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Enriching Student Support at Nottingham University Business School

Nottingham University Business School adopted the Indigo software in 2017 . It was used to automate their student Buddy Scheme, supplement mentoring and enrich their overall student support framework.

Key problems: administration, scalability and accessibility.

Prior to working with Indigo, NUBS operated a well established mentoring framework through their Buddy scheme. This involved matching students with mentors who could support them with queries about the school and their course.

Administratively, the Buddy scheme was difficult to manage. It required students to be matched with mentors manually, which took up valuable staff time. This also made it difficult to scale the Buddy scheme alongside the school’s growing student numbers. Additionally, whilst face to face interactions were facilitated, students had no way of communicating securely and effectively with mentors remotely. This meant that mentoring contact was limited.

Our solution: online administration and communication.

Using the Indigo software, we were able to automated the mentor matching process. We connected students with Buddies based on their specific course information and extracurricular interests. Not only did this dramatically reduce administrative time spent on the Buddy scheme, it also helped ensure that students were always matched to the best possible advisor for their own course.

As an online communication tool, the platform also allowed students to communicate with their Buddy more freely. Accessible via their phone or computer, they could now use Indigo to chat to a mentor whenever they needed help, and wherever they were, rather than waiting for specific, face to face meeting dates.

The benefits: maximising value of existing support.

Now less time was needed to administer the Buddy scheme, more time could be devoted to maximising the value of other support. This included in person events and meet-ups. Connecting students via a more sophisticated matching algorithm also meant that they were able to get the maximum benefit from their mentoring interactions. As a result, student engagement with the Buddy scheme increased by more than 200% compared to engagement prior to working with Indigo.

The results: what NUBS had to say.

Jackie Andrews, the Skills and Development Manager at NUBS, had led the Buddy scheme prior to 2017. She said: “(This is) an excellent mechanism for our students, enabling them to contact each other for the purposes of buddying and mentoring.”

Students also reported an increase understanding of the benefits of mentoring. They evidenced the support they’d received from their buddies and even how being a mentor had helped them post-university.

“(The software has) has given me tangible evidence of my skills through reviews, which helps me stand out from the crowd in interviews.”

Holly Botterill, NUBS graduate.

“Using it has enabled me to connect with more experienced students who shared best-bets and useful advice”

Tom Perry, Second Year Undergraduate at NUBS.

“By having access to experienced third year students I have been able to further my academic abilities, would definitely recommend to future first years.”

James Martin, Second Year Undergraduate at NUBS.

About Indigo

Indigo takes your community online, creating bespoke online environments that make it easier for your members to connect, collaborate and access support remotely.