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Reciprocal Mentoring Team

The reciprocal mentoring partnerships became a self-managed team. Team membership is dynamic, reflecting the annual cycle of recruiting partners, particularly students. Senior leaders remain core members of the team.
University of Gloucestershire

The Project Team was led by the university’s Equality and Diversity Manager. Together with the Widening Participation and Outreach Manager, she scoped the successful bid to Advance HE. Colleagues were recruited from other teams across professional services including Your Future Plan, the Reporting Requests team, Student Services and Communications and Marketing and Student Recruitment. Colleagues were also recruited from the Schools of Media and Education, who were seeking to increase the recruitment of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) students. 

To maximise the reach of the project, each member led on specific areas of work. The Equality and Diversity manager chose to deliver an ambitious ‘positive action’ enlisting the help of the Head of Academic Services, a colleague who demonstrated visible commitment to equality. They piloted a reciprocal mentoring scheme, creating an opportunity for BAME students to partner with senior leaders. Their aim was to develop the partnerships into a self-managed team, to make the scheme sustainable beyond the project. It is now embedded into the offer for BAME students. This approach expanded the core team to fourteen during the pilot, with students from a range of courses and senior leaders from University Executive, Heads of School and Professional Services Directors. Team membership is dynamic as a result of the annual recruitment of new partners, particularly students. The pilot was available to Level 5 and 6 students but membership was quickly opened to Level 4 students and postgraduate students.