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Taimane - Academic Mentoring Programme for Pacific Islands Students


Set up in 2003, the Academic Mentoring Programme is run and coordinated by the Centre and the academic divisions, and is aimed at helping Pacific students succeed and maximise their full potential while at Otago. Just as the Taimane as four sides - so does the academic mentoring programme. Students are contacted four times (4 phases) during the Semester to ensure they are settling in and coping well with their studies. It is about managing the transition period well from home and school to living on campus and driving one's own studies. All Pacific students are encouraged to actively engage in the Taimane Academic Mentoring Programme, especially first year students.

Taimane 2016 Welcome

What is academic mentoring?

  • It is about studying smart and getting the most out of University;
  • Studying means excellence - not just passing;
  • All students will be allocated an academic mentor to help guide them with their subjects, courses and career aspirations;
  • Final year students will be mentored by our graduates in the workforce to help them find that perfect job;
  • Mentoring is available to undergraduate and postgraduate students.

How the programme works:

Taimane DiamondThe Taimane Academic Mentoring Programme is a four-phase wrap around academic mentoring service provided by the Pacific Islands Centre. In collaboration with the academic tutorial programme, Taimane ensures that students maintain contact with support staff and are receiving culturally appropriate and targeted support. Pacific students will meet with staff four times a semester, aimed at:

  1. Transitioning students into the University environment: Pacific Orientation Week programmes including First Year Orientation Fono.
  2. Checking back-in with students in the first few weeks: How’s it going?

  3. Touching base with students after their first assignment and implementing appropriate support structures: After the first assignment /assessment.

  4. Ensuring students are prepared for exams and touching base with them before the semester ends

Register to take part in the programme

All Pacific Islands students are encouraged to access this programme by filling out the Academic Mentoring registration form.

Academic Mentors

Who are the Academic Mentors?

Academic Mentor Training Group photo  2015

Taimane 2015 Mentors at Training

  • Academic Mentors (AMs) are staff members and senior students who are successful individuals and have shown they are capable of taking on extra responsibility while completing their own courses of study. These individuals have shown academic capability and are doing well. Some are graduates who are in successful careers. We are fortunate to also have some academic staff who have volunteered to be mentors.
  • The AMs are selected by the Centre and the academic Divisions.
  • The AMs will not be paid a salary for their services, but the Centre can provide Certificates of Merit co-signed by the Manager of the Centre and the appropriate Pro-Vice-Chancellor (or his/her representative), plus a gift at the end of the academic year.
  • AMs are chosen from successful candidates across the academic disciplines and are not solely individuals who are of Pacific Islands descent.
  • AMs will meet one day a month for ongoing training and to offer support to one another. These meetings will be arranged by the Centre in consultation with the AMs. Meetings are to be fun and relaxed and to be held in an informal atmosphere.

Why become an Academic Mentor?

  • Success;
  • The rewards are endless and often the mentors end up learning more than the mentees;
  • To create a successful society of knowledge engineers and future leaders;
  • To contribute to a healthy society;
  • To become a positive role model;
  • Good training for future career opportunities.

It looks great on your CV too!