Learning isn’t achieved in a vacuum. This is an experience that most university students quickly discover, and in a time of global lockdowns, a shared learning and mentoring experience is more valuable than ever.

This is the impetus behind the PASS@UNE program. PASS@UNE is an academic assistance program with a focus on traditionally difficult units that students are likely to encounter early in their studies. PASS stands for Peer Assisted Study Sessions and aims to support learning through student facilitated study sessions and contributing to a sense of belonging to the UNE community.

PASS involves regularly-scheduled, out-of-class, peer facilitated study sessions which are open to all students and are attended on a voluntary basis. These sessions are run weekly for specific units usually as a 1 hour shared study session; they are held online via Zoom so that a combination of on-campus and online students can attend.

The PASS@UNE leaders who facilitate these sessions are UNE students who performed well in the subject in the previous year. The PASS@UNE leaders help students explore study strategies as they review content material. By attending PASS, students have an opportunity to and engage with the unit material, helping them feel connected through their studies and drive away some of the isolation of studying alone.

What’s more is that in Tri 2 PASS@UNE will be bigger than ever. When the program started in T1 last year it consisted of 10 units, but it will now support 53 units across UNE’s three faculties and during Trimester 2, there will be over 50 PASS@UNE sessions delivered every week. Here are just some of the things that previous PASS participants and leaders have said about the program:

“I love the collaboration with other students. Exchanging viewpoints and despite living on the other side of the world, I feel connected to the course and the content.”

“It helps me feel less alone and shows me that I am just like every other student when it comes to not knowing everything or being confused by certain information.”

“As an online student, is it a valuable opportunity to collaborate and connect with UNE on a more personal level.”

If students are trying to find out if their study units are supported by PASS@UNE, they can check their Moodle site, unit forum posts, or ask their Unit Coordinators to find out.