Vygo reveals online mentorship academy – TMA

Published 10/02/2021

Mentoring startup Vygo has unveiled its not-for-profit online training initiative The Mentor Academy, which aims to train 100,000 future leaders.

Vygo hopes TMA, which it has developed with an Academic Council of members from 10 education institutions around the US, UK and Australia, will help students and universities around the globe mitigate the student wellbeing impacts of Covid-19.

“It is key that all students have the opportunity to mentor and be mentored, as an essential part of their learning experience”

In 2019, Vygo announced it would commit AUD$100,000 towards the platform to train student mentors, and it says the release is a major milestone in its mission to train 100,000 future leaders.

“We believe that the pandemic has the potential to leave lasting impacts on the lives of students studying through it,” said Ben Hallett, CEO of Vygo.

Along with the Academic Council, the Vygo team wants to “mitigate as many of these impacts by empowering students with skills and knowledge to champion each other”, he continued.

By making the training freely available, it will ensure that institutions have “resources to unlock and empower their full student body to assist in their support efforts”, the company said.

“We believe that through exceptional, scaleable and engaging mentor training, education institutions will be able to activate and empower more of their student community to address challenges such as student experience, success and well-being,” Hallett noted.

“In the process, we will also help student mentors gain invaluable leadership and employability skills, which will have flow-on effects for the broader society. Our vision is to train and empower hundreds of thousands of students.”

Members of the Academic Council include senior leaders, academics and experts from the UK’s University of Middlesex and University of Glasgow, and the University of Minnesota in the US.

Members from Australia hailed from Macquarie University, TAFE QLD, Torrens University, Griffith University, RMIT University and UNSW.

“In today’s higher education landscape, it is key that all students have the opportunity to mentor and be mentored, as an essential part of their learning experience,”said Jonathan Shaw, director, Disruptive Media Learning Lab, Coventry University Group and member of The Mentor Academy Academic Council.

“To truly achieve impact, mentoring training needs to happen at scale.”

Vygo has also pledged to reach one million unique students via its “Champion” mentors by 2023. TMA will be important to reach those students, the company indicated, as it “will create the world’s best online mentor training for university students”.

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