Mentoring within the Faculty of Arts and Humanities

The Faculty of Arts and Humanities operates a Mentoring Programme for all newly appointed Grade 7 and Grade 8 academic staff. This is in recognition of the appointment of an increasing number of Grade 8 academic staff, for whom an early a career development framework was more appropriate than the traditional academic probationary structure. Grade 7 staff continue to work within the academic probation framework but have the added support of a dedicated School Mentor.

The School Mentoring Programme runs parallel with, and complementary to, the Achieving Success initiative. Whereas Achieving Success provides an overarching framework to mainstream performance management and ensure a structured professional development process, the School Mentoring Programme is one method that enables the achievement of defined objectives. The School mentoring relationship aims to act as an effective professional and personal development tool. It aims to create an environment where the mentee can benefit from the guidance, support and experience of the mentor. Mentoring itself relates to the identification and nurturing of the potential for the whole person. It tends to be a longer-term relationship where mentee objectives can evolve.

Historically, and on occasion, there can be confusion over what constitutes mentoring as opposed to other forms of one-to-one support such as counselling or coaching. Potential confusion may arise as both coaching, counselling and mentoring involve the use of the same interpersonal skills such as questioning, listening, clarifying and reframing. Whilst it may be beneficial to seek clarity of what constitutes mentoring by seeking out definitions of other forms of support, the challenge is that the definition of other forms of support can vary.  Therefore, an awareness of what mentoring means in the context of the School is the primary focus and some key distinctions of the School mentoring include:

  • A supportive form of development
  • A focus on helping the mentee to manage their career and improve their performance
  • Mentee’s objectives which are set in advance of the mentoring relationship commencing and by the Line Manager in collaboration with the mentee
  • A relationship that can be established for a discrete period of time or on an on-going basis – perhaps even moving from mentor/mentee to friendship
    • an agenda that is broader in  perspective (than specific goal-focused coaching)
    • an agenda that is set by the mentee, with the mentor providing support/guidance to prepare them for future roles
    • meetings that are reasonably frequent with scheduling that is very flexible



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