Higher Education

We work with over 70 universities across the UK within a range of departments.We have developed mentoring models for each stage of the student lifecycle, which we can customise for you to use either around existing activities or as standalone programmes. Our online mentoring is based on our Theory of Change, and is easy to manage and evaluate.

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

Pre-16 and Post-16 Outreach

  • Connect talented young people, before and after their post-16 options, with enthusiastic undergraduate mentors
  • Prepare young people for student life, and introduce them to a range of courses and careers
  • Enhance your institution’s widening participation work

UCL Academy

UCL Academy is a school in North London sponsored by UCL. Its Brightside mentoring programme is designed to support mentees at key transition points in their education, to build confidence, raise aspirations and aid informed decision making about their next steps, by matching UCL Academy pupils with students studying at UCL.

The programme is delivered at two levels, designed for different age groups:

  • Level 1 students aged 12-13 have face-to-face mentoring sessions with a mentor to increase their knowledge and awareness of GCSE options. Sessions include a mixture of group and face-to-face mentoring.
  • Level 3 students aged 16-17 have group mentoring sessions exploring higher education options, improving decision-making skills, understanding the UCAS process and introducing university life. Pupils are also connected with their mentor online to enable them to access one-to-one support


K+ is King’s College London’s widening participation project targeting high-achieving Year 12 pupils in the Greater London area whose parents did not attend university. K+ currently has over 700 students taking part in an 18 month programme of activities including subject taster sessions, study skills workshops and coaching on personal statements and student finance, all supported by their own online undergraduate mentor. Brightside’s web platform also allows students to form their own social network through which they can support each other as they progress into higher education.


  • Engage with students early, matching them with an undergraduate to manage the transition from school/college to higher education.
  • Support students before they arrive and through their first term, when they’re most likely to drop out
  • Improve your institution’s retention rate

SOAS – University of London

A sense of belonging is essential to help students settle in and succeed at university, particularly if they are mature students or the first in their family to go onto higher education. Bridging Courses are designed to develop a feeling of community in these students before they arrive at SOAS, helping them prepare for student life and degree-level study. Online mentoring extends the reach and impact of Bridging Courses by providing students with an online forum during the summer, where they can ask questions about university life and discuss any concerns with student ambassadors. They are also given the opportunity to be matched with their own individual mentor throughout the first term, who can offer personal advice around the transition to university.

Edge Hill University

The time between getting an offer and actually starting university can be nerve-wracking for many students, who need someone to turn to with their questions and concerns. Edge Hill University uses Brightside’s online platform to mentor students before they arrive at university. Offer holders can ask undergraduate mentors questions around student life and the transition to university. It aims to increase applicants’ confidence around progression to HE, ultimately improving conversion and retention rates. The project increases communication between application and entry, in order to develop students’ familiarity with and sense of belonging at the institution.

Employability and student success

  • Connect undergraduates with peer or career mentors to support them to succeed at university and beyond
  • Build links with employers
  • Improve your students’ graduate employment prospects


Birmingham City University is using its Ask BCU online mentoring scheme developed with Brightside to help students at two stages:

Stage 1 supports students who have been offered a place at BCU. These  students are matched with an undergraduate mentor who can give them advice and support to prepare them for the transition  to higher education.

Stage 2 supports BCU students in their penultimate and final years as they prepare for employment. Business mentors, including BCU alumni, support their journey from university into employment with advice and guidance.