LSE mentors parachuted in on Tower Hamlets College to plug university life

PUBLISHED: 12:22 11 February 2016 | UPDATED: 12:22 11 February 2016

Poplar campus of Tower Hamlets College

Poplar campus of Tower Hamlets College


A-level pupils in London’s deprived East End are getting university mentors from the LSE to help improve their study techniques and learn about life in higher education.

Tower Hamlets College Principal Gerry McDonaldTower Hamlets College Principal Gerry McDonald

The mentors are giving their time to help young students at Tower Hamlets College in Poplar.

It is part of a London School of Economics programme to help youngsters from “disadvantaged backgrounds” to aim high in their studies and raise their ambitions to apply to and study at leading universities.

“Working with the LSE benefits the students’ performance,” Tower Hamlets College principal Gerry McDonald explains. “The mentors raise our students’ aspirations and helps them achieve their goals.”

The LSE has six mentors currently meeting 19 A-level students at Poplar once a week. It is part of its Widening Participation project, aimed at increasing access to higher education for students from disadvantaged areas like the East End.

Students enrolling at Tower Hamlets CollegeStudents enrolling at Tower Hamlets College

The A-level pupils are receiving help and advice with their study, as well as tips to improve their learning techniques, their confidence, self-esteem and motivation.

LSE co-ordinator Becky Saxby said: “Our mentors make sure the topics and strategies they use with the students make a difference to their lives.

“The mentors are passionate in their mission to help youngsters to uncap their potential to study at a top university, as well as develop and raise their career aspirations.”

The weekly mentoring also gives them insights into what it takes to study successfully at university.

One A-level student taking part, Damarie Campbell, 17, said: “My mentor is giving me good advice on how to revise and plan my time. I’m looking forward to visiting the LSE and finding out what it has to offer.”

The programme which began in January is running for three months, to the end of March, with mentoring sessions taking place at the campus in Poplar High Street. Those involved get the chance at the end of the programme to visit the LSE in central London.

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