Posted on 2 July 2002
The ceremony marked the contribution made to the local community by 300 student tutors from the University. Patrick Scott, Director of Education and Leisure at the City of York Council, presented the students with their certificates.
Teachers, pupils, and student tutors spoke of their experiences and the benefits of the programme. Teachers praised the tutors for their commitment and enthusiasm and said they were "excellent role models" for their pupils.
Student tutors give up half a day a week of their time to help in York schools during a ten-week placement. They assist with a wide range of activities including IT, science, language classes and mathematics. Many of them enjoy the experience so much that they ask for their placement to be extended. Once they have completed their first placement students can train as mentors or student managers. They can then support older pupils on GCSE, A-level or equivalent post-16 courses.
Environment student Mahesh Poudal from Nepal, a holder of one of the University's Overseas Students Trust Fund Scholarships, spoke about his work with the children of Ghurka soldiers stationed at Fulford Barracks. He is one of several overseas students who specialise in helping children from their own countries settle into school here in York.
"The students are all great ambassadors for the scheme," says programme co-ordinator Lyn Whiting. "They are hard working, reliable and professional and have a very positive attitude."
Demand from local schools for student tutors out-strips supply and the number of students and schools participating in the scheme grows year on year. The scheme has many less-obvious benefits. For students working with the local community is rewarding and helps them to grow in self-confidence, while for children who do not come from families with higher education experience, meeting student tutors is a valuable first introduction to university life.