Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, Fifth International Conference on Higher Education Advances

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Student Mentoring in the Master Programme “Pedagogy”: the case of University of Latvia
Dita Nimante, Sanita Baranova

Last modified: 25-06-2019

Abstract


There is a developing interest in mentoring and tutoring in the higher education in Latvia. Mentoring is looked at as a retention strategy to support students to remain and continue studies and as a tool to prevent students’ drop out from the university. Since academic year 2016/2017 several programmes of tutoring and mentoring in basic studies (bachelor level studies)have been developed and financially supported at the University of Latvia, but so far mentoring has not been used for Master level students. The Master program “Pedagogy” includes a theoretical course “Methods of Mentoring at the Educational Institution”. Since academic year 2018/2019 new tasks were introduced for the second year Master students to become peer mentors for the first year students, thus, integrating their theoretical knowledge into the practice, making a closer connection to the 1st year students, by sharing their Master student experience. Data were collected (reflection, portfolios, focus group discussion) both from (14) the 1st year Master students and (14) 2nd year Master students at the end of the course and were analysed qualitatively to reveal the results of peer mentoring experience. The results suggest that both the mentors and the mentees benefited from their involvement in mentoring. The research presents some new benefits and challenges for the professional development of academic staff and student-centred learning in the Master level programme.

Keywords: Peer mentoring, Student-centred learning, Reflection, Quality ensuring.

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