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Mentoring in the Nigerian academia: experiences and challenges

DE Okurame International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring 2008

Using qualitative and quantitative measures, this study explores the mentoring experiences and challenges among 48 members of the academic staff in a Nigerian university social science faculty, where the mission was to enhance the skills of academic staff members through mentoring programmes. The findings of the survey revealed that the few existing mentoring relationships are informal and were developed on the basis of similarity of research interests, initial delegation of work activity by mentors to their protégés, the delegation of conference/workshop attendance by mentor to protégés, inclusion of protégés in research projects and supervision of the protégé’s thesis. Results showed that areas in which mentors have supported their protégés include enlistment in group and international research networks, publication, counselling and advice, and financial support. The unresponsive attitude of junior academics, the pressure of administrative duties, lack of funds and formal mentor/protégé structures were commonly reported as barriers to mentoring. The implications of these findings for faculty policy formulation, training and effective delivery of mentoring are discussed.

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