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Your Personal Tutor

A plethora of questions spring to the mind of those applying to higher education for the first time.

Will I get a room in halls? Will I make friends? Will I be able to make the step up to university study? Can I bring my life-size cardboard cut-out of Ed Sheeran?

One question that doesn’t feature quite so prominently is: what is a Personal Tutor? And its natural follow-up, why do I need a Personal Tutor?

You’ll be assigned your Edge Hill University Personal Tutor in your first week.

Recently nominated for an Edge Hill Personal Tutor Hero of the Year by their students, Dr Joanne Egan, Senior Lecturer in Physical Geography, and Lecturer in Human Geography Dr Ayushman Bhagat, our undergraduates understand the value of a good personal tutor:

Joanne’s been a rock for so many students throughout our university journey. I first met her on a taster day in Year 12 and she made me feel so welcome and comfortable. She was then assigned as my Personal Tutor. I was so happy to have a familiar face who is always there, no matter what the problem. I can’t thank her enough for her professional and personal support.

Student testimonial

And another student who benefited from Dr Bhagat’s academic and life experience declared:

Ayushman’s really inspiring, always encouraging, and always approachable if you have problems. One of the most crucial factors is his understanding that at first university life can be hard to get used to. He’s always there to guide you and give you more space when necessary.

Student testimonial

Your Edge Hill Personal Tutor will get in touch with you asap, possibly in the form of a social group activity.

So, a Personal Tutor can transform your university experience, help you navigate the academic, social and cultural challenges you may encounter.

Joanne, can you reveal the secrets to being a successful Personal Tutor?

The Personal Tutor (PT) is a member of staff allocated to specific students – the “go to” person for academic and pastoral advice throughout your degree. There’s no specific qualification, but it’s a role that develops with experience. We have a clear tutorial programme that the students have to engage with.

Students can come across all kinds of professional and personal issues throughout their degree. These can also be positive things! Your Personal Tutor offers a listening ear, and can direct you to the right service, if they’re unable to help themselves.

Dr Joanne Egan

You’ll then meet your Edge Hill personal tutor individually and work on a schedule together so you keep in touch through each semester.

What kind of things do Personal Tutors cover with their students?

Students discuss a whole host of things with their personal tutor. Concerns about academic abilities, job prospects, module choices, personal development, student accommodation issues, hobbies, health issues – the list can go on and on. They’re also important in terms of careers because it’s the PT that would normally write your reference.

Dr Joanne Egan

Your Edge Hill PT will make sure you’re up-to-speed on key dates, deadlines, upcoming opportunities, or beneficial support services.

So, Joanne, a student makes an appointment with you, talk us through it:

In the first instance, I listen. If I can help (usually if it’s an academic issue), I will. If it’s something that’s beyond my experience and qualifications then I can direct the student to the correct services for help.

Dr Joanne Egan

It sounds like quite a responsibility…

I was honoured to have been nominated for a student led staff award. It’s great to know we’re doing right by our students. There’s great satisfaction in getting to know a student over a three year period, and seeing them succeed. They might fly through and have no issues, which is great, and it’s a pleasure just to see their journey. Or, a student might have some real battles during their degree. Knowing that I’ve helped them through it and overcome any obstacles that has come their way is just the best feeling.

Dr Joanne Egan

Reading the comments of their student nominators, the feeling appears to be mutual. The Personal Tutor is often an unsung hero, and it’s great to see that students really do appreciate the effort made by university staff to make sure they have the best experience possible, academically and socially, during their time at Edge Hill University.

They were sitting in your seat not so long ago – they’re not really that different from you at all. Make the most of their experience and wisdom, and you’ll make the most of your university experience.

Find out more about our Geography and Geology programmes

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