Learning and Development - Reverse Mentoring

Reverse Mentoringstudent mentoring staff member


 Next programme launching August 2021 for start in Sept 2021 

Reverse Mentoring at DCU is a novel approach to academic professional development that offers staff a direct line to the student voice.

Reverse Mentoring provides a platform for students to share their experience of learning at the university with  faculty - what works, what doesn't, and what their challenges and chief concerns are. They introduce academics to the broad range of apps and websites that they use to acquire and create learning and knowledge.

With the potential to help make DCU a more imaginative and equitable environment for all, Reverse Mentoring is the latest in a range of mentoring programmes offered by Learning and Development, HR, this time connecting students and staff in a full circle of development.  

Reverse mentoring offers an effective way of capturing the student voice and in helping to advance the principles of equality, diversity and inclusion across universities.

While mentoring is a widely-used development approach in higher education, reverse mentoring is a more recent phenomenon. The method is growing in popularity and holds potential in helping academics understand the perspective of students and the potential of technology in enhancing teaching and learning. The Programme aligns with a number of dimensions in the DCU Academic Development and Promotional Framework and holds range of benefits for staff (see below). After the a successful pilot with heads and deans last year (watch Derek Hand, Head of the School of English talk about his experence), we're extending the scheme to all academics.

  • 6 one-hour meetings with a student mentor (option to extend)

Register your interest


Mentoring is vital to the intellectual and academic vitality of the university. Reverse mentoring provides an innovation on traditional mentoring, offering many advantages in the areas of technology and generational values:

  • It supports the university’s efforts to promote of diversity and inclusion, increasing communication and engagement across generations.

  • It reinforces a commitment to student engagement and respecting the student voice and an opportunity to respond ensuring that we maintain a high quality student experience, aligning with the National Student Engagement Programme (NSTEP)

  • It facilitates the foundation of fruitful, cross-generation relationships that offer new perspectives for both participants.

  • It gives academics an opportunity to gather insights into teaching, learning and technology from students, in terms of deficits and unexplored territories.

  • Academic staff can find out more about what resources students use for learning and explore new learning media and methods.

  • It provides occasion to adapt how Schools work with younger generations and potentially implement changes in work culture.

  • Mentoring programmes have been shown to connect participants to organisations and to improve job satisfaction and engagement.2


1 Reverse Mentoring: A Social Exchange Tool for Keeping the Boomers Engaged and Millennials Committed https://www.researchgate.net/publication/239772131_Reverse_Mentoring_A_…
2 How HR Can Support Reverse Mentoring: https://www.shrm.org/hr-today/news/hr-magazine/0517/pages/sharing-knowl…





Create a plan up front for the mentoring partnership


We’ve created a programme framework to provide participants with a starting point and a set of guidelines to help you get started.


Make sure you have a clear goal for the mentoring

We help you define your purpose and goal so that you and your mentor recognise what you want to achieve.


Pair students and staff intentionally

Learning and development match mentors to staff mentee’s specific needs, taking into account personalities and skills.


Communicate the process and desired outcomes

We clearly communicate the process, expectations, number of meetings and expectations.