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Peer Learning: recognising, training and rewarding peer-to-peer mentors at Warwick

About the Project

Peer-to-peer support (e.g. societies, schemes embedded in academic departments, student services) plays a vital role in equipping everyone at the University to implement inclusive education. It does so by forging a sense of belonging and community for all students, and for this reason, training and support for mentors are crucial. The aim of this project was to engage with colleagues across the institution to identify training support needs, gaps in provision, and instances of replicable good practice. With this experience, the project then developed a suite of sustainable training resources for peer mentors, building on areas where the institution was already successful with peer mentoring and also addressing any issues where training for peer mentors was fragmented. This training package also extended to ‘training the trainers’, so that there would be a group of students and staff at Warwick who are equipped to train future generations of mentors and, indeed, trainers.

Effective peer-mentoring schemes, as enhanced by appropriate training, connect people in the University and promotes inclusion, empowering the community to develop key life skills and promote personal growth.

Project Findings

The legacy of this project is that it developed resources which support the implementation, development and enhancement of sustainable peer-to-peer support schemes across the University, with the training resources enabling Departments and other groups as appropriate (e.g. student societies) to embed peer-to-peer support into their current practices and offerings. Furthermore, it contributed to resources being developed to support the promotion and dissemination of those materials.

Project Outcomes

The following pages of guidance, advice and resources were written and complied by a team of student Project Officers: Viktoria Erdei-Szabo, Jessica Noble, Evelin Sanderson-Nichols, and Meifang Zhuo. They were informed by a series of focus group sessions conducted by the project team with key stakeholders working in various academic departments, professional services, and student associations in the University of Warwick. They have been checked and edited by one of the Project Leads, David Bather Woods.


Moving Forwards

The project team and the WIHEA Peer Mentoring Learning Circle will seek to disseminate the outcomes of this project by launching and sharing the training materials university-wide, as well as those involved in the development of peer mentoring in the University possibly disseminating the outcomes of this work more widely in the form of an academic paper. The WIHEA Peer Mentoring Learning Circle has also been developing contacts with colleagues at several institutions where peer mentoring is already well-established and where training is well-supported. With these institutions, we will (in the future) seek to engage in external collaborative work to compare and share resources.

Project Team

Students Project Officers:

Viktoria Erdei-Szabo (BA in Politics and International Studies)

Jessica Noble (BA in Sociology)

Evelin Sanderson-Nichols (BA Philosophy and Literature)

Meifang Zhuo (PhD in Applied Linguistics)

Advisory Staff:

Karen Simecek (Philosophy)

David Lees (School of Modern Languages and Cultures, Dean of Students’ Office)