First Year Experience

Harvey, L., Drew. S. and Smith, M. (2006) The first-year experience: a review of literature for the Higher Education Academy, York:HEA
This literature review aims to consider the research literature and institutional ‘grey material’ exploring the undergraduate and postgraduate first-year experience and to identify key emerging issues to inform university policy makers, practitioners, researchers and other interested parties. In this review ‘first year’ refers to the first-year of study of an undergraduate or postgraduate student in a higher education institution. Available here

Hughes, G., Massey, F., Williams, S. (2017) An investigation of the views, understanding, knowledge, experience and attitudes of sixth form teachers in regard to the preparedness of their students for the transition to university, Derby:NEMCON HEFCE
This report is an investigation of the views, understanding, knowledge, experience and attitudes of sixth form teachers in regard to the preparedness of their students for the transition to university. Available here

Hunter, M.S. and Clarke, K.C. (2012) Induction in Morgan, M.(Ed.) Improving the Student Experience: A Practical Guide for Universities and Colleges, Oxon:  Routledge
This chapter explores the importance of induction in the student lifecycle. Induction is a longer stage in the student lifecycle than arrival and orientation. The chapter identifies good practice to enable students to succeed in their first  year of study.  In addition, the induction experience must be a process, not a single event as outlined in the Student  Experience Practitioner Model, which helps students reevaluate their expectations of their university experience to ensure that students are academically, emotionally, and socially prepared to manage the rigors of university life. The first-year experience must be a holistic one that integrates classroom experiences with co-curricular and extra-curricular activities to fully engage students in learning.

Ideas42 (2016) Nudging for Success Using behavioural science to improve the postsecondary student journey, USA: Harvard This report suggests ways to effectively ‘nudge’ students are the right time during the student during. Available here

James, R.,  Krause, K. and Jennings, C. (2010) The First Year Experience in Australian Universities: Findings from 1994 to 2009, Melbourne: Centre for the Study of Higher Education The principal purpose of this research is to provide information and insights for the Australian higher education sector that can assist in enhancing the academic and social experience of first year students and improving educational outcomes in first year and beyond. The objectives are to build a picture of the overall character and quality of the first year experience across the nation and to explore possible trends in student experience that have implications for policy and practice. This is not a comparative study of the participating universities. Available here

Krause, K. and Coates, H. (2008) Students’ engagement in first-year university, Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 33 (5), 493-505 This article reports on seven calibrated scales of student engagement emerging from a large-scale study of first year undergraduate students in Australian universities. The article reports data from the 2004 first-year study that included a special focus on engagement. The analysis presents insights into contemporary undergraduate student engagement, including online, self-managed, peer and student-staff engagement.

Lumsden, E., McBryde-Wilding, H., Rose, H. (2010) Collaborative practice in enhancing the first year student experience in Higher Education. Enhancing the Learner Experience in Higher Education. 2 (1), 12-24 Transition into higher education presents challenges for students, whatever their age or previous educational history. An emerging issue on an undergraduate programme in England was how to support students who self reported educational histories of continual formative feedback, model answers, revision guides and limited use of the library. This article reports findings from an action research project which considered whether there was a mismatch between students’ previous educational histories and the academic expectations of the university. Available here

Morgan, M. (2013) Re-framing the ‘First Year’ Undergraduate Student Experience in The All Ireland Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, Vol 5 issue 6
This paper highlights the changes that have occurred in higher education, and puts forward a new student lifecycle to assist institutions effectively support new undergraduate students in their first-year of study and beyond across academic and non-academic activities. Available here

Morgan, M. (2020) Bridging the gap between secondary and tertiary education- Findings from the undergraduate Level 4 Pre-arrival Academic Questionnaire, Brighton:Morgan This report presents the findings from the Pre-arrival Academic Questionnaire that students at a Post 1992 were asked to complete as a pre-arrival activity. It highlights the respondents prior learning experiences and university study expectations. It argues that if universities understand the experience of their students on entry, they are better placed to support them. Available here

Nutt, D. and Calderon, D. (2009)  International Perspectives on the First Year Experience in Higher Education (ed)  Columbia, SC:  University of South Carolina, The National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition
Students around the globe have unique first-year experiences but struggle with many of the same challenges. This monograph focuses on their journeys and provides insights for educators interested in learning about how institutions across the globe provide supports to students dealing with first-year transition issues. Based on the successful Exploring the Evidence monograph series, Nutt and Calderon present the inaugural collection of international first-year initiatives, demonstrating the portability and adaptability of these strategies in a variety of institutional contexts. Cases from a dozen different countries touch on a wide range of topics, including: academic advising and support, early-warning systems for at-risk students, first-year seminars, learning communities, orientation or induction, peer mentoring, retention initiatives, self-regulated learning, and supplemental instruction.
You can view the document here:

UNITE (2013) The Next Generation 2013- A report into applicant and student expectations: Bristol:UNITE
This report explores the expectations in all areas of university life of applicant and student expectations. Available here

Upcraft, M.L., Gardner, N.J. and Barefoot, B.O. (2004) Challenging and Supporting the First Year Student: A Handbook for Improving the First Year of College, San Francisco: Jossey Bass This is an authoritative and comprehensive guide to the first year of college and includes the most current information about the policies, strategies, programs, and services designed to help first-year students make a successful transition to college and fulfil their educational and personal goals. There are six parts to the book. Part 1 provides an overview of what we know about the first-year student today. Part 2 looks at the challenge of recruiting and retaining first-year students. Part 3 looks at creating a positive campus culture to help foster first-year success across a diverse student body. Part 4 discusses the how to challenge and support the student in the classroom. Chapter 5 discusses ways in which first years can be challenged and supported out of the classroom in order to succeed. Chapter 6 sets out a framework for assessing efforts that promote first-year success.

Yorke, M. and Longden, B. (2007) The first-year experience in higher education in the UK: Final Report, York: The Higher Education Academy This report details the findings from Phase 2 of the study of the first-year experience, which focused on students who did not return in 2006-07 for the second year of full-time undergraduate study at their original institution. It also alludes to the findings from the on-course experiences of first-year students in the preceding academic year (Phase 1), and makes some comparisons with a study of non-completion that was conducted in the mid-1990s. Available here