“Moreover, the content-related dimension consists of requirements reflecting discipline-specific approaches (e.g. conventions regarding the academic language, performance and assessment standards), which demand specific academic skills.” (Trautwein & Bosse, 2017: 377)

“For example, there was much uncertainty over outside reading and ‘how we engage with it properly’. Students lacked confidence in their ability to interpret research papers so that ‘getting into a real academic environment, from this point of view, was difficult’.” (Charalambous, 2020: 1425)

“Leese (2010) and Hurst (2015) also discuss how students’ development of linguistic capital is essential for their increasing confidence and success when starting HE. For instance, Hurst (2015, 80) suggests that ‘linguistic capital is measured in the ability of a student to function in the academic literacy domains ... their ability to read and write in academic genres (...)." (Jones et al., 2020 : 40) 

“There is little acknowledgment that: educational institutions are able to determine what values, language and knowledge are regarded as legitimate, and therefore ascribe success and award qualifications on this basis.Consequently, pedagogy is not an instrument of teaching, so much as of socialization and reinforcing status ... individuals who are inculcated in the dominant culture are the most likely to succeed, while other students are penalized (Thomas 2002, 431)”. (Gale & Parker, 2014)

"In addition to the general changes, the style in which students are expected to communicate their knowledge also seemed new to them – potentially making the completion of assessments more challenging. It seems students need to be able to communicate differently to do well in university:
“You know what you want to say, you just don’t know how to communicate it” (Participant 3).
Adopting a new style of writing is likely to be a difficult and potentially stressful task for transitioning students. As noted, they may be required to complete assessments soon after beginning university, and they may have less guidance from lecturers than expected.” (Thompson et al., 2021)

"A difficulty of the students’ transition phase has been the learning of academic skills; specific elements such as writing style, referencing and background reading were discussed. [...] students noted that academic skills in some form provided them with worry surrounding their capability for academic study." (Gill, 2021: 421)

"Students’ need to unlearn particular approaches to studying, for example, ways of reading, note-taking and finding sources.” (Gravett & Winstone, 2021: 1583)

“(...) knowledge provided to students at the university level “are presented mostly in research papers or other texts from researchers that often show opposite points of view” (Baillet, Kahn & Rey, 2021: 14)”.  Students have problems understanding the complexity of contradictory results (Baillet et al., 2021)

"Thinking with the concept of assemblage is useful not simply in encouraging a new focus on how ‘components are intertwined in a multifaceted gathering’ (Bodén 2015) but invites a rethinking of space and time in transitions. Spatially and temporally, T1 and T2 conceptions emphasise transition ‘to’ university and a leaving behind of former places and spaces (usually school or college and the family home), and transition ‘to’ adulthood (although such an understanding has always failed to include those students who enter university as mature students). In addition, transition ‘to’ university requires students to be inculcated into institutional competences, study habits and modes of understanding which are presumed to utilise increasingly sophisticated modes of thinking, analysis and written expression.” (Taylor & Harris-Evans, 2018: 1259 -1260)

"For the new student, the study context at the University is a rupture of the space (Zittoun and Perret-Clemont, 2001) and the time (Gale and Parker, 2014) in comparison with high school, in several elements: the amount of class hours, the sequence of classes, the time passed [in the campus] (...) the amount of time dedicated to study" (Zibanejad-Belin, 2019: 49)

“Furthermore, a lack of timely feedback (not receiving test papers back in time to prepare for the next test) was a great source of distress for many participants: ‘Not getting the test marks to see our mistakes for the exams. We have to go through our mistakes to study.’” (Knoesen & Naudé, 2018: 273-274)

"When I got here, I had no idea how to sign up for classes. I had no idea what I was doing.” (Wasylkiw, 2015:32)

“Finally, administration was another issue students reported to face. For students with disabilities, to be recognised as having some special needs and benefit from official adaptations, they had to complete administrative tasks which were time- consuming and not always well understood. On the other hand, students without disabilities mentioned they were shuffled around the administrative services and reported lots of difficulty in getting relevant answers to their questions. They experienced high levels of stress due to the ambiguity of the system and were left with uncertainties.” (Dangoisse et al., 2020: 519)

“Those who transition well become the ‘in group’ not the ‘out group’; they are able to appreciate the nuances and intonations that make them part of the tribe, part of the university.” (Pollard & Bamford, 2022: 349-350)

"Research suggests that students receive inadequate information prior to entering university, resulting in them making inappropriate decisions regarding their choice of institution and course (Harvey and Drew 2006; Krause et al. 2005; McInnis, James, and Hartley 2000; Yorke 2000)”. (Pennington et al., 2018: 597)

“It aims to enhance students' understanding of the impact of soft skills in their future career as sustainable engineers, and to emphasize the importance of lifelong learning, (...)”. (Rodríguez-Jiménez et al., 2021: 4921)

"(...) students who have transitioned to university from a school environment (where teachers are available and approachable) may be confused and anxious as they realise that university learning is more complex and requires different learning routines - being organised, prepared and planning ahead (Wrench et al 2013, page 736; Morda et al 2007). The changes in the academic environment can lead to feelings of anxiety and stress when thinking about performing well academically as well as worry and lack of confidence when thinking about speaking up in class or presenting in front of peers (Frame et al 2006; Gu et al 2010). Moreover, international students may be baffled or confused by the jargon used by their peers, teachers and academic administrators (Ramachandran 2011, pp 204-207)." (Cheng et al., 2015: 7)

“Participants also made reference to the novel marking/grading style in university. It seems that the different grading style (e.g. 1st, 2:1, etc.) confuses some students, with them unaware of what marks are considered good. This can make it difficult for students to assess how they are progressing – which in turn could contribute to uncertainty." (Thompson et al., 2021: 1402-1403)

“A second major source of uncertainty concerned assessment due to differences and vagueness of marking schemes and the lack of examples compared to school.” (Charalambous, 2020: 1425)

In secondary school, students learn mostly to apply procedures (e.g. in mathematics) other than conceptualising notions. Because of this students need to be accompanied to get the techniques (diagrams, graphics, mind maps, etc.) that will help them conceptualise autonomously. (Bloch, 2006). (Bloch & Ghedamsi, 2006)

"The transition experience into university can be challenging for health profession students as they are required to rapidly learn diverse and adaptable problem solving skills and advanced reflective thinking processes which are necessary to address complex patient-care problems, particularly in the face of uncertainty within a dynamic and rapidly evolving learning environment." (Malau-Aduli et al., 2021)

"A common response (95% of student respondents) which emerged from these surveys was that students felt that geography as a subject became much broader at university, expanding into a wealth of topics, many of which they weren’t aware of when at school, or would not necessarily have associated with geography." (Ferreira, 2018: 376)

"Students were challenged not only by the complexity of their subjects but also by the abundance of content covered in their classes, as in the following quote: ‘I think it was my first lecture on higher mathematics during the very first week. I have had computer science in my A levels, I have had physics and math as/ Well, I had done it all. And then I sat there in higher mathematics and within about 10 minutes the professor went through ALL I had ever heard about math. The lecture went on for 90 minutes and the remaining 80 minutes he only talked about things that I had NEVER even heard of. He even used formula symbols that I had never seen before. And I sat there in the lecture hall and thought: “Oh my GOD! It will go on like this for the rest of your studies’(Int_01/17)." (Trautwein & Bosse, 2017:381)

“In particular, the literature on international students’ experiences of studying in an Anglophone context highlights the linguistic demands they face, reporting for example that international students’ difficulties with speaking are more severe than problems with writing (Berman & Cheng, 2010; Sherry et al., 2010) and that speaking in class discussions and giving presentations are particularly challenging (Berman & Cheng, 2010; Kettle & Luke, 2013; Schweisfurth & Gu, 2009). Similarly, there exists a perceived need for international students to adjust to and fit in with the host community (e.g. Yu & Shen, 2012).” (Dippold et al., 2022)

“These participants also often referred to learning in small groups at pathway colleges, in comparison to much larger groups during lectures at the university, and how it was easier to ask lecturers questions and interact at pathway colleges, whereas at university it was more difficult. This may be interpreted as a socio-cultural issue for students that relates to the different cultures of pathway colleges and universities, and is linked to students’ needs to develop the necessary social, cultural and academic capital and hence institutional habitus during the transition (Leese 2010)." (Jones et al., 2020:45)

“Although students spoke of being aware of the extra effort that would be needed to meet HE academic objectives, in general, we observed a mismatch between expectations and reality. For example, students commented that they experienced higher than expected levels of academic demand as first-year students. As one public university student explained: ‘At the first class, they tell you ‘for next class read this text and bring comments’. It’s the first class! I don’t even know the professor’s name. Also, they send you the syllabus before the semester starts . . . the readings were already given [for the semester], and for the first class the reading of a text was already required.’” (Cifuentes Gomez et al., 2022: 9)

“The sort of whole new world where you get thrust into learning new stuff, hit with exams . . . and coursework straight away and it’s a very different set up to school where you get like sort of force fed information and just regurgitate it and at this point at university you have to start making your mind up, that’s sort of a whole gumbo of factors that makes uni quite a stressful place to be” (Participant 4). [...] Everything is so passive in school. It’s like you get told this, you learn it, you try not to fail your exams, and then people go to uni . . . . People were like ‘oh university will be different’ but they never say how it will be different and then they come here and think that they can just operate as they did in sixth form but it doesn’t work (Participant 2).” (Thompson et al., 2021: 1401-1402)

“As noted by Murtagh (2010), the transition from the highly controlled, teacher-driven learning environment of schools or colleges to university, where the student is responsible for their own learning, is perhaps the biggest challenge for the student." (Hassel & Ridout, 2018: 2)

“However, for students to be able to develop this sense of resourcefulness, they should be equipped with access to the ‘unspoken rules’ or ‘hidden curriculum’ of academia in order to navigate university successfully. The ‘hidden curriculum’ of higher education refers broadly to the societal, educational, or institutional values or norms that are transmitted unconsciously to students (Cotton et al., 2013). Although it has been applied as a pedagogic term to various facets of the student experience (Cotton et al., 2013), here, in the context of transitions to university, it refers to the practices, processes, and values that students are assumed to understand but that are not explicitly taught. To achieve this, students use both ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ knowledge to understand the university context (Slack et al., 2014). ‘Hot’ knowledge about university refers to information acquired ‘through the grapevine’, such as from speaking to peers, second-hand recommendations, and social networks. In contrast, ‘cold’ university knowledge is obtained through ‘official routes’, such as open days, prospectuses, and websites, and is thus typically more constrained and less authentic (Hutchings, 2003).” (Pownall et al., 2022: 9)

“Cultural fit—which can be perceived by students as fitting in at university—is of particular relevance for access to peer networks, where new students not only experience a sense of belonging but also gain valuable study-related information that might not be accessible via the official communication channels. Such networks can be used to acquire so-called informational capital, a crucial element for managing the transition to university. Informational capital refers to the link between a student's study-related information resources and their ability to use them to successfully navigate transitioning to university. It incorporates not only practical knowledge of study-related processes (e.g., course registration) but also the understanding and anticipation of study-related logistics (e.g., how best to organise oneself to ensure academic success and gain access to relevant networks). [...] It is the interface between social capital (e.g., peer networks) and information that makes informational capital so significant because it emphasises the value students attach to such information for navigating through university. Our analysis highlights that informational capital plays a crucial role in managing the transition to university, since it familiarises students with “the rules of the game” (Bourdieu, 1987; Nairz-Wirth & Feldmann, 2018). The first-in-family students we interviewed perceived these rules, and thus also their disciplinary fields at university, to be complex and to lack transparency. They recognised that important aspects of information required for studies in higher education, and many practical details, cannot be obtained via the official university channels." (Lessky et al., 2021:28-29)

“Academic support structures, such as electronic learning platforms, were also experienced as a source of stress, rather than comfort, especially at the beginning of the year.” (Knoesen & Naudé, 2018: 273-274)

"One of the ways to facilitate the transition from secondary school to university consists of sensitising first-year students about the learning paradigm shift and, of guiding them to engage in their course and their learning autonomy development.” (Bournaud et Pamphile, 2021)

“The changing sense of who they are during transition causes a degree of identity struggle (Sveningsson and Alvesson 2003) as they navigate the interaction between their emergent identity and their existing sense of who they are (Baxter and Britton 2001; O’Boyle 2015).” (Brunton & Buckley, 2021)

“For all students, the transition to HE meant much more than discovering a new academic setting. The transition was depicted as a way of becoming adult and autonomous in all the different spheres of life. Students had to distance themselves from their parents and learn to handle things on their own such as medical appointments, shopping, courses and social life.
The transition was therefore both looked forward to and feared. On one hand, students were willing to live their own lives and enjoy their new sense of freedom. On the other, they felt dropped into a new universe they weren’t familiar with and felt alone in having to handle some things they were not used to before.” (Dangoisse et al., 2020: 519-520)

“Challenges related to the identification with the selected study programme are also part of this dimension, as students were required to clarify their choice and interest or to modify their initial expectations regarding the study content. [...] Also included was the challenge “defend study choice”, as some students were faced with concerns among family and friends regarding their choice of an academic career or a certain study programme." (Trautwein & Bosse, 2017: 377)

"It goes from being in high school where you have to ask permission to go to the bathroom, to going to university where you have to do everything for yourself and like make your own doctor’s appointments and buy your own things and make your own schedule and work out all your own time. (student #12)”. (Wasylkiw, 2015: 34)

“Students without disabilities felt more disconcerted when having to face difficulties. They experienced more negative emotions and their failures seemed to impact their self-efficacy more.
In a way, for students with disabilities, the transition to HE was experienced as just another challenge among others. The lifetime management of their disabilities better prepared them to face the challenges of the transition to HE.” (Dangoisse et al., 2020: 523)

“You know, you start paying for your own food and stuff and that’s scary. So I couldn’t pay for my rent, I couldn’t pay for my food, and that’s quite stressful you know, feeling as though you’re constantly having to grovel to your parents makes you feel like a bit of a failure and that’s stressful (Participant 4).” (Thompson et al., 2021: 1401)

"With many students gaining independence for the first time when they start college, it can often be a time for experimentation (Ruthig et al., 2011), manifested in greater engagement with risk behaviours such as substance use (Saules et al., 2004), unsafe sexual practices (Dolphin et al., 2017) and binge drinking (Davoren et al., 2015)”. (Daniels et al., 2020: 742).

“One of the main shared challenges reported by students is to succeed in finding the right balance between work and leisure time. This result echoes recent qualitative study results which highlight that this delicate balance is the cornerstone of adaptation to HE. Too much work can lead to exhaustion and a high risk of attrition, whereas not enough work induces progressive deficiency accumulation and a high risk of failure (De Clercq et al. 2018).” (Dangoisse et al., 2020: 522)

“Our results further confirm the previous findings by Pokorny et al. (2017) and Read et al. (2003) that difficulties in establishing a first connection might, for instance, be a result of disparate culture, language, or age. Indeed, we found qualitative evidence that students’ social adjustment process might be hampered by having a different cultural background from their peers, having a diminished knowledge of the working language, or being older than their peers.” (Willems et al., 2022: 597-598)

“Communication apprehension (CA; McCroskey, 1970; 1977; 1982; 1984) has clear implications for both academic and interpersonal success in university students.” (McCroskey et al., 1989)

"[...] —the centrality of emotions is stressed [...] coming to know the new learning environment is an emotional process that can incorporate both feelings of alienation and exclusion, or excitement and exhilaration." (Willems et al., 2022: 587)

"Transition to a new academic environment poses various challenges for students. Students perceive HE to have a different academic culture in comparison to what they have experienced so far [in secondary school]”. (Fabian et al., 2019)

“Regardless of their prior educational background, students also disclosed a general lack of confidence in their academic ability that manifested in early self-doubts and worry that they wouldn’t be able to cope. This led to students experiencing cognitive dissonance. On the one hand, they were excited to be making the initial step towards realising their future ambitions. On the other, they didn’t want to be seen as failures from the outset." (Goodchild, 2019: 776)

“The content-related dimension comprises challenges regarding the content of the students’study programme and the subject matter of their courses. [...] Challenges related to the identification with the selected study programme are also part of this dimension, as students were required to clarify their choice and interest or to modify their initial expectations regarding the study content.” (Trautwein & Bosse, 2017: 380)

“Being unsuccessful was very discouraging. Academic failure and poor assessment results were worsened by the fact that it was often unexpected. Participants were discouraged by poor results after being under the impression they had prepared sufficiently for a test: ‘You thought you were going to pass and then the results come and you failed.’” (Knoesen & Naudé, 2018: 273-274)

"Becoming an effective learner in first-year university involves finding new approaches to studying that do not rely on rote memorisation but rather include identifying personal learning needs, prioritising learning goals, and accessing appropriate sources of knowledge” (Cameron & Rideout, 2022: 679)

"To support students through the transition, as Scanlon, Rowling, and Weber (2007) and Gale and Parker (2014) argue, developing cultural, social and academic capital is crucial for students to develop institutional habitus, and hence, belonging. Leese (2010) and Hurst (2015) also discuss how students’ development of linguistic capital is essential for their increasing confidence and success when starting HE. For instance, Hurst (2015, 80) suggests that ‘linguistic capital is measured in the ability of a student to function in the academic literacy domains ... their ability to read and write in academic genres ... , to manage information, operate with digital technologies, understand and represent numerical information and engage with disciplinary discourses.” (Jones et al., 2020: 40)

“Communication  education  is  positively  linked  to  academic  and professional  success  for  students  (Rubin  &  Morreale, 1996).  Thus, students need speaking and listening skills that will help them succeed in future courses and in the workplace. A basic communication course can  offer  students  knowledge  of  effective  communication  techniques and provide a safe arena for developing and practicing skills, which can create positive feelings about communicating in the future.” (Dunbar et al., 2006)

“Starting in elementary school, middle-class parents train their children to actively seek help from teachers, and this behavior is reinforced by the subsequent benefits of requested assistance (Calarco, 2011, 2014). In response to societal marginalization, poor and working class parents often teach their children to rely on themselves or their immediate relationships for assistance (Lareau, 2015). As a result of these socialization processes, continuing- and first-generation students enter college with divergent help-seeking attitudes and patterns (Baker, 2013; Yee, 2016).” (Hagler et al., 2021: 4)

“For others the approachability of staff was important and appeared to be strongly linked to building confidence and agency within the teaching setting. Not surprisingly this sense of approachability was most apparent when cohorts and class sizes were small but when the class sizes grew students felt more alone and struggled to find support within the academic maze.” (Pollard & Bamford, 2022: 349-350)

"The students spoke of dissonance between their existing conceptions of how to study and the ‘new style of learning’. These students described their need to fundamentally change their epistemological approaches to understanding how to read and approach texts, how to note take, and how to develop their own voice. Once these skills were grasped it became a part of them: ‘it’s just what I do’. This highlighted that for many students, developing new approaches to studying can be considered a threshold concept (for example see Meyer and Land 2005) as students needed to grasp new ways of approaching learning and to unlearn pre-existing methods that had previously worked for them. Understandably, this was often uncomfortable; a culture shock: ‘you’re quite stuck in a certain way of learning’.” (Gravett & Winstone, 2021: 1583)

"Several participants indicated that challenges with organising and managing their workload, rather than course content itself, most influenced their success. For example, Alice stated:
'I really struggled [with] not the actual course material, I thought that was okay, but just studying. Studying on time, getting all that organised was the difficult part ... I was surprised by that'. 
For many, the heavy academic workload left little time for other activities. Taking five courses each term (the typical course load for full-time undergraduate students) proved to be overwhelming for some.” (Cameron & Rideout, 2022: 676)

“What makes it go wrong is my lack of preparation. I ended high school with insufficient background. I had no working method. They taught us no working method, no note-taking, no study strategy, we didn’t know. In high school we just have some sheets, little chapters, it was easy". (De Clercq et al., 2018)

“Many first-year university students don't get to adopt a reflexive posture in terms of the organisation and regulation of their own cognition processes which are known to be important for learning achievement.” (Bournaud et Pamphile, 2021)

“'Not prepared for less contact and guidance from instructors - I feel like for high school ... they were helping you a lot more, giving you deadlines, and giving you extra worksheets or practice, and doing things step by step. But in university ... it’s all about yourself, how you want to plan everything.' (Harriet)
In high school your teachers keep a bit of an eye on you, and say ‘I haven’t seen you in class for a while’ or ‘you haven’t handed in this assignment’ or ‘you seem sad is everything okay’, and you know in classes with 250 people, university was a lot more oriented towards me ... My performance entirely determined how my year went, so I wasn’t entirely prepared for that. (Irene)”. (Cameron & Rideout, 2022: 672- 673) 

“Participants felt unprepared for the academic independence expected from them. One participant stated ‘we are not babied anymore, nobody cares anymore ... whether you bring your stuff, whether you come to class or not. Sometimes you still need that push.’” (Knoesen & Naudé, 2018: 273)

“[My] biggest challenge [was] scheduling, the time management, taking different classes and they all have their amount of work. So I had to get into the idea to do which part of which course, and then like tomorrow I need to do which part. (Miranda) Definitely time management [was my biggest challenge in first year]. So there was so much to do all the time ... I had to really block-out my time, and it’s something I had to learn. (Sarah)”. (Cameron & Rideout, 2022: 679)

"Universities expect first-year students to be independent learners, capable of using effective learning strategies and managing their time to meet the various, often competing, demands of their courses (Bowman 2017; Gale and Parker 2014). Yet, some of the greatest challenges first-year students face include time management, using effective study strategies, and maintaining motivation when faced with heavy workloads (Dixon Rayle and Chung 2007; Trautwein and Bosse 2017). A lack of supervision and guidance from university instructors can contribute to first-year students’ difficulties with time management (Dixon Rayle and Chung 2007; Trautwein and Bosse 2017). When students are unable to organise and manage their time effectively, it hinders their learning and has negative impacts on their academic achievement.” (Cameron & Rideout, 2022: 668-669)

“'[My greatest challenge was] being self-motivated ... not having your high school teacher telling you this due date, this due date, and you have to study yourself, and look ahead to see self-timing and goals.' (Christine)
[My] biggest challenge really was I remember towards the end was the motivation, like getting closer to the end of semesters and finals are coming up, it’s like trying to really focus even more ... the final exams are worth even more percentage-wise, yeah so kind of burning out a little bit. (Kevin)” (Cameron & Rideout, 2022: 672-673)

“It’s completely demotivating. As soon as we miss something, it becomes very difficult to catch up later. So, it accumulates and accumulates, and we finally realize that it will be impossible to pass the exam. It’s irretrievable". (De Clercq et al., 2018)

"Students frequently expressed difficulties managing the workload required for their courses. [...] for me it was always difficult to read the pile of papers we were required to read. [...] I would say, sometimes it was absurd how much we had to read. In one class it was a hundred pages from one week to the next, plus all the other classes you had to prepare. Then you simply said to yourself: “Okay, I won’t read this.” (Int_01/31)”. (Trautwein & Bosse, 2017: 380)

"The transition from secondary to tertiary education is considered to be a source of considerable stress for university students (Dyson & Renk, 2006). Not only do they have to create new social networks, they are also expected to modify their existing relationships with family and friends, and adopt new study patterns (Chickering & Reisser, 1993; Fisher & Hood, 1987).” (De Coninck et al., 2019: 34)

"[...] transition for many students was characterised by the disarray, the instances when things were not fitting together, not working in connection, the moments when students had to leave behind former places and spaces (school, leaving home, leaving a workplace, moving to a new town).
Transition to higher education for these students was experienced by their sense of things coming apart, by prior knowledge and understanding breaking down and by elements within their lifeworlds not fitting together." (Amundsen, 2022: 9)

"I found the first week at the university college horrible. It was my first week in the dorm, which already made me feel lonely. I knew nobody here, and also wasn’t familiar with the city. After the first day I had the feeling that everybody had made a connection with someone, while I absolutely didn’t. Especially when I sat alone during that first break, I felt really lonely”. (Willems et al., 2022: 595)

“Transitioning students seem to be particularly concerned about two aspects: developing a sense of belonging in HE and building relationships with peers and faculty within it (Gibney et al. 2011; Palmer, O’Kane, and Owens 2009; Tett, Cree, and Christie 2017; Walton and Brady 2017). A sense of belonging refers to feeling at home at university and that you fit in, that you are a member of one or more communities there, and that you are supported at the university (Hausmann, Ward Schofield, and Woods 2007; Hurtado and Carter 1997). Developing a positive sense of belonging in HE seems crucial for the decision not to leave when one experiences difficulties in adapting to the new environment (Christie, Munro, and Fisher 2004; Tinto 2012).” (van Herpen et al., 2020: 864)

“Failure in terms of social adjustment (e.g., lack of participation in social activities, less success with interpersonal relations, dissatisfaction with the social environment, not feeling welcome) seems to increase the drop-out rate of ethnic students (e.g., Cohen & Garcia, 2005; Hurtado, Cuellar, & Guillermo-Wann, 2011).” (Corradi & Levrau, 2021)

"Establishing social bonds in personal and academic life when starting a degree, e.g. through Communities of Practice, are described as important in students developing belonging, resilience and identity over time, increasing engagement, confidence and success (Wenger 2009; Thomas 2012; Masika and Jones 2016)." (Jones et al., 2020: 39)

“Findings indicate that students feel anxious about the transition period, with low self-efficacy surrounding their academic potential, despite still being optimistic about their learning. Social factors positively impact their progression, especially the support from peers. Relationships with both staff and peers support transition.” (Gill, 2021: 410)

"Most interview participants across disciplines and universities described the importance of friends when starting a degree and settling into living in the UK. Students’ social integration was strengthened by making new friends when starting their degrees. Earlier research similarly found that supportive relationships are important in students developing cultural and social capital, and a sense of belonging to the course and university, linked to institutional habitus (Thomas 2002; Wilcox, Winn, and Fyvie-Gauld 2005; Leese 2010).” (Jones et al., 2020: 43)

“Students, particularly first year students, described the barriers that many academics created, albeit unintentionally, and the importance of peer support groups (Bamford et al., 2015; Thomas, 2013). [...] This a view is supported by Meeuwisse et al. (2010) who found that for students from minority ethnic backgrounds and those who are first generation in HE, the quality of the interactions was strongly indicative of academic progress and success.” (Pollard & Bamford, 2022: 349-350)

“‘Transition’ means to enter and act within a previously unknown field. The transition from one institution to another involves an encounter with ‘distinctly different structural features and ethos’ (Darmody 2012, 532). Appropriate values, norms of behaviour, language, etc., need to be learned while, at the same time, prior capabilities and identities become unstable (Scanlon, Rowling, and Weber 2007).” (Bormann & Thies, 2019: 164)

“So, I always tell students, look you can join a society and we … society, you can start up your own society and some of them, they tend to lean towards that and say ok I'll go and join a society, I'll go join a sports team. And it's really been helpful because once you join a sports team you kind of feel a sense of belonging somewhere. Like ok I'm part of … of this team, I'm part of the rugby team, I'm part of –so you feel a sense of belonging somewhere so that also helps as well. [Student 4, second generation Black African] [...] But as Thomas (2019) reminds us many commuter students cannot afford the luxury of taking part in extracurricular activities, as they have other commitments outside of university, and yet as the student's narrative confirms such engagement fosters a much greater sense of belonging.” (Pollard & Bamford, 2022: 349-350)

"According to Smith and Wertlieb (2005), a key factor in the ease of transition from school or college to university is student expectations, or, more specifically, the gap between students’ prior expectations of HE and the reality of university life. There is a growing body of evidence showing that many students arrive at university with unrealistic expectations (Lowe and Cook, 2003; Smith and Hopkins, 2005; Crisp et al., 2009; Murtagh, 2010; Kandinko and Mawer, 2013). [...] Transition from school to university can cause concern for many students. One issue is the gap between students’ prior expectations and the realities of university life, which can cause significant distress, poor academic performance and increased drop-out rates if not managed effectively." (Hassel & Ridout, 2018: 1-2)


Critically using and creating knowledge by engaging with disciplinary discourses and formulating arguments