As part of NUI Galway’s campaign to become a designated University of Sanctuary(UoS), its UoS steering committee introduced a bespoke UoS Scholarship Programme for the 2019-2020 academic year. The programme is a merit-based initiative, designed to increase participation at NUI Galway for Irish Travellers, international protection applicants, refugees, and other vulnerable immigrant groups. Following the University’s designation as an official University of Sanctuary in November 2019, the University expanded the scholarship programme for the academic year 2020-2021 from 9 to 12 scholarships in total, offered at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Scholarship numbers for the academic year 2021-2022 have yet to be confirmed.  For further information, please contact uni.sanctuary@nuigalway.ie. 

What are the guiding principles of academic mentoring?

  • Ownership of the mentoring process rests with the mentee and they drive the mentoring agenda.
  • The mentor relationship is confidential. Discussions between the mentor and mentee must not be divulged to a third party without the agreement of both parties.
  • Academic mentoring is distinct and separate from the NUI Galway Performance Management Development System.
  • Mentoring is nondirective in its approach.
  • Mentoring is a relationship built upon trust and mutual respect.
  • The mentor empowers the mentee to take responsibility for their own learning and career development.
  • The mentor offers a safe environment to the mentee within which they can discuss work related issues and explore solutions.
  • The mentoring relationship places no obligation on either party beyond its developmental intent.

Academic mentoring selection process

  1. Interested parties can complete an Expression of Interest form after reading the UoS Scholarship Programme Overview information.
  2. UoS Coordinator will follow up with interested parties upon completion of the EoI form, to answer any follow up questions which the interested parties may have, and to discuss their role as academic mentor within the context of the UoS initiative.
  3. Potential academic mentors will receive training prior to being paired with mentees, to assist them in their role as academic mentor.
  4. With agreement from both parties, mentees will then be paired with academic mentors from within the University College which they are enrolled and, where feasible, from a module in which the academic mentor is involved in an academic capacity. The UoS Coordinator will then e-introduce the respective academic mentors and mentees.

What are the UoS academic mentor’s roles and responsibilities?

The academic mentor’s role will be to provide any academic advice pertaining to mentees’ coursework which mentees communicate to mentors during the course of their studies. If the information required is beyond a mentor’s remit to provide for the mentee, then mentors can refer to the scholarship programme’s peer mentor (contact details below). Any advice they require regarding deferrals, illness, etc, would be covered by their peer mentor.

Although UoS mentees are from a variety of diverse backgrounds, the role of mentor is purely academic in nature. Should any matters arise which mentors feel should be highlighted, then contact with the University of Sanctuary coordinator is strongly advised.

The mentor may at times be a role model or sounding board and at other times a challenger, advisor or facilitator; their role will shift according to the needs of the particular mentee. It is the responsibility of the mentor to:

  • Maintain a constructive approach with a focus on the development of the mentee
  • Seek to build mutual trust and respect
  • Be accessible and available to the mentee
  • Empower the mentee to take responsibility for their own learning and development
  • Offer a safe environment to the mentee within which they can discuss work-related issues and explore solutions