Listening to student voices: student researchers exploring undergraduate experiences of university transition

Rachel Maunder, M Cunliffe, J Galvin, S Mjali, J Rogers

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This exploratory study presents a different approach to studying transition by involving students as researchers. The aim was to investigate how students talked about their experiences of transition in university. Nineteen first and second year undergraduate psychology students participated in focus groups and semi-structured interviews, conducted by student researchers, to provide in-depth accounts of their transition experiences. Findings showed that students held internal images about university, shaped through cultural experience, which were used to form expectations and interpret experiences. Social relationships were crucial, with the formation of groups facilitating adjustment in an unfamiliar environment. Students also described how negotiating transition contributed to personal changes. The research emphasises the salience of sociocultural factors in transition, and the relationship between transition and identity. Additionally, the value of including students as researchers to provide authentic access to student voices is highlighted
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139–152
Number of pages13
JournalHigher Education
Volume66
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2013

Keywords

  • Transition
  • sociocultural
  • staff-student partnership
  • student researchers
  • student voice
  • university

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