A Peer Guide assists during Welcome WeekBangor University’s Peer Guide Scheme, which supports new students and ensures easy transition to University life for them, has been shortlisted for the Times Higher Education Awards in the Outstanding Student Support Category.
The Peer Guide Scheme matches up new students with ‘Peer Guides’, current second and third year students who act as mentors, arranging social activities, showing students around and generally giving advice, from the best place to shop- to signposting where to go in the University for academic or other support. It is one of the largest such schemes in the country and has been developing and expanding for over 15 years since the original pilot. This year for the first time, Post-graduate students will have a parallel ‘buddy’ scheme - their own dedicated Postgraduate Ambassadors.
“Students volunteer to become Peer Guides’ as they remember the fantastic welcome that they received during their own first few weeks at University, and genuinely want to give something back” explains Kim Davies, who manages the programme at Bangor University.
“The Peer Guide volunteers are thoroughly trained beforehand so that they become effective ‘signposts’ to services and support within the University,” she adds.
Another student assists during Welcome Week“Our experience is that the quicker students integrate socially, the quicker they also integrate academically. Peer Guides help by creating socialising opportunities for new students, both by being responsible for small groups of new students and for organising social events within their academic schools. This is of mutual benefit to the students and the University. The Peer Guides also benefit, gaining invaluable leadership and team-working employability skills in the process,” adds Professor Colin Baker, Pro Vice-Chancellor with responsibility for Teaching & Learning at Bangor University.
“The contribution made by Peer Guides to the social and academic life of the University is also immeasurable, and makes us a truly caring University” he adds.