What this research is about

The Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT) has funded new, collaborative research into commencing university students’ expectations and experiences of university study in South Australia.

The research project, A Collaborative Multi-faceted Approach to Address the Gaps Between Student Expectation and Experience at University, aims to understand the issue of school to university transition from many points of view.

Research has so far involved surveying commencing South Australian university students to learn what they expect from university life. Students are currently being surveyed and asked to tell us their expectations of university life, this year we are conducting the survey after orientation week, to gauge its effect on student expectations. We have also surveyed high school teachers and lecturers of first year students.

Schools who have become involved with the project will be updated as to the project’s progress and will receive results that can be used in tertiary preparation programs.

Other aims of the current project are to:

  • Provide a common forum for school teachers, university academics and professional staff
  • Expand existing pilot studies to all three universities in SA as well as the secondary school sector
  • Understand the interaction between a student’s expectations, experiences, entrance scores and grades
  • Better prepare students for transition by widely communicating the results of the study
  • Develop working relationships between universities (academic and administrative areas) and high schools
  • Produce an evidence base for expectations and experiences of students during transition and utilise it to support and develop current transition strategies

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