SI-PASS in Europe
The first European SI-PASS programme was established at Kingston University in England in 1991, two decades after it was introduced at the University of Missouri Kansas City in USA. Three years later, SI-PASS was adopted in Engineering and Science at Lund University, Sweden, as a way to raise the quality in education. Thereafter, SI-PASS has steadily grown, primarily in northern Europe. At present, there are some 70 Higher Education Institutes in eight countries with SI-PASS schemes (England, Germany, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Norway, Scotland, Sweden and Wales). However, with supervisors trained recently from Belgium, Spain, Cyprus and Turkey it is likely that an expansion southwards will happen in the near future.
There is a great variation in the SI-PASS programmes in Europe, which is a strength when growing the SI-PASS community. Some are quite small with one supervisor, a handful of Leaders and SI-PASS attached to a single subject. Others are huge with 10+ supervisors, several hundreds of leaders and where SI-PASS is attached to 100+ courses in all subject areas.
An idea of the total size of SI-PASS in Europe can be obtained from the following estimates:
- there are ~250 trained supervisors actively involved in the SI-PASS programmes,
- more than 5,000 SI-PASS leaders are employed each year,
- there are ~1,300 courses supported by SI-PASS each year,
- the number of students attending at least one time per year is ~70,000 (~60 % of those having access to SI-PASS),
- the number of contact hours is ~700,000 during an academic year. (Contact hours are the total number of hours students visit sessions during a year).
Examples of goals that are achieved in the European SI-PASS programmes include
- higher student performance,
- improved communication and leadership skills as well as increased employability for Leaders,
- increased confidence for new students with regard to the student support the HEI gives
- improved learning experience for students,
- teachers are provided with valuable information from Leaders on areas the students struggle with,
- improves and reduces questions from students to teachers.