HE Access and Application

Online mentoring is an invaluable tool for higher education institutions seeking to enhance their widening participation activity and support young people anywhere in the country to successfully progress to university. We work with over 60 institutions to connect post-16 students with trained undergraduate mentors who help them decide about higher education, choose suitable courses and understand applications and student finance. Acting as role models, mentors also reassure young people about any concerns and provide insights into the social and other aspects of the student experience.

To find out more about setting up an online mentoring project and our prices, get in touch with Nick Wells on 0203 096 8120 or nick.wells@brightside.org.uk

We offer the following programmes for Year 12 and 13 students, which can be run individually or together as one project.

HE Explore

Our HE Explore programme helps Year 12 students to:

Students are matched online with an undergraduate mentor who helps to raise their aspirations and supports them in making decisions about their next steps regarding HE; whether to apply, where to apply and what to apply for.

Mentors follow a 12-week schedule, which gives them key topics to address with their mentees around their Higher Education options, including Higher Apprenticeships.

HE Explore can be delivered in either the spring or autumn term.

“I think it’s a great way to get a greater understanding of education and life.” Mentee

“It was good for students to relate to someone who could be a role model. It has been good using the mentoring as a point of reference when talking to students about their future and how it relates to the work they are doing now.” Teacher


HE Apply

Our HE Apply programme supports Year 12 and 13 students to successfully progress into Higher Education by helping them to:

HE Apply is designed to follow up from HE Explore. Students are matched with an undergraduate mentor our online platform. Mentors offer practical advice on the different aspects of the HE admissions process, as well as support and encouragement during what can be a stressful time.

Students are matched to an undergraduate mentor for a period of six months, starting from September.

“Through talking to my mentor I have been able to ask questions that I may have been afraid to ask before. I was able to honestly talk to my mentor and not feel like I was being judged or criticised. They’ve helped me with my personal statement and just helping me deal with my anxieties about going to university.” Mentee

“My self-confidence has significantly increased and I feel more comfortable about my future decisions. Having an online mentor made me feel more relaxed and less stressed because she was always there to give me advice if and when I needed it.” Mentee

All Brightside projects offer the following: 

Online mentoring platform
Mentees and mentors have full access to Brightside’s safe, secure online mentoring platform, allowing them to communicate whenever and wherever is most convenient to them. The platform also features e-learning activities and articles from Bright Knowledge, Brightside’s bank of resources on careers, education and student life.

All our mentors hold an enhanced DBS check, all messages pass through filters to screen for inappropriate content, and are moderated by NSPCC-trained co-ordinators.

Training and co-ordination
Mentors and mentees will receive training from Brightside, and you will be assigned a Brightside co-ordinator for full support throughout the project. We design a mentoring schedule giving mentors key topics to discuss with their mentees.

Brightside’s impact management process uses robust evaluation frameworks to collect qualitative and quantitative data. This can be presented in impact reports tailored to the reporting needs of our partners.

Find out more about becoming a partner.



I was mentored by two amazing people on The Mullany Fund programme, one a junior doctor and another a medical student. Both of them were so helpful! Having the exposure to people in the area of science that interest me allowed me to ask questions and get suitable answers from people who have lived the experiences. My last mentor provided me with useful tips for my personal statement for university, which may have made the difference to me getting into my first choice university, Aberystwyth, to study biochemistry.