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Personal Tutoring

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Personal Tutoring

The purpose of personal tutoring is to support the personal and academic development of our taught students, by providing an ongoing personalised point of contact. It is an essential part of helping our students know we care about them, and helps them navigate their journey through higher education.

As personal tutor, you will be the first port of call for your tutees, for advice and direction on personal and academic matters. As such, you are a vital part of the scaffold of support we give to each of our students, with the University also providing a wide range of specialist services and support upon which students can call, such as the Student Health and Wellbeing Service, Students’ Union and Careers Service.

Tom Ward

This website hosts resources to support this important aspect of your role. This includes guidance on topics you may wish to discuss with your tutees, and when, information about how and when you may wish to refer students for specialist support, information on training, and role outlines for personal and senior tutors.

You will also find information on our approach to Personal Tutoring at Newcastle University, and what is expected of you in this part of your role. In outline we expect a minimum of four face to face contacts between personal tutors and taught students, in each stage of their studies, and we recommend that these are through individual and group tutorials. These guidelines are a minimum pitched well below sector norms, and I encourage each school and academic unit to work out what is best for their students.

As well as the resources and training outlined in this site there are two important things to remember. First, the NU Reflect is available, to manage your personal tutorial sessions. Its use is optional but recommended, and many tutors find it useful. Second, nobody expects you to take on the responsibility of supporting students with serious mental health difficulties. If you are concerned about the wellbeing of any of your tutees, please either contact the Student Health and Wellbeing Service for advice and support, or signpost your student(s) to this team.

There is flexibility for Schools to adopt their own approaches in light of their own student feedback or culture. Where personal tutoring is already known to be working effectively, as reflected in student feedback, these approaches should continue, with little or no change. 

At a time when our NSS results have been hit hard, it is clear that personal tutoring can make a very positive difference to the way in which students feel about their course, and their university experience. The open text comments on personal tutoring showed very clearly just how much students value this part of their experience and appreciate the time and effort that you put into it.

Prof. Tom Ward, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Education

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Maya Angelou, American Poet