19 January 2022
MUT to roll out peer mentorship to support new students
Issued on behalf of Mbali Mkhize, Senior Director: Marketing & Communications
Every year, Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) rolls out its peer-mentoring programme to support new students as they start on their transition from high school to University. This programme is managed by MUT’s Teaching and Learning Development Centre (TLDC).
Arthi Ramrung, Peer Meer Mentoring Co-Ordinator and Lecturer at TLDC, said the programme was meant to assist new students who face challenges when they join the University to help them settle into their new lives as university students. The programme uses senior students to mentor their new counterparts.
Ramrung said adaptation to a new environment is just a small hurdle to climb in comparison to the deep seating challenges students truly face. She said many of MUT students come from similar backgrounds.
“Having to succeed takes strength, courage and tenacity. It is for this reason that the strength of this programme comes from the role of the student mentors,” said Ramrung. “Who better to share their experience than those who have walked a similar path and succeeded?”
The programme is designed to not only create a holistic support system (academic, social and motivational) for first-year students, but also empowers senior students by allowing them to develop and use their leadership skills with the goal of creating compassionate, knowledgeable future leaders. For these peer mentors the programme offers them the opportunity to have a deeper understanding of not only their discipline, but also themselves. It allows them to develop leadership skills that they can take forward into their careers. Through this programme, the University improves the overall success of its students as they learn how to work and support each other.
“The success of the programme is dependent on the dedication of the students towards making the time to engage with each other. Packed timetables sometimes limit the interaction of the groups. It would be great to see departments integrating participation in the learning that goes on in the classroom,” said Ramrung.
Ramrung added that it was important that students understand that they alone were responsible for their success and that MUT has programmes to support them.
“It is important that students take opportunities such as this programme to develop themselves, and steer away from restrictive mind-sets that will limit your growth,” said Ramrung.