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Atwal, P, Morton, P and Watts, N (2007) Mentoring in built environment higher education courses. In: Boyd, D (Ed.), Proceedings 23rd Annual ARCOM Conference, 3-5 September 2007, Belfast, UK. Association of Researchers in Construction Management, Vol. 1, 335–43.

  • Type: Conference Proceedings
  • Keywords: diversity; education; mentoring; student support; widening participation
  • ISBN/ISSN: 978-0-9552390-0-7
  • URL: http://www.arcom.ac.uk/-docs/proceedings/ar2007-0335-0343_Atwal_Morton_and_Watt.pdf
  • Abstract:
    The paper considers the potential benefits of mentoring to built environment students. UK higher education has faced and continues to face significant change in the way it operates, having moved from a service to a relatively small elite to mass higher education. With increased competition, scarce resources, unpredictable fluctuations in enrolments and income, a move towards greater accountability and an emphasis on economy have led to a managerialist approach to decision making in HE. The emphasis on efficiency has encouraged a move to the delivery of programmes and common modules for the various disciplines, so that individual course identity may not be emphasised until the latter stages of the course. Academics and industry have also called for commonality in the name of interdisciplinary working as well as a need to lower staffing requirements. The widening participation of students outside the eighteen and nineteen year old school leaver provides an additional challenge to the culture of higher education. In this changing world of higher education the needs of the diverse student population can be lost. Mentoring is a means of providing support in learning situations where individuals would benefit from some independent advice or coaching. This study originally focused on the mentoring needs of women students on built environment courses in one university. The results from a survey of male and female students indicated that mentoring would provide a useful and positive added value to many students, not just those who are feeling isolated or unsupported, and could aid in transition to employment.