This Spotlight

This spotlight story features three of the many peer mentoring programs at UQ:

1) Peer Assisted Student Support (PASS) for Chemistry 

2) O to 4 Mentor Program 

3) ZOOM Peer Mentoring.

Peer mentoring programs positively contribute to student life at UQ, support better student understanding and learning, and build a strong community within UQ.

How does it fit in the Student Strategy?






Initiative 2: Create a program of peer-to-peer, staff, alumni and industry mentors that supports students from application to graduation. 

What's in it for students?

Friendships, improved learning and enhanced employability!

Peer Mentoring gives students the opportunity to establish new friendships while learning from those who have already completed a course. It also provides a platform for students to share the wealth of knowledge about student life at UQ. Once experienced with a mentee role, students may be eligible to become a mentor - a UQ advantage potential future employers will recognise.

What's in it for staff?

Peer Mentoring fosters an understanding and solidifying of academic concepts; supporting students to learn and reducing demand on academic staff. Peer Mentoring is a key focus of the Student Strategy. Understand how you could integrate peer mentoring into your course or program by talking to current course leaders. 


The University of Queensland believes in the importance of Peer Mentoring. So much so that it is a key part of the Student Strategy. Peer Mentoring provides new UQ students with the invaluable opportunity to learn from experienced UQ students, and gives experienced UQ students a chance to enhance their employability by developing their mentoring and leadership skills. This sharing of knowledge makes a difference; facilitating a sense of belonging at UQ. As part of the Student Strategy, UQ has invested in Peer Mentoring initiatives to develop and extend programs institution-wide. Read on for stories from staff and students who have been involved in some of UQ’s key Peer Mentoring programs, and watch this space for updates on new programs.

Students: See the full list of Peer Mentoring programs available here.

PASS Peer Mentoring 

Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) is a program that provides first year students access to 2nd or 3rd year students who have already completed their first year courses. PASS is a weekly, voluntary, and interactive study session for small groups of first year students. Students are given the opportunity to collaborate in small groups, socialise, ask questions and seek information from their peers and from the PASS mentors. PASS is run by numerous courses and provides both mentors and mentees with fantastic learning tools.

For more information on Chemistry PASS, click here.

Hear from students involved in the Chemistry PASS program in the video below. 

Other faculties within UQ offer fantastic PASS opportunities specific to their course.

Courses offering PASS sessions:

Chemistry (CHEM1090, CHEM1100, CHEM1200, CHEM1221, CHEM1222)

Economics (ECON1010, ECON1020, ECON1310, ECON1050)

School of Earth and Environmental Sciences (GEOS1100, PLAN1001, ENVM1501, ERTH1000, GEOS1100, GEOG1000, GEOM1000, ERTH1000)

Students: To become a PASS mentor, you must be an engaging and enthusiastic 2nd or 3rd year student, who has previously obtained a high mark for the course that you wish to tutor. To find out more email your school administration team or follow this link.

Staff: For ideas on how to set up PASS in your course or school, please contact one of the following staff Effie Kartsonaki (Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences), Matt Rice (Earth & Environmental Sciences), Lesley Lluka or Judit Kibedi (Biomedical Sciences).

O to 4 Mentor Program

The O to 4 Mentor program pairs senior student mentors - essentially, students who have already experienced and overcome the ‘uni life newbie’ struggles - with UQ’s new first year students. This peer mentor program runs from Orientation Week to week 4, and gives new students the best start on their journey through university. The O to 4 mentors create a friendly and supportive environment to assist students with navigation, goal setting and social connection as well as introducing them to their faculty and school. The program runs at St Lucia, Herston and Gatton campuses. Students who have completed at least one semester at UQ are encouraged to apply to be an O to 4 mentor.

The O to 4 Mentor Program aims to:
1) Build a sense of belonging at UQ through Peer Mentoring
2) Create opportunities for students to enhance and demonstrate their employability through Peer Mentoring and community development projects.

“The O to 4 Mentor Program is a mentor program created for new UQ students by established UQ students in partnership with UQ Student Services. As O to 4 Mentors, we aim to connect with new students, guide them through O Week to Week 4, share with them our UQ life hacks, so that from day one, they know they belong at UQ. We worked with a group of six UQ students who are experienced mentors from other programs at UQ. Together we shaped what the program would try to achieve.The partnership process has been great professional development for me as a staff member, too. I’m learning a lot about our community and our people and above all, it’s been fun.”  - Malindri Lujanski, O to 4 Mentor Program Coordinator Read more from Malindri here.


Above: Students work together to brainstorm on the O to 4 Mentor Program in a two hour interactive 'Think Tank' workshop

The 2017 semester 2 pilot for O to 4 Mentor Program is now complete, having had input from over 50 students. The program will be expanded to Herston and Gatton campuses across 2018.  

Students, find out more about how to survive the first crucial weeks of university and staff find out how to give new students the best possible start at university life by tuning in to the below podcast. Students, apply here to be a part of enhancing student life at UQ!



Thanks to the below students who made significant contributions to the development of the program:

  • Shannon D’Souza – Bachelor of Business Management/Arts
  • Trezor Kabamba – Bachelor of Arts
  • Gareth Clark –  Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)
  • Joseph Lovie-Toon – Bachelor of Advanced Science (Honours)
  • Kyle Britto – Bachelor of Economics
  • Louise Butler - Bachelor of Health, Sport and Physical Education
  • Betty Hawksworth – Bachelor of Health Sciences
  • Gladys Ng – Bachelor of Arts
  • Andrew Liang – Bachelor of Science/Engineering & Diploma in Languages
  • Aishath Leenaz – Bachelor of Health Sciences
  • Yue Bian – Bachelor of Communication
  • Zolboo Batkholboo – Bachelor of Commerce & Information Technology


ZOOM Peer Mentoring

While studying at UQ, living with a disability and/or lived experience of mental illness can pose struggles and barriers. To help new UQ students who identify with this, ‘senior’ student ZOOM mentors are partnered with new students to share their unique set of knowledge. This can range from navigating the campus, to simply communicating a mutual understanding of the struggles and barriers faced when beginning university.

ZOOM aims to focus on three key areas of support: 
1) Practical advice – study tips, navigating university life and insight into programs 
2) Social support – making friends and networking 
3) Matching mentors and mentees to share lived experiences of studying at UQ.

Want to become a ZOOM Peer Mentor? Read the role description and apply here.

Watch the video below to hear about why the ZOOM Peer Mentor program is so important to student life at UQ.












For more information on ZOOM Peer Mentoring please contact Sybilla Wilson, Student Services.

Meet guest writer Sophie Blatcher
Sophie Blatcher is a third year humanities student completing studies in Psychology and Languages. In July 2017, Sophie undertook a student partner role with the Student Strategy Program office (as part of the Students as Partners Pilot program), working in collaboration with the team to create this spotlight story. You can read her blog here. 

"I have had a lot of fun learning about the various peer mentoring programs offered at UQ. Since learning about their added value to UQ student life, I am excited to get on board in 2018! Check out these spotlight stories on some of UQ's newest peer mentoring programs below, and don't forget to get involved!"