Peer Support

Peer Support is supported by The Annual Fund

What Is Peer Support?

Peer Support gives students the opportunity to gain support and guidance in a relaxed, informal environment from higher year students who have been in the same position – whether in relation to academia (e.g. same module or discipline) or the transition to university life.

Students in higher years are trained to become 'Peer Mentors' and provide this support for groups of 'Mentees' by drawing on their previous experience.  This process allows both Mentors and Mentees to enhance their studies, enrich their educational experience and develop a wide range of skills.

 

Types of Peer Support Programmes

Programmes supporting students' academic studies

These programmes enable students to gain support from peers in higher years who deliver regular activity-based sessions within a specific module or discipline.

Within these sessions, Peer Mentors lead a group of mentees through activities and facilitate discussions to enhance understanding. Please note, Peer Mentors are not there to "re-teach" any content that is delivered by lecturers.

Depending on your discipline, these programmes may have slightly different names, e.g. 'PASS' or 'PAL' programmes (acronyms for 'Peer Assisted Study Sessions' and 'Peer Assisted Learning').

Programmes supporting students' general university experience

These programmes enable students to gain support from peers in higher years who offer guidance and advice about adjusting to university life. The Peer Mentors will be doing a similar course, have a similar background to the mentees or have similar interests.

These programmes may have different names, e.g. 'Peer Mentoring' or 'Buddy Scheme', but are essentially the same.

These 2 types of programmes are not mutually exclusive, i.e. in academic-focused programmes, general pastoral issues may arise, and vice versa!

 

Benefits of Peer Support

Peer Support aims to enrich students’ academic studies and University life.  Through creating collaborative communities within academic studies or easing the transition to University, Peer Support gives students the opportunity to engage further with their studies, and in doing so aims to enhance student satisfaction, retention and performance.

Peer Support has been proven to be beneficial for everyone involved; the students being mentored, the students leading and organising the sessions, as well as the College or Discipline itself.  Students (both mentors and mentees) develop strong transferable attributes to equip them for life beyond university, and lecturers often report an increase and improvement in students' engagement with their studies.

 

How To Get Involved

Click here to see whether a programme relevant to you or your studies exists - if so, contact the associated Programme Organiser about opportunities to get involved.

If there is not a programme running in your discipline or college but you would like to set one up please contact us on: academicskills@exeter.ac.uk.