Given the Higher Education Statistics Agency's (HESA, 2013) latest gures for the UK, which evidence a 6% decrease in student entry for the academic year 2012/13 compared with 2011/12, it appears timely to consider what students expect to gain from attending university. Such expectations potentially frame their rst year experiences – positively or negatively – which, according to the literature, largely determine performance, with obvious implications for attrition (Upcraft et al. 2005). In the UK, research has positioned the first year experience as being critical for laying down the foundations of academic study and for developing skills in addressing student employability (Ali 2012). Furthermore, research undertaken for the Australian Learning and Teaching council suggests the rst year experience needs to be viewed as 'transition pedagogy', involving an approach that scaffolds and mediates the rst year learning experience, aiming to support student engagement, success and retention (Kift and Nelson 2005). This paper considers the qualitative ndings from an online pre- and post- entry student survey during the academic year 2012/2013, one of the aims of which was to examine student expectations of what they hoped to gain from attending university in the UK. The methodology adopted an interpretivist stance with the use of constructivist grounded theory (adapted from the work of Charmaz 2006), in order to explore the research question: 'What do you expect to gain from attending university?'
How to Cite:
Alderson D. & Hall C. & Latreille P., (2014) “Transition and the First Year Experience: University Students' Expectations”, Wales Journal of Education 17(1).