A number of national projects and institutional approaches to addressing the degree awarding gap have focused on the power of effective mentoring programmes. Mentoring can take many forms: peer-to peer, staff to student, and alumni, community or industry specialist mentoring students. We are about to pilot a new mentoring programme which will use Tara Yosso’s work on Community Cultural Wealth to help BAME students to recognise and learn from the cultural knowledge, skills, abilities and contacts that they have but that often go unrecognised. If you would like to get involved in this work please email us.
In addition, a number of departments have developed mentoring initiatives. These are:
Sheffield Hallam also operates a number of University-wide mentoring schemes:
- The Hallam Career Mentoring Programme which is University wide and runs from September to April. The aim of the scheme is to match current students with industry professionals to help students progress into careers to which they hope to progress upon graduation. The mentoring relationship does this by not only building student confidence, but also by building their professional network and experience within the sector they hope to progress within.
- The Female Futures mentoring scheme is a new project which consists of a monthly talk from a female currently working in industry. Each month will have a different theme with a different female from a different industry each month. There will also be skills sessions each month in the Careers Centre, such as; self-confidence, resilience, commercial skills, negotiation skills, managing-up, dealing with conflict and voice projection.
What are other HE institutions doing?
There are a number of universities with mentoring schemes. We will add to this list over time but a few examples are below:
- The Beyond Barriers Mentoring Scheme at Kingston University aims to ensure that all of their students and staff have the best possible chance to succeed in their study or work. The Beyond Barriers Mentoring Scheme is available for both staff and students. The aim of the student arm of the scheme is to enable students to achieve a stable and secure foundation for university life.
- The University of Brighton runs a number of mentoring schemes aimed at BAME students as well as other students who might benefit from additional support.
- Dare to Be is a mentoring scheme at De Montfort University. It aims to improve student confidence, self-belief and motivation. At the heart of the scheme is a focus on attainment, promoting students to do well in their studies and reach their full potential. Student mentees are matched to a mentor for one-to-one mentoring, which takes place during the academic year.
The following organisations offer a number of supportive initiatives which, whilst not necessarily directly designed to address differential outcomes, support those from Black, Asian and Minoritised ethnic groups to progress in to employment
- Arts Council’s Change Makers leadership and development programme – increasing the diversity of senior leadership in art and culture by targeting the development of BAME and/or disabled leaders:
- Ethnic Jobsite – offers recruitment advertisers opportunities to target BAME candidates to bridge the gap between employers and ethnic minorities in the UK
- Inspire programme, part funded by Arts Council England (2009) – aimed at attracting more BAME curators in museums and galleries through two-year work placement opportunities
- Police force positive action scheme: for example Staffordshire Police Taking Positive Action
- PwC Diversity Career Mentoring programme – provides role models and support for university students/employees from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds
- Royal Court Theatre’s Critical Mass scheme (2004) intended to build a ‘critical mass’ of playwrights from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds, now extended to other theatres such as The Belgrade Coventry