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The work of the First Year Enhancement Theme began in 2005. It focused on the nature and purposes of the students first year in higher education and how we can engage and empower students in their learning. A key question asked, was 'What should students get out of their first year in higher education?'

Project strands


There were three main strands of work related to the First Year:

  • Institutional engagement focusing on their own approach to issues in the first year
  • six commissioned and two sector-wide studies on key aspects and views of the first year
  • regular sector-level events with a range of international experts.

We published a Theme overview report and a range of commissioned and sector wide reports.

Overview report

Overview of the First Year Enhancement Theme 2006-2008

Publication Date: 09 Feb 2009

Commissioned reports

Curriculum Design for first year 

Publication Date: 17 Jul 2008

Peer support in the first year

Publication Date: 15 Aug 2008

Personalisation of the first year

Publication Date: 04 Mar 2008

Transition to and during first year

Publication Date: 11 Mar 2008

Introducing scholarship skills: Academic writing 

Publication Date: 10 Sep 2008

Personal development planning in the first year

Publication Date: 13 Aug 2008

Transforming assessment and feedback: Enhancing integration and empowerment

Publication Date: 11 Feb 2009

Sector-wide reports

The nature and purposes of first year

Publication Date: 08 Apr 2008

Sharing and reflecting on international experiences and initiatives

Publication Date: 19 Aug 2008

Student expectations, experiences and reflections on first year

Publication Date: 01 Jul 2009