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First Year: Engagement and Empowerment

The work of the First Year Enhancement Theme began in Autumn 2005. It focused on the nature and purposes of the first year in higher education and how students can be engaged and empowered in their learning.

A key question considered was 'What do we really want students to gain from their first year in higher education?'

The overview of the Theme's work concluded with a list of strategic challenges to:

  • produce an explicit strategy for the first year
  • shift resources into an increased provision for the first year
  • improve the quality of the data about the first-year experience
  • raise the status of first-year teaching
  • define the overarching learning outcomes of the first year as 'academic literacy'.