Mentoring for international students: a case study


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Slides from the presentation by Shamini Ragavan (Newcastle Law School) at the event Assessment and feedback issues for teaching international students in Law on 16 May 2011.

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Mentoring for international students: a case study

  1. 1. Mentoring for International Students: A Case Study By Shamini Ragavan Newcastle Law School
  2. 2. Curriculum for International Students <ul><li>First strand of support </li></ul><ul><li>Implemented the International Student Intensive Guidance and Development Programme (ISIGP) in Sept 2004 to facilitate integration of first year international students into the mainstream curriculum. </li></ul><ul><li>Adjust to the academic and social culture in the new institution and manage expectations. </li></ul>
  3. 3. International Student Intensive Guidance and Development Programme (ISIGP) <ul><li>International Student Tutor is appointed to run the programme. </li></ul><ul><li>Includes weekly academic support, and pastoral support. </li></ul><ul><li>Curriculum includes legal writing, preparing for lectures/seminars, effective note-taking, mock examinations, revision etc. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Mentoring scheme for international students by international students <ul><li>Second strand of support </li></ul><ul><li>Initiated in Sept 2008 as a pilot project </li></ul><ul><li>Funded by the HASS Faculty, Newcastle </li></ul>
  5. 5. Two main objectives <ul><li>Facilitate transition of mentees into the new curriculum and institution </li></ul><ul><li>Develop transferable skills amongst appointed mentors </li></ul>
  6. 6. Mentoring scheme <ul><li>International students with similar interests and goals to meet and interact. </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage a sense of belonging in their new academic environment, resulting in better social and academic integration; enhancing their psychological well-being. </li></ul><ul><li>The importance of initial experience of learning, and positive initial experience may help or reduce subsequent negative experience. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Design of the mentoring scheme <ul><li>Interested applicants (stage 2 & 3) apply by sending an informal personal statement </li></ul><ul><li>Mentors appointed </li></ul><ul><li>Mentors undergo training </li></ul><ul><li>Style of mentoring – natural and facilitated – facilitate and manage expectations of the mentees </li></ul><ul><li>Mentees select their own mentors after a lunch reception </li></ul>
  8. 8. Design of the scheme <ul><li>Meetings are scheduled based on mentees’ needs </li></ul><ul><li>Mentors and mentees meet at their choice of venue </li></ul><ul><li>They communicate with each other via e-mail, telephone chats, text messages </li></ul><ul><li>Flexibility and informality - two key facets of the scheme </li></ul>
  9. 9. Skills developed by mentors <ul><li>The transferability of the skills in related employment and lifelong learning and its application; and </li></ul><ul><li>The articulation of skills developed in different contexts. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Autonomy and Personal Skills (Bell, Johnstone, 1996) <ul><li>The ability to act independently, to deal with the unexpected, to reflect on one’s own actions and to accept and provide constructive feedback </li></ul>
  11. 11. Some comments made… <ul><li>“ My mentee is a few years older than me and this is his second degree. Although, we are quite different, we work very well together. It is important to find a common ground. Same applies at work.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I think people skills are more important than intellectual skills. If I can’t get the information across then my knowledge is useless” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Learning to deal with confidentiality. This translates to a professional environment” </li></ul>
  12. 12. Group discussion <ul><li>Group 1 : Do you think pairing up first year international students with other international students is empowering to them and why do you think so? </li></ul><ul><li>Group 2 : Do you think a mentoring scheme for international students by international students segregates them from rest of the student cohort? </li></ul>
  13. 13. Group discussion <ul><li>Group 3 : Do you think mentors acquire skills that are transferable in the work place? Can you identify some the skills developed by mentors in their role? </li></ul>