December 2021

Health and Social Care undergraduates gain vital experience mentoring college students

By Melanie Hall

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Students on University College Birmingham’s health and social care degree are getting vital real-life experience by mentoring those studying the subject at college level. 

The scheme gives undergraduates who have expressed an interest in working with young people or going on to teach health and social care a ready-made group of mentees who, simultaneously, hugely benefit from one-to-one support with any challenges. 

The initiative is made possible by the fact the University offers quite a unique proposition by specialising in both further education and degree-level courses. 

The mentors are in the final year of their Health and Social Care BSc (Hons) degree, while the group of mentees are Health and Social Care Level 3 students who might be struggling in some way or just need that extra level of support. 

"From both sides, it is proving invaluable in keeping students on track to their goals"

Sarah McCarthy Health and Social Care tutor

Ultimately, the mentoring scheme reflects government emphasis on driving up educational outcomes for students as part of its levelling up agenda and national focus on improving the skills gap in disadvantaged areas – helping to prevent dropping out. 

Sarah McCarthy, who teaches on the Level 3 health and social care course at University College Birmingham, said it was wonderful to see how both sides were benefitting. 

“Our further education students are getting the chance to work with those who have taken their learning journey to the next level and get support with the challenges that might be holding them back or preventing them from going into higher education," she said. 

“Crucial to this is raising aspirations, getting them to value themselves and helping them to become clearer on how progression can lead to rewarding careers. 

“By putting what they are learning into practice, our degree students also feel like they are making an important contribution and are gaining huge confidence ready to go into the sector and work with young people. 

“From both sides, it is proving invaluable in keeping students on track to their goals.” 

University College Birmingham’s health and social care courses provide the skills and knowledge to be able to help a wide variety of people, including the most vulnerable individuals and those with complex care and support needs.  

Delivered by expert staff with a wealth of vocational experience, they cover the broad skills and knowledge fundamental to the health and care needs of society as a whole, adapting to the latest changes in this dynamic sector. 

Find out more about college and degree-level courses within our Department of Social Care, as well as our Department of Health and Department of Education.  

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