English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm wanting to find out whats the difference between mentor, tutor and professor in a University context in the UK?

Also would mentor be a one-to-one ratio with a student or could it be one-to-many. Tutor I suppose would be a one-to-many ratio.

Any help greatly appreciated.

share|improve this question

At Oxford and Cambridge, tutors teach students in small groups, sometimes individually. The system isn't quite the same elsewhere. Professors are heads of academic departments. Mentors are not formally appointed in British universities, as far as I know, but in other organizations they are people who look after those who have newly joined an organization or who are having difficulties within it.

share|improve this answer
The first sentence is only half correct. At Oxford, tutors teach students in small groups. At Cambridge, supervisors teach students in small groups and tutors are pastoral / non-academic advisors and people to whom the students can turn for help. – Peter Taylor Oct 15 '11 at 21:43
Forgive an Oxonian's ignorance of what goes on in the fens of East Anglia. – Barrie England Oct 16 '11 at 6:06

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.