Student Transitions

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Enhancement theme banner

From 2014-15 to 2016-17, the QAA Enhancement Theme was 'student transitions', meaning the transitions that people make into, during and out of higher education. During that period universities across Scotland undertook work to better understand the challenges students face in moving through their studies, and to improve the support for key points of transition.

Examples of students' transitions include:

  • Entering higher education as a first-year student
  • Going on, and returning from, placements and internships
  • Switching programme or university
  • Moving between years of study
  • Transitioning from undergraduate to postgraduate study
  • Leaving higher education and entering employment

Student Transitions work at Strathclyde

The Enhancement Theme activity at Strathclyde was focused on supporting projects in departments, faculties and central teams that addressed particular transition challenges faced by students. In 2014-15 the specific topic was students' transitions into Strathclyde, and featured projects on induction, direct entry students, widening access and development for staff teaching new students. In 2015-16 the focus was on students' transitions through Strathclyde and the projects explored the challenges of internships, placements and studying abroad. In the final year, 2016-17, the area addressed was students' transitions beyond Strathclyde: into work or further employment.

Funding from the Quality Assurance Agency allowed the University to support 18 projects in all, involving 42 members of staff from 14 academic departments and 8 central teams. The projects all included students as research interns, 28 students in total. 

More information about all of the projects that took place is available in a Student Transitions booklet showcasing the efforts of staff and students.

The 18 projects produced a wide range of high quality outputs including case studies, research reports and tools for teaching. All of the resources can be accessed in the Student Transitions area of the SPELT website.

Information about work undertaken at Strathclyde on the Student Transitions theme is available on the Enhancement Theme website.

Student Transitions Steering Group

The work around the Enhancement Theme was led by a steering group including senior members of academic staff, representatives from USSA, and colleagues from Education Enhancement. The steering group was chaired by Dr Mark Ellis, Senior Vice-Dean from HASS.

Resources from the Quality Assurance Agency

The QAA undertook a range of work to support institutional activity around student transitions, all of which is available on their website. The QAA have also produced an interactive map of the student journey containing many examples of good practice from around the sector.

About the Enhancement Themes

Enhancement themes are selected collectively by the Scottish HE sector, and provide a focus for institutional efforts to improve learning and teaching. The Enhancement Themes are supported by the QAA, and are designed to facilitate the sharing of good practice and collaboration across the sector. The Enhancement Theme for 2017-18 to 2019-20 is Evidence for Enhancement.