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PASS Leaders from across Europe attend Manchester conference

14 Nov 2018

From 2 until 4 November, Peer Support in collaboration with the University of Manchester’s Student’s Union and the European Centre for SI-PASS hosted the 9th Annual European SI-PASS/PAL Conference

PASS conference

It is an annual celebration of the PASS (Peer Assisted Study Session) model implemented in different universities internationally and a chance for staff and students delegates from different institutions to share good practice.

This year, we chose eight student delegates from across all three faculties to act as representatives for the University who came together with delegates from other institutions to work on a series of interlinked team challenges, based around the theme ‘Empowering Leaders of the Future: Who Will We Bee?’

As well as having a visionary leadership theme, the conference also incorporated the symbol of the Manchester worker bee - a symbol of tenacity, resilience and community to help shape our programme. 

Professor Clive Agnew, Vice President for Teaching, Learning and Students, welcomed all of our 140 staff and student delegates to the conference and commented: "It was a great pleasure to be invited to say a few words at the conference. This was attended by students and staff who act as PASS leaders or support these activities from across the UK and further afield.

"I was reminded that our peer support programme has been established for over 20 years and has supported a generation of students, starting with chemistry and now embracing all our academic schools. At a time when there is ever growing awareness of the difficulties some students face over their transition into higher education and growing concern over student mental health and wellbeing, it is equally recognised a key part of a complex solution is the support that can be provided to students by their peers. Each year I have the privilege of presenting prizes at our annual peer support celebration evening. It is always humbling learning how much support students are willing to give each other."

The PASS model at Manchester sees 900 PASS Leaders supporting lower year students in weekly timetabled study sessions. These academic-focused study sessions are facilitated by two higher year trained PASS Leaders who are from the same degree programme as the lower year attendees. Each PASS Leader receives 11 hours of training, and ongoing support and development to ensure a quality model and great experience for both our Leaders and attendees. PASS is delivered by the Teaching and Learning Support Office, part of the Directorate for the Student Experience