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Students take the time to make a difference

26th June 2002

Students take the time to make a difference

UNDERGRADUATES from Aston University have been encouraging local pupils to sign up for campus life through Aston's Student Tutoring and Peer Mentoring schemes.

Both are part of Aston's Widening Participation Initiative, which aims to encourage youngsters from non-traditional backgrounds to apply to university. Aston students who took part in the schemes during the 2001-2002 academic year received certificates of achievement at a special presentation this week.

Student tutoring involves undergraduate student volunteers supporting pupils in local schools and colleges. Students act as role models for Aston and higher education in general, sharing experiences and interests in their subject areas and motivating pupils to learn. They support pupils in a number of ways, under the direction of a classroom teacher.

Primary level tutors have worked with children throughout Birmingham to help pupils' literacy, reading, and numeracy. Secondary level tutors have worked with pupils on a variety of tasks, including helping them to prepare for GCSEs. Tutors also work in Post 16 education.

This year, 85 student volunteers were matched to 36 primary, secondary and post-16 schools and colleges in Birmingham and Solihull. In addition, seven students volunteered to take part in the Matthew Boulton College/Aston University Peer Mentoring Scheme. MBC teaches Year Zero (Foundation Year) students in preparation for first year entry to Aston University. The Peer Mentoring scheme links Year Zero students with first year Aston students who have completed the Year Zero route themselves.

Katayoun Sarizadeh, who came to Aston from Matthew Boulton College and is now a mentor herself, said: "I was very lucky because I had a great mentor, it was excellent to talk to someone about my initial experiences of study. It really helped me to prepare for University life and it was great knowing that there was someone there to help."

Mandy Ingleby, Outreach Manager at Aston commented: "The success of the Student Tutoring and Peer Mentoring schemes is testament to our students, they are a credit to the University."

ENDS

For further information please call 0121 204 4549 or email: b.a.l.coombes@aston.ac.uk

Notes to editors:

This is the 9th year of the Student Tutoring Scheme at Aston University, and the Birmingham Connection Student Tutoring Partnership (which includes Aston University, Birmingham University, UCE, Matthew Boulton College and Newman College) celebrates its tenth year this year.

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