Universiteit Leiden

nl en

Mentors and tutors

The Leiden Study System with binding study advice ensures that first year students are provided with good academic guidance. This guidance is given by tutors and mentors from your faculty or study programme.


A tutor is a lecturer who provides guidance to first year students and helps them acquire important academic skills.


A mentor is an (individual) supervisor who provides advice and helps students find their way, both academically and personally. Your mentor is your first point of contact should your encounter academic or personal problems. If required, he or she can refer you to other individuals or organisations for further assistance, for example study advisers, student counsellors, student psychologists or staff at Plexus Student Centre. Your mentor will be either a lecturer or a senior student.

The bachelor's mentorate

The aim of the Mentorate is to closely follow and support the progress of students during their propaedeutic year to ensure that they pass the propaedeutic exam within a year. This means that any negative factors affecting the study are recognised and if possible resolved.

The reasons for problems relating to studies may lie with the student (study skills, motivation, personal situation, etc.) or with the programme (timetable, presentation, degree of difficulty, etc.).
The mentorate is thus not only important for providing sound study advice, but also for evaluating and adjusting the study programme.

Mentorate groups

Students are allocated in alphabetical order to mentor groups of around 10 people, each with a mentoring lecturer (one of the propaedeutic lecturers) and perhaps a student mentor.

In the first 3 blocks, each group meets weekly for Academic Skills and study support. One or more times a year, the mentoring lecturer also meets each student for a personal interview. A student or lecturer may also request additional interviews.

Besides addressing Academic Skills, these group and individual sessions also look at certain subjects (you can therefore prepare for the sessions) related to the study programme (problem areas), study skills and your social situation. The details are discussed and filled in on a ‘mentorate form’ for the group and a ‘support form’ for the individual student (the so-called ‘dossier’).

The forms are all incorporated in the student's personal digital portfolio. This portfolio provides a basis for preparing counselling interviews and for monitoring students. Students are themselves the owners of the portfolios and are required to update the portfolio several times a year in preparation for a meeting or interview.


  • 1st week of September: individual introductory session to explore how well prepared the student is for the study and if there are any existing personal circumstances which might have a negative impact on the student’s progress
  • September - December: weekly mentorate sessions for academic skills and study support
  • End of January - personal Binding Study Advice (BSA) interview. The advice is based on progress made so far during the study
  • February - March: weekly mentorate session or excursion for academic skills and study support
  • End of June - personal Binding Study Advice (BSA) interview. The advice is based on progress made during the study

Master's: individual supervision for your master's thesis

The norm for individual supervision is 5 meetings between student and first supervisor:

  • Start-up meeting, discussing the topic;
  • Meeting on feedback and discussion of the research plan (before submission of the research proposal);
  • Meeting on feedback on a chapter and thesis outline;
  • Meeting discussing the progress of the research;
  • Meeting on feedback and discussion of the first draft.

See for more information the e-Prospectus.

This website uses cookies. Read