As I am sure, anyone working in higher education knows, the Office for Students (OfS) is an independent regulator of higher education in England, focusing on ensuring that students receive a high-quality education and that their interests are protected. As part of its regulatory framework, the OfS has identified a range of student outcomes that universities must consider when assessing Condition B3. These outcomes include student #continuation and #completion, #degreeoutcomes for students with different characteristics, and graduate employment.
Online #peermentoring tools like Vygo can be an effective tool for universities to support these outcomes and improve the quality of learning opportunities for students. This blog will discuss how generic online peer mentoring can help with student continuation and completion, degree outcomes, and graduate employment.
Student Continuation and Completion
One of the critical factors in assessing Condition B3 is the ability of universities to support student continuation and completion. Online peer mentoring can be an effective tool in supporting students to continue and complete their studies. Peer mentoring can provide students with academic support, motivation, and guidance, which can help them to overcome any challenges they may face in their studies. For example, peer mentors can support developing study strategies, provide feedback on assignments, and offer advice on managing coursework and exams effectively. Peer mentors can also help improve students' sense of belonging and engagement, which can enhance their motivation to continue and complete their studies. Students can expand their network of peers and like-minded students by attending group events and group chats through platforms like Vygo, increasing their sense of belonging.
Universities also use tools like Vygo to create support groups for #underrepresented groups. These groups can make a real difference in students' sense of belonging as they connect with peers with similar characteristics. By providing students with the support they need to succeed, online peer mentoring can help universities to meet the B3 requirement and ensure that students can complete their courses successfully.
By collecting data on peer support, universities can develop further support services to action this feedback. Universities can invest more resources in the programmes that make a difference to students and review the effectiveness of the less successful programs. Also, issues students identify from peer mentoring can facilitate early intervention to stop problems before they get critical, improving #wellbeing.
The OfS also requires universities to consider degree outcomes when assessing Condition B3, including differential outcomes for students with different characteristics. Online peer mentoring can help to address any disparities in degree outcomes by providing targeted support to students from underrepresented groups. There are many examples of these targeted programmes and feedback from students that this targeted support makes a real difference.
Having a mentor with the same characteristics as you are also a great way to connect with someone who may have faced the same issues and concerns. For example, peer mentors can provide guidance on how to navigate the academic system, connect students with relevant resources, and offer advice on how to overcome barriers to success. Peer mentoring can also provide a safe space for students to discuss their concerns and receive personalised support that addresses their unique needs. By addressing the specific challenges different groups of students face, online peer mentoring can help improve degree outcomes and ensure that all students have the opportunity to succeed.
The final outcome universities must consider when assessing Condition B3 is graduate employment, including #progression to professional jobs and postgraduate study. Online peer mentoring can help to support graduate employment by providing students with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in their chosen careers. Peer mentors can guide career development, help students to develop their professional networks, and offer advice on job applications and interviews. Additionally, peer mentors can provide information on postgraduate study options and support students through the application process. Some of the more successful Universities use Alumni as career mentors to increase progression levels and level the playing field for under-represented groups.
By providing students with the support they need to succeed in their chosen careers, online peer mentoring can help universities meet the B3 requirement and ensure their graduates are well-prepared for the workforce. Many universities use mentoring with their Alumni members to provide support on skills to support their employability. Feedback has been connecting with #alumni mentors has dramatically increased the likelihood of gaining employment post-completion.
Additionally, I have seen successful use cases of products like Vygo on placement student programs such as Nursing and Teaching. Often students can lose their sense of belonging to the University on placement as they feel less supported. Also, #placements can be daunting and stressful for students. Having a peer mentor who has been through a work placement before can be a great reassurance and support function for students.
In conclusion, the OfS regulatory framework requires universities to consider a range of student outcomes when assessing Condition B3. Online peer mentoring can be one effective tool for universities to support these outcomes and improve the quality of learning opportunities for students.
By providing students with academic support, motivation, and guidance, addressing disparities in degree outcomes, and supporting graduate employment, online peer mentoring can help universities meet the B3 requirement and ensure their students are well-prepared for success.
I would love to get some feedback on B3 Conditions as I am very keen to understand more about the importance of this to people at different levels of Universities.