Every University runs some variation on a peer mentoring scheme, and the benefits are widely recognised. Engaging students with their course and campus life, enhancing their academic abilities, supporting their welfare, all through one simple process: connecting them together. But the problem? It just isn’t reasonable to expect the generation who express emotion through emoticons, check their bank balance using their thumbprint and find love by swiping right on an app to engage with this face to face contact in the same way that they would have done twenty years ago. As a result, University peer mentoring schemes are no longer having the desired impact. Student engagement, retention and, critically, satisfaction are suffering; not because staff aren’t trying their best, but because they’re just not communicating with students in the way that they’re used to. As a result, students sit in silence, and University support goes ignored.
Tyfy.co wants to change this. The online peer mentoring platform for Universities, Tyfy matches students based on course and module, so that younger students can access bespoke academic support to help them settle into University life, and older students are provided with a metric to display their academic knowledge, soft skills and employability… all from the comfort of their phones. Older students don’t have time for an awkward meeting with a first year, but they do have the time to answer a quick question on their phone and earn a review demonstrating their communicative and academic aptitude. Most younger students are far too scared to walk up to a final year and talk about their problems (academic or otherwise), but behind the comfort of a screen they’re far more willing to admit they need help – and Tyfy makes sure they get it.
‘Tyfy.co was founded in response to the need to connect students to each other, but has grown into a software platform that helps them to also connect to their University.’
James Doherty, Founder
Tyfy is currently working with Nottingham University Business School, and during a trial year there has developed into more than just a matching algorithm for mentors, but a companion to help students navigate University life. Now, as well as the obvious academic, social and welfare support generated by connecting them with their peers, students are being encouraged to connect to their University. Working with students within the business school has shown their desire to engage with University services – once they know that they’re available. Tyfy refers students back to all the amazing services already on offer within Universities, from mental health support to careers fairs, and makes sure they have access to all the help available. Even more significantly, it’s an extra point of contact for University staff. Tyfy’s group chat functionality enables staff to track common issues in real time, and solve them when they matter, rather than waiting for module evaluation forms at the end of term, when it’s too late to make a difference. Quality monitoring means potentially at risk students can be supported before they reach crisis level.
“…It allows us to create a platform that will work to improve the communications within the student groups and between the school and the students.”
Jackie Andrews, Skills and Development Manager, Nottingham University Business School, University of Nottingham.
Now, Tyfy is expanding rapidly throughout UK Universities in the hope of reaching every student in need of support. A connected campus is a safe, thriving and happy campus, and one every student deserves to be a part of.