Direct entrants in transition: becoming independent learners

Hazel Christie, Paul Barron, Norma D'annunzio-green

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This article investigates the dynamic transitions that college leavers make to university. It draws on qualitative research with a group of students who took direct entry to the second or third year of a degree programme at university, to show that successful transitions depend on the students becoming independent learners. It argues that the students who adapt best to the new learning environment are those who understand what independent learning entails, and who are good time managers. While the transitions experienced by direct entrants are comparable to those of students entering the first year of a degree more generally, the article recognises that there are differences. The difficulties experienced by many new students – including learning how the university works – may be exacerbated amongst direct entrants because they have less time in which to adapt to the new regime and their needs are often less visible at the institutional level.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)623-637
    JournalStudies in Higher Education
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2013


    • university transition
    • student learning
    • learning environment
    • first-year experience
    • academic success


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