In my last post – which again, was an embarrassingly long time ago – I talked about the planned ‘Mentoring Scotland’ conference. I am pleased to say that the conference went ahead on 7 May at the Stirling Management Centre.
The conference was sponsored by Vitae, who provided logistical support in the form of conference web-pages and online bookings. Financial support for the event was provided by the Scottish Funding Council, the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education and the Staff Development Forum. Smaller financial contributions were made by the University of Stirling, the University of Strathclyde and the University of St Andrews.
The event programme included the keynote presentation by Professor David Clutterbuck, the internationally recognised speaker and writer on the subjects of mentoring, coaching and talent management. There was also a wide range of workshop sessions during the day provided by contributors from the higher education sector, the charity sector and independent consultancy, as well as a session run by the Institute for Leadership and Management.
My own contribution was to run a workshop session about using technology to support mentoring schemes. Drawing on our project to explore this area and concluding with a demonstration of our own data management solution, the workshop was well-attended and produced lots of interest and further potential to collaborate with other institutions.
Conference attendance was more than 80, with representation from 16 Scottish Higher Education institutions, plus delegates from 11 Universities from England, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
The response from delegates was very positive with some of the comments from delegates as follows:
“Mentoring Scotland 2013 was the best staff development events I have been to – extremely well organised, fantastic group of people, excellent use of time and gave me lots of ideas to follow up..”
“ great – well organised and enjoyable…I am leaving brimming with ideas and inspiration and also justification from my practice choices. ..”
“It was good to attend a conference on one topic. It was really focussed and helpful. Enjoyable day. Nice venue.”
“…a really excellent conference. Well worth the journey.”
“an enjoyable and thought-provoking day.”
“Very relaxed and professionally run event.”
“Lots of though-provoking material. Very worthwhile event – organisation was excellent. Going home with an action plan!”
Overall the event went off smoothly, was generally appreciated as a valuable and worthwhile conference, and addressed an important aspect of current development practice in Higher Education in an engaging and relevant way.
The slideshows from the keynote speakers and most of the other contributors are available on the conference webpages at www.vitae.ac.uk/mentoringscotland