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Mind the Gap? College Students’ Experience of University

Date: October 18 - 2023

Seven aspects of transition that could be managed more effectively to ease students moving between college and university are identified in a ‘first’ for the Enhancement Themes.

The first college-led Enhancement Themes collaborative cluster has now published its findings. Led by the City of Glasgow College, ‘Mind the Gap? College Students’ Experience of University’ sought to gain understanding of student and staff experiences of learning and teaching in transition between college and university.

Drawing on a published literature review and student-led focus group work, the cluster’s recommendations include an emphasis on seven aspects of practice: signposting, student-staff interactions, student confidence, cultural perceptions, independent learning, mandatory study, and academic writing.

As colleges and universities seek greater alignment in a tertiary sector landscape, focusing on the transition between college and university continues to be essential.

Dr Derek Robertson (Director of Student Experience) the cluster leader said:

‘It’s been great to be able take up this opportunity from QAA Scotland, leading on this enhancement work; the first collaborative cluster to be led by a Scottish college. Working collaboratively with universities, with students and staff, gives us a sense of the benefits of closer partnership working that will come through a tertiary quality approach. The findings of the cluster will support continued emphasis on supporting student success as students move between college and university.’

Read the collaborative cluster reports to find out what changes you can make to support student success. 

If you are interested in student transitions, take a look at resources from the Student Transitions Enhancement Theme, particularly the recently updated Transitions Skills and Strategies resources. You might also be interested in the transitions work from session 2021-22, which includes a webinar recording featuring secondary school pupils.