Indlela ibuzwa kwabaphambile

Introduction and Background

The Advancement and Alumni Relations Directorate is pleased to announce the establishment of the DUT Alumni Mentorship Programme. The necessity for such a programme requires no motivation since the benefits and positive outcomes of mentorship are well-documented in the literature. Mentorship can serve as a key developmental aspect of an individual both personally and professionally. It can contribute to both emotional and intellectual development. It can also, inter alia, serve as a networking gateway that could potentially introduce the mentee to a variety of career opportunities through introductions made by the mentor. It thus provides many opportunities for growth, positive development, shaping of the appropriate mindset for success and overall improvement of attitudes and behaviour in the mentee. Mentors also benefit from this experience because one can also sharpen their leadership, life-coaching and guidance skills.

Being a University that wishes to contribute towards the empowerment of our people, both students and alumni in this case, we have initiated this programme wherein selected DUT Alumni would be afforded the opportunity to give back and contribute towards mentoring the next generation of leaders by mentoring current DUT students.

Prior to this, there has been no formal mentorship programme at DUT and yet we believe this is a crucial component to ensuring that we provide the best possible opportunities for our students in terms of positive youth development. There are many psychological benefits to mentoring as well for both the mentor and mentee that would go a long way in improving the chances of success of our students. This would also go towards even addressing the issue or work preparedness and thus possibly improving graduate employability.


The programme is managed and administered through the Advancement and Alumni Relations office. Through our existing database of Alumni, especially those who have signed up and registered on our new DUT CONNECT online platform who have indicated their willingness to help as mentors, we identify suitable candidates as a starting point. The office then confirm s their willingness to take on mentoring a student before attempting to match them with a student mentee.

We also identify suitable/appropriate student mentees to participate in the programme. We put a call out to the faculties and departments inviting students of a particular profile to submit applications and must motivate how and why they believe they could benefit from a mentorship programme. Successful candidates are then matched with identified mentors.

We then match mentors with students in the same or similar field of study and profession so that there is some synergy and common interest.

  • The primary beneficiaries of this programme are DUT students and DUT alumni.


The mentorship programme is structured in the following way:

  • The office matches both mentor and mentee;

  • Shares the profiles of the mentor with mentees and vice versa;

  • If after reviewing the profiles both parties are happy to proceed;

  • The office then makes the introductions and provides each of the participants with each other’s provided and agreed to contact details;

  • Both mentor and mentee are expected to sign the code of conduct and agree to adhere to it;

  • Once the introductions are made, it is left up to the mentor and mentee to draft a plan of the frequency of meetings but propose  meetings are held at least once every two months;

  • The office provides a guideline in terms of the areas that both mentors and mentees can work on that would constitute critical success factors of the programme;

  • The office will check-in on the mentor and mentee at least once every six months by requesting each to complete a short electronic survey to gauge the extent to which the mentorship programme is adding value and is beneficial to both the mentor and mentee;

  • The office would also be available to deal with any issues or matters/issues that may arise out of the relationship that require intervention;

  • The mentor and mentee should commit to the programme for at least one 12-month period, however, ideally, the “journey” may and should continue beyond this;

  • At the end of a formal mentor-mentee relationship, the office would conduct a final assessment to gauge or determine the extent to which the critical success factors have been achieved;

  • The students must, in their motivations demonstrate a willingness and strong desire to be mentored as well as an understanding of what mentorship entails from a commitment perspective;

  • The students must also demonstrate academic potential and commitment to their studies which will be measured by academic performance – an aggregate of 60% will be the minimum requirement;

  • Students must also demonstrate a willingness and ability to set aside some time at least once every two months to meet with the mentor either physically (depending on restrictions and covid-19 protocols) or virtually (Zoom/MS Teams/Skype etc.);

  • The students must be in either second, third or final year of study. No first year students will be permitted to participate.

  • Mentors would have to have spent a minimum of five years in employment or self- employment as a business owner/entrepreneur;

  • Must demonstrate some leadership experience in either their professional environment (manager/senior manager etc.) or within various structures of their community;

  • Mentors must be committed and confirm an ability to dedicate time to meet at least once every two months with the mentor.

  • Establish and commit to the modes of communication to be used (email/mobile phone or landline/text messaging/Skype/teleconferencing/face-to-face sessions);

  • Establish and commit to the permitted times for these communications;

  • Establish and commit to the date, time, length and frequency of sessions;

  • Establish and commit to a suitable location for the scheduled sessions;

  • Respect the time and resources of both the mentor and mentee;

  • Agree on clear, appropriate and culturally sensitive boundaries to govern all interactions, physical or otherwise;

  • Avoid any inappropriate interactions and unsuitable conduct towards each other, such as sexual harassment, soliciting funds or financial support, or disrespecting personal and professional boundaries;

  • Create a safe space for all communications and conduct;

  • Treat all information gathered in the process of the mentorship relationship as strictly confidential1.




The objective of any mentorship programme should be overall, personal and professional development and thus the overall critical success factor to be assessed intermittently and at the end of the formal mentorship journey will be:

  • Career development, in the form of guidance on how to become a successful professional/business owner/ entrepreneur;

  • Linked to career development is the mentor’s ability to assist in providing guidance to the mentee in making the transition from student, to graduate, to employee or entrepreneur;

  • Academic support and guidance is another success factor – there would be an expectation that students receiving mentorship should improve in their academic performance as a result of the positive psychological and practical guidance and encouragement from the mentor;

  • The development of emotional intelligence and personal development is also an area that the mentorship programme should positively impact.

  • Over and above the personal feeling of having contributed positively to the life of a student, the office will provide each mentor who successfully completes a 12-month cycle of mentorship with a certificate of recognition as a distinguished mentor in the programme;

  • The mentors would be featured in the DUT Connect magazine as ambassadors of the DUT Envision 2030 strategy by contributing towards improving lives and livelihoods;

  • Special invitation to the graduation ceremony of the respective mentee and other key and special DUT events.

Proposed Programme Implementation

Targeted Beneficiaries

Programme structure and modality

Criteria for Students

Criteria for Mentors

Code of Conduct

Critical Success Factors

Benefits for the Mentor

Watch the launch Webinar video