Qualitative Lab Report - Exploring the transition to university and the experiences encountered in the first year.

Essay by xjennaxUniversity, Bachelor's May 2006

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This exploration of the transition to university and the experiences of a first year student used a qualitative research process including a repertory grid and a semi-structured interview. Polly was asked questions on her feelings towards the experiences she has encountered moving to university and there were several prominent themes underlying her answers. The study supported previous findings that the unfamiliar setting and experiences cause stress and difficulty for first year students and that the feeling of loneliness is heightened by the class divisions of students. The interview also provided a possible solution to some of the stress experienced by first year students. The lack of motivation and organisation seemed to be her downfall and correcting/improving these in further education may improve the experiences that students have of higher education and the transition to it. The semi-structured interview was a too short and focussed on Polly experiences since being at university and not the transition to it.

Adapting the study to eliminate these limitations would create a great exploration of the topic adding to the vast exploration in this area which already exists.

Introduction/Literature Review

The rapidly increasing number of applicants to higher education in the last ten years has created a surge in the amount of research into the expectations, motivations and experiences of university students. Much of the past research into this area has specifically focused on the transition to university in an attempt to identify problem areas, which if identified and eliminated would cause the drop-out rate of first year students to decrease. This seems the most beneficial focus for research in this area and has been chosen as the main topic for this study. Although the main focus being the problems or difficulties faced during the transition to university and the first year experiences...