Presentation on theme: "Mentoring Students from University of Nottingham Ningbo Campus"— Presentation transcript:
1 Mentoring Students from University of Nottingham Ningbo Campus Dr Nick ThomasDepartment of History
2 The ChallengeDegree in International Studies at Ningbo since its foundationHistory is lead department in partnership with PoliticsFour year degree – one year of language, then three years of academic study
3 In second year of academic study students can choose to visit UK campus, usually for a Semester They take second year options alongside home students83 students in??? In
4 Quickly became clear Ningbo students were struggling Not integrating into seminarsLanguage and cultural barriersNot accessing academic or pastoral support
5 Each student from Ningbo given a personal tutor: two UNNC Liaison Officers Induction session run specifically for them on arrivalExtensive pastoral support system in the departmentGateway to wider support systems elsewhere in the University
6 Yet do they know what a personal tutor is? What are their assumptions about pastoral support?What are they expecting from us and from being here?
7 Further issues Two campuses on different sides of the world Colleagues who have never metAssumptions by both sides on curriculum, induction, advice, support, etc provided on each campusDesire to work more closely
8 Mentoring system Introduced 2010-11 Groups of 4 Ningbo students allocated to a mentorAll mentors are student volunteers from second and third yearsThere is a vetting system in place
9 Students can link mentoring to the Nottingham Advantage Award Training sessions providedDesire among many home students to make contact with international studentsLight touch to supervision of the process
10 Negatives: Some groups don’t gel or the mentor loses interest Some Ningbo students want friendship to be very intenseSocial events don’t really work – very different expectations, home students don’t attend
11 Positives: Ningbo students like having a contact who is a student Some groups work very well indeed – socialise, make regular contact, etcSense of integrating students into the life of the departmentMore to be done?
12 InvestigationsDesire to explore student experiences, find out what we do well, what we can changeCarole Mallia’s research on NingboSenior Tutor Network funding
13 FindingsCulture shock: Britain is not what they expected, feeling of exclusion, Ningbo students group togetherAcademics seen as authority figures: mentoring scheme helps to bridge gap
14 Concerns before arriving: Food, sex, the weather, accommodation, safety, British drinking cultureWill they be at a disadvantage?How will they be perceived?
15 Language: e-mail is preferred communication as a result Students often visit academics in pairsEnglish is non-inflectedEnglish is full of smoke screens/ diplomacy
16 Chinese universities don’t run personal tutoring or mentoring systems System of appointments in advance is alien – again mentoring system helps here
17 Chinese students tend to wait to be approached, whether socially, personal tutors or mentors – very rarely ‘break the ice’ themselvesMaking something voluntary or saying ‘it would be a good idea’ means they usually don’t do it
18 Instrumentalisation: Does it impact on my marks? If not I won’t do itImpact on mentoring and pastoral care
19 Possible solutions Dividing Ningbo students between personal tutees Advice guide for staff and mentorsFocussed training for mentors and tutorsMentoring scheme for all students, home and international
20 ConclusionsVery much feeling our way through this situation – there is no plan!Desire to avoid essentialisation – deal with individualsInternational students have particular needs, but good practice for them often benefits others - inclusivity