using university systems, campus information, timetabling, accessing university services, and other such enquiries.

Staff who engaged in the service have said that the benefits peer mentoring provides are:

  • Extra support resources at busy times such as induction week etc. – takes some pressure off staff
  • Great sounding board for ideas - helps staff to determine whether a direction would be welcomed by students
  • Positive ambassadors who help students to ‘get on with it’ - generating a can do/positive ethos in the learning community
  • Students who have generally used student services (health & wellbeing, study support, careers etc.)
  • Inductions to student portal, Blackboard etc. - staff have limited access, students use it all the time, so it is quicker and easier for them to show students and they can also instruct staff!
  • First-hand Information about accommodation, good clubs in Canterbury, societies etc. – the holistic approach – again saving staff from doing lots of research to answer a question and decreasing pressure on the CCCU resources (e.g. accommodation team)
  • Student navigation and guidance decreasing reliance on staff (staff email load decreases once it is up and running!!!)
  • Filtering of important messages ‘student speak’ – students believe students – so if you need something emphasised or reiterated, tell the mentors
  • Reporting back of issues with modules staff / modules etc. so that they can be tackled quickly - this helps with SSLCs as the resolution can be reported rather than just the issue.

It can benefit students by helping with the successful transition into university life and providing information and guidance when times become challenging.

Student mentors create a sense of belonging for students, helping them to settle in quicker to university life which helps improve retention, performance and grades. 

Staff engagement is essential to be able to offer support to students within their programmes, to promote peer mentoring across the university and keep the service sustainable. If you would like to be involved and to give your students the best possible experience please contact:

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are a some of the frequently asked quesitons from both staff and students.

There are a variety of different models available:

Voluntary Roles:

  • Pre-arrival Peer Mentoring (Online): Contact with incoming students via email to answer any questions they may have. This role is voluntary.
  • Pastoral Peer Mentoring (Online and/or face-to-face): Facilitating one-to-one or group meetings to provide help and information on university life. This role is voluntary.
  • IT and software support – providing support to students on using university systems and software including DSA software.

 Paid Role:

  • Peer Assisted Learning Leader (PAL’s) (Online and/or face-to-face): PAL’s run peer assisted study sessions to first years for one semester only to facilitate discussion relating to specific programme content such as to review taught material, exam revision, assignment preparation, referencing help etc.

All students must have completed one year of successful study to become a mentor.

You do not need to be an academic member of staff for the volunteer student mentor roles.

You do need to be an academic member of staff for the paid student mentors role.


Volunteer roles do not require much time (maybe 30mins a month). It is entirely up to you how much time you allocate for your mentors. You can either arrange to hold catch up meetings with your mentors as a group (once a month/quarterly or as often as you like) to see how things are going or you may prefer them to email you to keep you updated or raise an issue.

Essentially your role is to provide a known, friendly face within the programme that students can go to if needed.

All mentors are trained about putting boundaries in place, to know their limits and when to refer. There is also a Peer Mentoring Blackboard where mentors can ask each other questions.

For the paid role you are required to meet with your mentors for 30mins a week or fortnightly depending on how often you require study sessions. This is to provide your mentors with some background and content information as to what you want them to achieve within the study sessions.

The Peer Mentoring Team provide:

  •  A centrally run service
  • A system containing data for mentors, mentees and academic champions (staff)
  • Matching of mentors to mentees
  • Training of student mentors
  • Staff development sessions
  • A Peer Mentoring Blackboard
  • Recruitment materials
  • Talks to programme teams and students about peer mentoring as requested
  • Ongoing support for students and staff
  • Student mentors to support staff at events such as open days, inductions etc.

Contact: Kellie Schafer

Peer Mentoring Officer

Tel: 01227 921733


Alternative email:

Student Recognition

  • Student are able to log their volunteering hours on the volunteering website
  • Every year students are invited to the Student Opportunities and Volunteering Awards ceremony
  • Peer Mentoring is a recognised activity that is recorded on the Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR)

Peer mentoring students


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Last edited: 20/09/2018 16:09:00