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Step-up Project (DfE)

Northern Ireland Office, Dep of Economy and St Mary's University logos


St Mary’s University College has secured funding from DfE’s Step-Up Project for the academic years 2023-2024 and 2024-2025. The objective of the funding is to support students who face barriers to engage and participate fully in educational opportunities and skills development to support the Department’s strategic plans for a 10x Economy.

Student Support Mentoring Programme

The College has used the funding to launch a Student Support Mentoring Programme.

Support Mentors meet with learners who are considered in need of support. Specific needs are identified and plans devised detailing the support each learner will receive. Support Mentors liaise with the Coordinator for Student Guidance and Support and refer learners to College Support Tutors when appropriate. Support Tutors consider the nature of referrals from mentors to offer tailored/bespoke support.


The Coordinator for Student Guidance and Support is responsible for referring students to the Support Mentoring Programme.

Any student who wishes to discuss the support available should contact Deirdre Cree in The Student Support Centre (Room 016.7) or by email at