What are the major issues facing students in the transition to tertiary study? How should students and universities respond to these?
Education is one of the most important factors in improving people's lives. Most children go through the compulsory primary and secondary education, and many of them then go on to tertiary studies to pursue careers and develop their interest further. Many students who start tertiary studies face issues when going through the transition of high school to tertiary education. These issues are usually related to change and adjustments into tertiary settings. If a student completes their first year without any problems, they have conquered more than half the battle (McMillan 2005:6). First year students are more prone to academic failures (McInnis and James 2001:6) and are more likely to withdraw or defer tertiary studies compared to other students.
According to the findings from a decade of National Studies on first year experience in Australian universities, students face a variety of major issues when transiting into tertiary studies.
It identified the areas of change and uncertainty in the first year, expectations and adjustments to university study, managing commitments, student's perception of teaching and course satisfaction as major issues. (Krause 2005:5). The majority of first year students surveyed for this study felt unprepared for university studies and about a third of the students surveyed felt they were not ready to choose a university course (Krause, 2005:24). This shows that the services provided is insufficient to ease the transition between secondary education and tertiary education. Secondary schools can play an enormous role in guiding and making sure that students are taught the necessary skills required before entering tertiary study. School career councillors can assist students with choosing courses and institution (McMillan 2005:6). Students could attend university open days to enquire about...