General Article Study finds mentoring key to influencing pupils to apply to university

Topic Selected: Student Choices
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Appropriately-timed student mentoring schemes can have a large and substantiate effect on influencing secondary pupils from disadvantaged areas apply to university. These are the findings of a pilot study, published today, that tested the impact and delivery of mentoring on pupils’ intentions to apply to university.

The Economic and Social Research Council [ESRC]-funded experiment, conducted in a Bristol secondary state school over a single morning and timed to coincide after a session given to pupils on personal statements, comprised a series of short presentations by trained mentors about university life.

Four mentors, who are second and third-year students at the University of Bristol, gave the same talk to 53 Year 12 students (aged between 16 and 18) who had been randomly allocated to four groups, which varied as to the type of mentoring the pupils received and the timing at which some questions were answered.

Before and after each talk, students were also asked to complete a...

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