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Title: Structured peer mentoring for student support in higher education institutions in Pakistan : catalysing change in the culture of learning
Author: Rachel, Nosheen
Awarding Body: Middlesex University
Current Institution: Middlesex University
Date of Award: 2013
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This action research project explores the impact of introducing student peer mentoring on the culture of learning in universities in Pakistan. Student peer mentoring is widely used in developed countries to enhance professional student support and help bridge the gap between learners and the university. This research investigates whether peer mentoring could be adapted to the culturally different context of Pakistan where no universities had previously introduced mentoring schemes for their students. Students at universities in Pakistan face many barriers to their optimal learning. Teaching is predominantly teacher-led, and students have high contact hours, but there is minimal student support compared to that provided in universities in developed countries. State universities struggle to meet basic curriculum requirements within their budgets and funds are not available for the provision of extensive student support. For this project, I designed a framework of structured student peer mentoring and introduced it, for the first time in Pakistan, into two universities in Lahore. This was intended as low cost and light-touch support to supplement existing student support services. The project involved training senior student volunteers to mentor new/junior students for one academic year. The process was monitored and evaluated to measure impact on students’ learning and other aspects of their experience. The responses of participating students, lecturers and senior staff in the two universities demonstrated a range of benefits for students including increased academic and personal confidence, improved employability and a strengthened sense of belonging to a learning community. The findings indicate that such schemes could be introduced more widely in Pakistan to develop students’ ownership of their learning, to effect a transformation of cultures of learning in universities and improve student engagement. The project demonstrated that student peer mentoring could be effectively adapted for Pakistan’s universities. The thesis develops a new theoretical model for understanding mentoring in higher education, arguing that the mentor-mentee relationship provides culturally specific scaffolding through which the mentee becomes an effective learner within the university’s culture of learning.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available