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As a partner institution of FOCUS West (Focus on College and University Study in the West of Scotland) and the wider Schools for Higher Education Programme (SHEP), the University of Strathclyde work with pupils in schools across the West of Scotland.*

The programme offers a range of activities and events to encourage and prepare pupils for Higher Education at college or university. As part of a 6 HEI partnership, the Widening Access Team at Strathclyde are responsible for coordination of the S2, S3 and S4 elements of the programme.


Student Mentor Recruitment

The University’s Widening Access Team is looking for student mentors from Year 2 and above to work on the FOCUS West programme in the 2021-22 academic session. You will be leading groups of 2nd, 3rd and 4th year pupils through a series of interactive activities that will allow them to find out more about Higher Education at College and University.

The FOCUS West programme is an established educational intervention programme, funded by the Scottish Government, for pupils who face barriers to accessing Higher Education. FOCUS West is delivered by a partnership of West of Scotland Higher Education Institutions and Strathclyde are responsible for work with S2-4 pupils.

We are looking for enthusiastic, professional and committed students who are able to motivate and inspire young people, many of whom come from areas with high levels of socio-economic deprivation.  Current mentors have commented on how rewarding this experience is, both in terms of personal and professional development and through having the opportunity to make a positive impact on the future of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

From August, we will be working in schools in the first instance, as long as restrictions allow. If they do not, we will be delivering sessions online. As soon as restrictions allow, we will return to the delivery of the majority of our S3 and S4 activity on the Strathclyde University campus and occasionally on other university campuses in the West of Scotland. Work with S2 will always be in-school.

The position is part-time and the pattern of projects is flexible. The programme runs between August and June. The hourly rate of pay for our student mentors is £10.05 and you will undergo an Enhanced PVG Disclosure check.  Full training will be provided.

Due to the current makeup of our mentoring team, we are particularly keen to hear from students studying subjects within the HaSS, Science and Engineering faculties, to ensure optimal representation across all degree subjects, however applications are welcome from all students.

If you are interested in applying for this post, please complete the application form below:

Mentor application form

Closing date for applications is Friday 4th June 2021.  Interviews will be held on Wednesday 16th and Thursday 17th of June 2021.

As the vaccine rollout continues, we are staying optimistic that a return to campus activities will be within our grasp from August!

In the meantime we have been engaging with our S4 pupils via Microsoft Teams sessions since October and started working with our lovely S3s in the same way in February. Our fantastic mentors have really enjoyed seeing people face to face again and pupils have embraced this new way of working brilliantly. It can’t replace the benefits of being on campus, but we are making the most of the opportunity to try out new ways of working!

If you are in S3 or S4, you can click on the links below to access information around Student Life, Mindsets and Budgeting. Our brand new Campus Tour Vlog can be found here:

We will continue to add additional content as the year progresses and we hope to see you soon!

Amanda signature

Focus West Project Officer, University of Strathclyde

S2 ‘Changing Focus’ (in-school event):

Please note that the S2 in-school event has been replaced this year for participating schools with an activity box, which will wing its way to you before the end of the session. Please contact if you have any queries.

S3 ‘Into Focus’ Higher Education Campus Day:

Our S3 event focuses on the experience of being a college or university student.

Between February and June 2021, this programme is being delivered online, led by our fabulous team of mentors. All schools entitled to S3 sessions have been contacted to offer full mornings or double periods, depending on what fits in best with your school. We hope that you will click on the links below to hear more from our mentors!

Introduction to Higher Education: Part 1Part 2

Mentor Q&A - our mentors chat about their biggest fears and brilliant discoveries

The Benefits of Thinking Positive

Mentor blogs

Student finance

Some people worry that going to college or uni after school will be really expensive and that they won't be able to afford it. Don't let money worries put you off!

In Scotland, we are really lucky because the government pay for our fees, if we decide to study here. Have a look through this presentation to get a better idea of the facts and figures involved in becoming a student - chances are, it's not as expensive as you think.

College or Uni: What's it Going to Cost?!

Coordinator: Amanda Baldwin/Adrienne Coyne

S4 ‘Focus on 4’: 

Please note that the Focus on 4 programme transferred online from August 2020.

Our S4 event centres around developing meta-skills and building a toolbox of study techniques to equip pupils for their upcoming exams, as well as beginning a reflective study practice for the future. The online version of Focus on 4 has the same focus on meta-skills and building a personalised study toolkit and includes space to tackle any worries about transitioning to HE.

Coordinator: Angie Kay

Further information is available on the FOCUS West website.