Research Output

Facilitating computing students' transition to higher education

  Students who progress to higher education from further education colleges are faced with academic, social, and logistical challenges during their transition. In general, they find university life more challenging compared to students who have been at university for two years already. The Associate Student Project (ASP) is an intervention programme within the School of Computing that provides support to students who make this transition. This support includes access to online resources, orientation events, university lectures and workshops, throughout their two years at further education college. This study aims to measure the impact of the ASP through a survey on academic behavioural confidence and a comparison of the grade point average of three student groups: independent direct entrants (n=53), associate students (n=27), and native students (students who entered university at first year, n=75). Analysis revealed that, while independent direct entrants (IDE) were less confident about their studies than native students (NS), there was a closer parity of confidence between native and associate students (AS). In addition, AS' confidence on tasks that relate to requesting information is higher than the other groups, perhaps due to the ASP's emphasis on providing good information to AS and encouraging dialogue. Associate students found interventions that provide insight into university life prior to their transfer useful. Additionally, the grade point average of AS was not found to be significantly different in comparison to native students. This paper reports on the success of these interventions in building student confidence and explores the impact for transitional students.

  • Date:

    05 September 2019

  • Publication Status:


  • DOI:


  • Funders:

    SFC Scottish Funding Council


Fabian, K., Taylor-Smith, E., Meharg, D., & Varey, A. (2019). Facilitating computing students' transition to higher education. In UKICER: Proceedings of the 1st UK & Ireland Computing Education Research Conference.



student transitions; direct entrants; further education; higher education; widening participation

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