The Transitional Experiences of Sport and Exercise Students from Further to Higher Education
Keywords:Higher Education, Further Education, Transition, Retention, Student Satisfaction, Post-1992 University
Many students will transition into higher education (HE) from further education (FE) at the start of a new academic year. This large student body is progressing from a sector that provides largely vocational based qualifications which aim to 'up-skill' students, whilst working towards meeting industry requirements. Therefore, it is imperative that students progressing to an academic HE environment make as seamless and successful transition as possible between the educational sectors. This article investigates the experiences of sport and exercise students transitioning from a FE college (FEC) to an undergraduate degree course at a post-1992 HE institution (HEI). The study aims to identify students’ thoughts, feelings, and experiences during the transitional process, thus providing an insight into improving the retention, achievement and student satisfaction of future students. The findings identified four key themes: distinct academic differences; effective interventions, advice and guidance; negative feelings associated with transition; further improvements required for the transitional process. These findings enabled a series of practical guidelines to be synthesised to inform other post-1992 universities and FEC’s on how to further manage and support student transition.