Mentoring scheme for support staff

The aim of this activity is to pair employees involved in providing services to international academics in a mentoring relationship to foster professional development and career growth while building an inclusive culture and diverse networks. 



Improved skills and knowledge

Basic information
Categories Capacity Building of Support & Management Staff
Delivery schedule Continuous
Importance Important to have
Scale of organizational change
Target groups Administrative staff
Practice setup

The mentoring programme can be designed as an independent initiative targeting support staff of international offices or as a sub-programme of a broader institutional mentorship programme for employees. 

In both cases, the mentoring programme design should clarify the following aspects:

  • Format: formal or informal activity

  • Length of the programme (e.g. six months)

  • Suggested outcomes, expectations and outcomes

  • Participation requirements to potential mentors  (e.g. leadership qualities, knowledge of the institution's mission and values, specific knowledge of support provided to international academics) and possible incentives (e.g. formal recognition)

  • Participation requirements to potential mentees (e.g. specific group of staff members, written approval by the supervisor)

The mentoring pair will determine the structure, goals, and outcomes for the mentoring cycle (mentoring plan). However, some overarching goals may include, increasing specific job knowledge in supporting international academics, enhance professional skills, and/or establish networking opportunities.

Cost of practice setup
Time required for practice setup
Personnel effort required for practice setup
Actors involved in practice setup
  • HR Department
  • IRO/welcome centre
Partners involved in practice setup
  • Other HEI/research organisation in city/region
Indicators for evaluating progress/quality of practice setup
  • Procedures or bylaws are defined or updated
  • Number of mentors recruited
  • Mentoring plan and program designed

@Other HEIs/research organisations in city/region - the mentoring programme could be designed in partnership with other partner high education institutions that face similar needs in providing personalised assistance to international academics.

Practice delivery

The mentoring pair follows the mentoring plan developed in the beginning of the mentoring experience. It is advisable for the IRO and HR department to assess the outcomes of the entire mentoring programme on an annual basis.

Cost of practice delivery
Time required for practice delivery
Personnel effort required for practice delivery
Actors involved in practice delivery
  • HR Department
  • IRO/welcome centre
Partners involved in practice delivery
  • Other HEI/research organisation in city/region
Indicators for evaluating progress/quality of practice delivery
  • Average satisfaction rate
  • Number of support staff assisted

@Other HEI/research organisation in city/region - in case, the mentoriship programme is designed in collaboration with a partner higher education institution, the delivery and supervision of the programme will need to be coordinated with a partner. 

Examples of practice

Professional Staff Mentoring Scheme

The Professional Staff Mentoring Scheme is administered centrally to match applicants, provide training, provide on-going support and evaluate the success of the scheme. Since the beginning, the scheme has attracted many positive comments from participants (mentors & mentees), who have developed personally and professionally through the mentoring.  Rich experience has been gained from taking part, and achievements have increased.