SLU news

Halfway through the mentorship programme - what happens?

Published: 13 September 2022

The first cohort of the GCUA 2030 mentorship programme has reach half way through and so far it is a great success. Both mentees and mentors are challenging themselves in new ways learning a lot from each other.

We asked Jean-Pierre from University of Rwanda, one of the mentees, about his thoughts so far in the programme.

How do you like the programme?

I very much liked the programme since it is a kind of bridge between academia and the rest of the world. Additionally, through this programme, I have developed networks that will help me in my future career.

Have you developed yourself in any ways?

With the help of my mentor and my trios, I have developed some generic skills, like scheduling and managing an online meeting, and critical thinking (linking my mentorship programme to my PhD project). I also developed skills to handle critical situations, this was part of the coaching module we previously had during which we played different roles; being an active listener or a coach.

You are halfway through the course now, what do you hope to have achieved when it is done?

When the course is done, I hope I will be well trained as a mentee so that I could also mentor others. With the acquired knowledge and skills, I think I will be able to apply them to my daily activities, which also involve mentoring students.

How can this mentorship programme help you in your future career?

This programme would be a continuation and an ingredient to my daily job (teaching and doing research). With the skills acquired through this programme, I will be able to handle any situation and adjust the context depending on what happens. I will also use my network gained through this programme to improve my working relationship and advance my career.



About the mentorship programme

The programme consists of six modules and is designed to meet the following goals:

  1. Support PhD students’ sustainable (self) leadership within academia
  2. Strengthen the PhD students relational and communication skills—for visibility, networking, collaboration and stakeholder management
  3. Reflect and learn more about the academic culture and norms
  4. Reflect and learn about a norm critical leadership and approach
  5. Create a strong community of learning, support, and development

Each member university nominates one mentor and one student to participate.

The mentorship programme allows cross-cultural exchange and learning between mentors and mentees, in depth dialogues on a range of aspects related to academic career development, within and across discipline discussions etc. 

The mentorship programme is funded by STINT, the Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education. 

The programme is led by Dr. Katarina Billing who is a certified psychologist, coach and journalist with more than 20 years’ experience of working with people and leadership development.


GCUA 2030

Global Challenges University Alliance is a network of university partners from across the globe with a common vision of contributing to sustainable, global development. GCUA 2030 offers a global learning forum for PhD students and young researchers providing a range of learning and networking activities.

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