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Student Transition And Retention

(The STAR Project)


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Dr Tony Cook
Project Leader
University of Ulster
Cromore Road
N. Ireland
BT52 1SA

Tel: +44 028 7032 4453


SEDA Meeting SI/ PASS presentation

Student Transition

Social and academic expectations of and by students change as they move into and through Higher Education. Students need to adapt rapidly and institutions need to address these changing needs as student populations become more diverse. There is widespread evidence and agreement that, in particular, the transfer from schools, FE Institutions or other HE Institutions into university, even internally between courses, can be a difficult time for students. Therefore in these transition periods there needs to be adequate support for these students and additional support for those most affected by the change in their academic and social lives.

The critical points to consider in the transition process are:

  • Adapting to changes in academic teaching and expectations.
  • Adapting to changes in social lives, living more independently, a new circle of peers.

However there are many stages of transition within the University experience such as pre and post placement or entrants into Year 2 or Final Year and these student groups need support in adapting or re-adapting to changes in expectations and their learning experience.

The STAR Project

This project addresses student needs at a variety of stages:

The aims of the project are to:

  • Identify the purpose of induction and introductory activities
  • Identify good practice i.e. those activities that fit the purpose
  • Disseminate this good practice through publications, a web site and workshops
  • Promote innovation through a phase of project funding
  • Monitor the impact of changed practices

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Last Updated 30 October, 2009