The College of Medical and Dental Sciences (CMDS) annually welcomes to our undergraduate programmes 80–90 students who have participated in Pathways to Birmingham widening participation activities, including Access to Birmingham, Routes to the Professions: Medicine and Dentistry, and Inspired@Birmingham. For many of these students the challenges they faced in their pre-University lives and education, persist as they transition to University, meaning that the opportunities they have to develop, progress and take advantage of everything a University education has to offer, are not necessarily the same as for students from other backgrounds.
Last year we asked Pathways students what they thought would help them with their transition to University and in their first year of study. They overwhelmingly indicated that they would like to be paired with a mentor who is a student in a later year in their own programme who would be able to provide authentic support and advice and importantly had also participated in Pathways to Birmingham. The Alumni Impact Fund also thought that this was a great idea and have awarded us funding to support a mentoring programme.
The award of £6000 from the Alumni Impact Fund will allow us to provide a student mentor to all year one students entering the College via Birmingham Pathways and to deliver a programme of development activities for mentors and mentees to participate in together, including bespoke personal development training and networking events. We hope that it will facilitate the establishment of cross-year support networks in each programme for students from underrepresented groups, which will ultimately extend out into the professions. Look out for further blogs about MDS Pathways and for profiles of the fantastic student mentors and their mentees as the programme develops.
College of Medical and Dental Sciences Outreach and Widening Participation – find out more