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ERIC Number: EJ843806
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 25
ISSN: ISSN-1011-3487
Perceptions of Mentoring: Expectations of a Key Resource for Higher Education
Blunt, R. J. S.; Conolly, J.
South African Journal of Higher Education, v20 n2 p195-208 2006
In the context of higher education, the role of mentoring new staff is variously established, though often informal. It is sometimes associated with research supervision, but more recently the increasing sophistication of the roles of staff has seen the introduction of "mentoring" to manage induction. In South Africa, a strong motivation for investigating the role of mentor is to facilitate the induction and retention of equity appointees. This article explores the perceptions of the role of mentor held by a sample of higher education practitioners with a view to identifying the expectations that higher education practitioners have of this role. The analysis reveals broad agreement with the literature, but strong emphasis on the importance of placing the interests of the protege at the heart of the relationship, and recognizing that the responsibility of the mentor is to maintain a critical perspective and not merely to attempt to get the protege to conform to the institution. The authors critically review the perceptions and conclude that the mentoring relationship is affected when the mentor is assigned to the protege. In such situations, expectations need to be clearly articulated if the relationship is to succeed. In addition, recommendations are made about the choice of mentors, the importance of focusing on the realization of the potential of the protege, the focus that is needed in a module to train mentors, the practical difficulties associated with mentoring, and models for mentoring.
Unisa Press. Preller Street, P.O. Box 392, Muckleneuk, Pretoria 0003, South Africa. Tel: +27-24-298960; Fax: +27-24-293449; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa