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The Intergenerational Mentoring Network (IMN) is designed as a research and development project that has after three years of Big Lottery funding (ending in December 2017), produced a research-informed model of mentoring capable of being replicated in other schools and across the UK.  In 2018 we established IMN as a Community Interest Company (Cic). 

Intergenerational mentoring is gaining momentum as an intervention and our research is being drawn on to help inform and generate other projects at a national level. Our research is concerned with the usefulness of mentoring, the forms and practices it needs to adopt and, crucially, identification of and a detailed understanding of the processes by which  young people from working-class backgrounds are placed at a disadvantage, as they seek progression into higher education and employment.

A research-informed examination of intergenerational mentoring illuminates more precisely the reality of inequality and the ways in which some young people may struggle to engage with institutions and institutional processes with which their more socio-economically advantaged peers are more familiar and less intimidated.

Our work at the University of Strathclyde has advanced the ways in which intervening in widening participation to higher education and supporting retention of these students whilst at University can be informed, developed and progressed through research.

A further strand of our work recruits reading mentors to support children in primary schools. The literacy element of our work is developed in collaboration with Professor Sue Ellis and Viv Smith from the University of Strathclyde. It focuses not just on how children think and talk about texts but how they see themselves as learners.


Wilson, A., & Hunter, K. (2023). Access and Emergence: A Case Study of a Working-Class Journey into Studying Medicine, Scottish Educational Review (published online ahead of print 2023). doi:

Wilson A, Hunter K, McArthur, K. (2018) Intergenerational Mentoring and Widening Participation in Higher Education. A “Policy Brief” published by the University of Strathclyde’s International Public Policy Institute (IPPI).

HUNTER, K., WILSON, A. & MCARTHUR, K. 2018. The role of Intergenerational Relationships in Challenging Educational Inequality: Improving Participation of Working-Class Pupils in Higher Education. Journal of Intergenerational Relationships, 16, 5-25.

MCARTHUR, K., WILSON, A. & HUNTER, K. 2016. Mentor suitability and mentoring relationship quality: lessons from the Glasgow Intergenerational Mentoring Network. Journal of Community Psychology.

WILSON, A., HUNTER, K., SPOHRER, K., BRUNNER, R. & BEESLEY, A. 2014. Mentoring into higher education: A useful addition to the landscape of widening access to higher education? Scottish Educational Review, 46, 18-35.


Hunter, K. , Wilson, A., McArthur, K.  The Role of Research & Innovation in Developing Interventions to Support Working-Class Access to Higher Education and the Professions: Poster Presentation. European Center for Evidence-Based Mentoring, 11th May 2017  Leeuwarden, The Netherlands

Wilson, A,. Hunter, K., McArthur, K., Wurthmann, S. How intergenerational mentoring can reduce inequality in Scotland. Generations Working Together National Conference, 2 March 2016

WILSON, A. & HUNTER, K. Understanding the role of peer group social networks in the attainment of high achieving pupils attending a school serving an area of social disadvantage. British Educational Research Association, 8 September 2011 Institute of Education, University of London.


Wilson, A., Hunter, K. and Gillies, K. (2020) Hass Impact Prize, Outstanding Impact for Society, University of Strathclyde

Wilson, A. & Hunter, K. June 2018. ARK Ageing Programme Visiting Fellows Scheme, Queen’s University Belfast

Hunter, K. (2017) Scottish Graduate School of Social Sciences Impact Knowledge Exchange Competition 2017. The award recognises the ways in which Katie’s PhD research has helped shape the development of our project and impacted on the the wider mentoring community.