Personal tutoring: positioning practice in relation to policy

  • Gwenda Mynott LJMU
Keywords: personal tutoring, student wellbeing, managerialism, pastoral support, policy


Most academic staff will at some point in their career be asked to take on the role of being a personal tutor for a group of students.  It can be an ill-defined role that lacks focus in terms of what it is trying to achieve.  This paper is a reflection on my own practice as a personal tutor, and views this within the context of the policy drivers and changing nature of higher education.  In particular, it identifies three levels of interaction: the macro, meso and micro.  The macrolevel is informed by the wider national and strategic debates on issues such as retention and transition; the mesolevel’s focus is on staff responsiveness to enact policy; and the microlevel on student well-being and satisfaction.  The paper argues that there are tensions between how personal tutoring is identified and pursued, especially if it is approached with managerialist intentions.

Research In Practice