Personal Tutor Scheme : students' expectations and perception

Calabrese, Gianpiero, Elshaer, Amr, Dolton, Debbie-Rose, Do Sacramento Menezes Da Trindade, Neusa and Jeyabalan, Ashveini (2020) Personal Tutor Scheme : students' expectations and perception. In: Horizons in STEM Higher Education Conference : Making Connections, Innovating and Sharing Pedagogy; 01 - 02 Jul 2020, Nottingham, U.K. (Held online). (Unpublished)


Due to the more recent move to massification in the Higher Education (HE) sector, there has been an emerging necessity for supporting all students, especially those non-traditional students who are increasingly part of the student body. (Mairead, 2002) In the majority of the universities in the UK, this support is offered to students via the Personal Tutor Scheme (PTS), in which many institutions have invested time and resources. The personal tutor is a key point of reference for students during their time at University. In the HE sector, PTS are essentially considered an integral part of students’ services, which provide support to students in relation to study planning and bureaucratic issues, as well as academic writing and referencing, or CV preparation. Yet, the PTS is delivered by academics, who often concentrate on teaching, to the bad of spending time thinking about their roles as personal tutors and of adopting a more desirable holistic approach to the student. In an attempt to answer the question: ‘Why do students need personal tutors?’, Wheeler and Birtle (1993: 3) suggest aspects of the personal tutor system: “the purpose is primarily to provide an anchor on which the support system of the university rests. The personal tutor is needed by all students, including those who enjoy a relatively straightforward passage through university. The existence of this system in itself may reduce student anxiety. Personal tutors also provide assistance for students in need. There is also a welfare component and students may seek advice on a wide range of matters including housing, finance, emotional and relationship problems.” This project aims at seeking the students’ view and perceptions of the PTS. Questionnaires will be used as the data collection tool. Over 800 questionnaires are expected to be distributed with an expect response rate of 50%. This project is expect to provide a quantitative evaluation of students’ perception and expectations on the PTS. The research outcomes will inform HE providers across the UK about the best approach for PTS scheme that can optimize students’ engagement and benefit from the scheme.

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