Many first-year students are faced with the challenge of adapting to a new learning environment and the swift transition from traditional, contact learning to online learning. The University of Pretoria offers mentorship programmes and the skills required to succeed in these changing times.

STARS is UP’s main mentorship programme led by the Department of Student Affairs (DSA) and it has been running for over a decade. The programme has a holistic approach. Not only does it offer academic guidance, but it also focuses on the social and emotional wellbeing of the mentee while developing interpersonal skills. A GPA of 55 is required for senior students who are interested in being mentors, and first years can request a mentor once the semester begins. This requirement accommodates students across faculties who feel that they can assist and guide first year students with navigating the university environment. Mentors are trained before the start of the mentorship relationship for them to understand what is required from them as mentors and how to go about the journey of mentorship. Students can apply for this programme by emailing upmentorship@gmail.com.

UP offers Professional Online Development programmes (PODs) that focus on skill enhancement and learning opportunities in an online environment, while optimising on global participation and lifelong learning opportunities. These include Enterprises University of Pretoria and the Ready for Work programme.

The Library also offers virtual sessions where students learn about plagiarism, develop reading and writing skills and learn how to navigate the library. UP libraries are accessible at @uplibrary on social media and online at library. up.ac.za.

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