From further to higher education: Transition as an on-going process

Lyn Tett, Viviene E Cree, Hazel Christie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


This paper argues that transition is not a one-off event that occurs when students first enter universities but is an on-going process that is repeated over time. We draw on qualitative data from a longitudinal project on “non-traditional” students who entered a research-intensive university in Scotland direct from further education colleges. This cohort of 45 was asked about their views on college and university learning in a study that was conducted throughout their time at university; a sub-sample of 15 was then followed up 10 years later. Our data suggest that four significant transitions, or set of critical moments, can be identified: the loss of a sense of belonging on coming to university, learning to fit in by the end of the first year, changing approaches to learning and belonging in the final years of study and changing selves in the years following graduation. At each point, positive relationships with peers and staff made a significant difference to how these transitions were managed. Moreover, the changes experienced continued to have an impact on the personal and professional lives of the cohort.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-406
Number of pages18
JournalHigher Education
Issue number3
Early online date27 Dec 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017


Dive into the research topics of 'From further to higher education: Transition as an on-going process'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this