A Survey of Student Attitudes, Experiences and Expectations

on selected vocational courses at the University of Northumbria April 2005
Anna Round Student Retention ro!ect, University of Northumbria

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#NE$ %A&'(R#UN)

Section #ne$ +$+ +$2 +$/ 1:3:1 1:3:2 1:3:3

*ntroduction + 2 0 4 6 6

%ac,-round .iterature survey rimary research Student questionnaire Staff questionnaire Interviews

Section "1o$ .iterature survey 2$+ 2:1:1 2:1:2 2:1:3 2:1:4 2:1:% 2:1:6 2$2 2:2:1 2:2:2 2:2:3 2$/ 2$0 2:4:1 2:4:2 2$5 2:%:1 2:%:2 2:%:3 2:%:4 2:%:6 2:%:7 2:%:) 2:%:" 2:%:1. 2:%:11 2:%:12 2:%:13 Student perceptions and the student experience Holistic approaches Academic preparedness and stud s!ills Student attitudes to feed#ac! Student attitudes to teachin$ and learnin$ &utor'student relations Accommodation and retention Student &haracteristics (iews of students Student self'perceptions: s!ills Student self'perceptions: wor!load "ransformation 4idenin- participation$ some further issues *on'traditional students and the student e+perience Support and access to support Students and motivation & pes of student motivation ,etention and motivation -otivations for enterin$ hi$her education /oals and values 0-1!inen et al2 -otivation and satisfaction 3s cholo$ical theories of motivation -otivation and the 4meanin$5 of wor! -otivation and e+aminations 6apa#ilit and motivation -otivation and effort Strate$ies for #uildin$ student motivation 6hallen$es to motivation: the 4strate$ic student5 2 7 " 11 13 1% 16 +3 1) 1" 21 22 25 26 27 23 2) 2" 3. 31 33 34 36 3) 3) 3" 42 43

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2$5 2$2 2:7:1 2:7:2 2:7:3 Academic staff dissatisfaction &ulture and hi-her education &he purpose of hi$her education Social stereot pes &he culture of the universit "4#$ E7 ER*8EN"A. 9*N)*N(S 02 06 4" %1 %2

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Section "hree$ Research findin-s$ student characteristics /$+ 3:1:1 3:1:2 3:1:3 3:1:4 /$2 3:2:1 3:2:2 3:2:3 3:2:4 3:2:% )emo-raphics A$e7 se+ and pro$ramme of stud 8ntr qualifications Accommodation Student $eneration and parental occupation Student study behaviours &imeta#led hours 3rivate stud Attendance at timeta#led sessions 3art'time wor! 6ommutin$ and colle$e da s 55 %% %6 %6 %6 56 %" %" 61 62 63 64 50 64 6% 66 53

Section 9our$ Entry and pro-ression 0$+ 4:1:1 4:1:2 4:1:3 0$2 Entry decisions ,easons for choosin$ to $o to universit ,easons for choosin$ the 9niversit of *orthum#ria ,easons for choice of de$ree pro$ramme ersistence

Section 9ive$ 5$+ %:1:1 %:1:2 %:1:3 %:1:4 %:1:%

Ad!ustment, expectations and attitudes 56 6" 7. 71 72 73

Ad!ustment Academic ad:ustment ,elations with lecturers &ime mana$ement and independent learnin$ Social ad:ustment ;inancial pressures

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load #ther expectations 33 60 6+ iv . 32 30 )4 )% 35 32 Section Seven$ 2$+ 2$2 2$/ Expectations of academic demands Expectations of 1or.iv 5$2 %:2:1 %:2:2 %:2:3 %:2:4 %:2:% 5$/ %:3:1 %:3:2 %:3:3 %:3:4 Expectations Academic issues Support Social e+pectations /eneral e+pectations <iscussion Attitudes Interest Stud approaches -otivation Inte$ration Study behaviours 20 74 74 7% 7% 7% 22 77 77 7) 7) Section Six$ 5$+ 6:1:1 6:1:2 5$2 5$/ 6:3:1 6:3:2 5$0 5$5 *ntroduction Items used in definin$ 4stud #ehaviours5 Student stud #ehaviours Study behaviours and entry decisions Ad!ustment and study behaviours Academic ad:ustment and stud #ehaviours Social ad:ustment Expectations and study behaviours Attitudes to university and study behaviours Student expectations 26 7" ).

3 1.reactive< entry reasons Section Eleven$ ++$+ ++$2 ++$/ ++$0 4ho considers leavin-= )emo-raphic factors and 1ithdra1al +++ Entry decisions and 1ithdra1al Study behaviours and 1ithdra1al Attitudes.v Section Ei-ht$ 3$+ 3$2 3$/ 3$0 3$5 8otivation 6/ 6/ 6/ 60 65 65 Study behaviours and motivation 8otivation and satisfaction Sources of motivation 8otivation and ad!ustment 8otivation and entry decisions Section Nine$ )emo-raphic factors 6$+ 6$2 6$/ 6$0 6$5 ":%:1 ":%:2 ":%:3 Sex (eneration Social class based on occupation Entry :ualifications Accommodation Stud #ehaviours and accommodation 8ntr and e+pectations Ad:ustment and attitudes 62 66 +0+ +02 +0/ 1.4 1.4 Section "en$ +0$+ +0$2 +0$/ +0$0 Expressed reasons for entry and student characteristics +05 +03 +06 ++0 Academic reasons &areer reasons Reputation 9amily and school$ . experiences and 1ithdra1al ++2 ++/ ++0 v .

+22 122 124 124 +25 126 127 127 12) (eneral characteristics of student intervie1ees reparation and transition 12:2:1 6ourse choice 12:2:2 =hat came as a surprise> Academic factors 12:2:3 =hat came as a surprise> *on'academic factors 12:2:4 &ransition 12:2:% . 141 142 13:4:1 Staff !nowled$e of student lifest les 13:4:2 Staff narratives of student lifest les 13:4:3 Staff impressions of student stud s!ills and academic orientation 13:4:4 Staff impressions of student attitudes to universit 13:4:% Staff impressions of student motivation vi .inancial realit +2$/ Experience of university 12:3:1 Stud #ehaviours 12:3:2 Academic staff 12:3:3 Social e+periences +2$0 12:4:1 12:4:2 12:4:3 12:4:4 Student attitudes -otivation =hat is universit for> .esponsi#ilities .uture $oals Staff perspectives Section "hirteen$ +/$+ +/$2 +/$/ 13:3:1 13:3:2 13:3:3 13:3:4 +/$0 8ethodolo-y +/0 +/0 Staff characteristics Staff responses$ :uantitative sections +/+ Staff impressions of students Staff perspectives on student retention Staff perspectives on entr decisions Staff perspectives on the purpose of the universit Staff responses$ student lifestyles and characteristics 131 134 136 137 +/3 13) 13" 14.vi Section "1elve$ +2$+ +2$2 Student intervie1s ++5 ++2 117 11) 11" 11" 12.

+05 +05 14% 146 14) 1%.vii Section 9ourteen$ +0$+ +0$2 14:2:1 14:2:2 14:2:3 14:2:4 +0$/ Staff intervie1 feedbac. +52 1%2 1%2 +55 +5+ +50 Staff intervie1s Staff perceptions of students Student stud ha#its Student preparation for universit Student attitudes to academic wor! Student motivation Staff perspectives on university culture 14:3:1 &he impact of fees on student attitudes 14:3:2 9niversit mission &onclusion %iblio-raphy Appendix #ne$ >uestionnaire vii .

i E7E&U"*?E SU88AR@ *ntroduction &his pro:ect attempted to investi$ate aspects of the lifest les7 e+pectations and attitudes of first ear under$raduates on a sample of vocational courses at the 9niversit of *orthum#ria? &hese emer$ed as under'researched areas durin$ the earlier surve of literature on student retention which was carried out for the Student Affairs 6ommittee? In addition7 the were not currentl the su#:ect of e+tensive investi$ation elsewhere within the universit ? &he o#:ectives of the pro:ect were to present a realistic and up'to'date of student characteristics7 to identif aspects of these which mi$ht ma!e students vulnera#le to withdrawal or failure7 and to identif the sort of student 4#est practice5 which fosters success and which could form the #asis of efforts to support students who are at ris! of droppin$ out? A questionnaire was sent to students7 requestin$ information a#out their famil #ac!$round7 accommodation7 part'time wor!7 stud ha#its7 attitudes7 e+pectations of universit and e+periences durin$ their first ear? A 21@ return was received? A small num#er of students were also interviewed in $reater depth on these topics? In order to compare staff perceptions of students with the picture that emer$ed from the students themselves7 a questionnaire was circulated to staff and several staff were interviewed a#out their view of students? .iterature revie1$ central topics A literature review was underta!en to provide conte+t for the e+perimental findin$s? &his indicated that it is important to consider the whole student e+perience when investi$atin$ student satisfaction and retention? Studies of student retention rarel identif one sin$le factor as e+plainin$ withdrawal7 and where such simplistic answers are proposed7 the are rarel relia#le? A recent development in the retention literature is a focus on 4what $oes ri$ht5 for successful students7 and on wa s of #uildin$ this information into retention activities? &wo conflictin$ strands of ar$ument emer$e over the discussion of 4student5 rather than 4institutional5 factors in e+plainin$ student withdrawal? Ane states that students with similar personal circumstances and academic e+periences can show radicall different levels of satisfaction and retention7 and that therefore it is wise to loo! at 4individual5 factors such as preparation and motivation? &he other condemns this sort of approach as 4victim #lamin$57 convenient onl for the institutions which can then evade their responsi#ilities? Instead7 institutions should e+amine themselves in order to e+plain retention rates? -ost realistic studies of retention7 not surprisin$l 7 com#ine these approaches? Ane 4individual factors5 which has #een identified is academic preparedness for universit ? =ell'prepared students have realistic e+pectations a#out course content7 required stud s!ills7 teachin$ methods and aspects of non'academic life7 such as social contacts and finance? In particular7 an appreciation of the need for independent learnin$ s!ills and $ood personal time mana$ement seem to #e important? =here students are #adl prepared7 it is possi#le to overcome this throu$h induction activities and stud support? However7 these efforts require individual contact and a willin$ness on the part of the student to en$a$e with the process? Both of this require institutional resources and a #asic level of student motivation? .or these to wor! well it is essential that students and staff a$ree on academic values and on the definition and purpose of activities and assi$nments? <ialo$ue and mutual respect #etween students and staff are needed? &his academic inte$ration is essential7 #ut also resource'intensive7 especiall with current staff:student ratios? i .eed#ac! and 4student centred learnin$ approaches5 are also valua#le in supportin$ student satisfaction and retention? .

irst'$eneration students are identified as #ein$ especiall vulnera#le #ecause the lac! the informal support and information networ!s offered # $raduate parents7 si#lin$s and friends? Student motivation is mentioned in several studies as a !e factor in retention? It has #een investi$ated # several researchers7 who have e+amined #oth 4lon$ term5 motivations for universit entr 0e?$? career aspirations2 and 4short term5 motivations which will determine the effort put in to da to da tas!s on a course? Both carer prospects and su#:ect interest are important in motivatin$ students to $o to universit in the first place7 althou$h the former seems to #e named # more students? Averall7 motivations which mi$ht #e paraphrased as 4learnin$ for learnin$5s sa!e5 are rarer7 althou$h man student state these? -otivation7 on a da to da #asis7 will #e determined # the 4meanin$5 which students attach to individual tas!s and to the academic enterprise as a whole? It will also #e influenced # their levels of satisfaction with all aspects of the course7 from inherent interest in the su#:ect throu$h relations with lecturers to satisfaction with teachin$ methods and facilities? & pes and timin$ of assessment can also have an effect on motivation? In $eneral7 students who have confidence in their own a#ilities will show hi$her levels of motivation? Ane of the #i$$est challen$es to student retention is the emer$ence of the 4strate$ic student57 who sets out to minimise effort and ma+imise results? &his attitude7 and the need to cater for this $roup of students in an a$e of qualit mana$ement and performance evaluation7 ma contri#ute to reportedl risin$ levels of academic staff dissatisfaction? =or! in the 9D and overseas su$$est that man staff are disma ed at levels of student preparation and motivation7 and at the pro#lems of addressin$ these as opportunities for individual interactions with students are reduced # modern fundin$ constraints? Interaction with students7 and the resultant student inte$ration7 is made even more difficult where there are $aps in 4culture5 #etween staff and students7 or where staff and students have different underl in$ #ut unspo!en assumptions a#out H8? ii .ii A num#er of practical factors in the student e+perience are identified as crucial to retention? Ane of these is accommodation7 with several studies notin$ that students who live in universit accommodation show #etter levels of achievement7 satisfaction and persistence than those who live at home or in privatel rented housin$? &his is presuma#l #ecause Halls of .esidence offer an opportunit to #uild an academic and social communit where the universit e+perience is central to most mem#ers? &he literature on student characteristics and attitudes is small? Ane important point which emer$es from this is the enormous diversit of the student population7 and the unrealit of tal!in$ a#out 4students5 as if the were a uniform $roup? -an authors su$$est that the ran$e of #eliefs a#out universit amon$ students has increased in recent ears7 with some showin$ a hi$h level of academic orientation and motivation7 and others feelin$ disen$a$ed and alienated7 or attemptin$ to $et as man mar!s as possi#le for as little effort? Student self'perceptions have #een investi$ated in a num#er of studies? A$ain7 these are ver diverse? In $eneral7 students tend to lac! a discourse around s!ills and education in $eneralC it can #e difficult for them to reflect effectivel on their educational e+perience? Aften student perceptions of their universit e+perience are influenced as much # their e+pectations and #eliefs as # what the actuall do or encounter? &his is particularl true of wor!load? Some wor! on the e+perience of non-traditional students has #een underta!en in relation to widenin$ participation efforts? A$ain7 an enormous diversit emer$es here? Some studies find that non'traditional students are more li!el to thrive in universities where elements of their social inte$ration have #een effectivel addressed7 inside and outside the classroom? Athers proposed that teachin$ methods and even course content ma need to #e modified to ma!e universities trul inclusive? .

espondents were all first' ear full'time students on lar$e'inta!e courses in *BS and the School of InformaticsC around half came from each school? &he vast ma:orit were 4 oun$5 rather than mature'a$e7 and sli$htl more men than women returned the questionnaire? Almost all of the students who responded held A'levels as their primar entr qualification? Eust over 4. or more hours a wee! are male? 72?2@ of students who do ten hours a wee! are female? &he most common reason for not stud in$ was #elievin$ that one was doin$ enou$h7 followed # lac! of motivation 0#oth named # over %. hours a wee! wor!in$ independentl ? =omen spend sli$htl lon$er in private stud than men7 avera$in$ )?4% hours as opposed to 7?32? All of the students who report no stud at all in a normal wee! were male7 and far more men than women do less than % hours in a normal wee!? However7 all of the students who do 2. hours a wee! in private stud 7 #ut )@ claim to spend over 2.iii Experimental findin-s )emo-raphics .@ of students claim to spend less than 1.irst $eneration students report sli$htl hi$her levels of academic orientation and su#:ect interest than second $eneration? &here is some evidence that the are less li!el than first $eneration students to enter reactivel ? However7 first $eneration students feel considera#l less well'prepared for universit # their schoolsFcolle$es than second $eneration students? Students who live in Halls of .@ of students? Attendance amon$ these students was $enerall $ood7 #ut falls off throu$h the academic ear? At the #e$innin$ of the academic ear "1?"@ claim to attend over 7%@ of timeta#led sessions? &his falls $raduall to %3?2@ of students at the end of the second semester? &he main reason for non'attendance was 4lon$ $aps #etween classes5 0named # more than 2F3 of students2? iii .@ of students who did not do the recommended num#er of hours2? 3art'time wor! was named # around 2.@ lived at home7 and around the same num#er in 9niversit of *orthum#ria' owned Halls of .esidence or shared flats? &he ma:orit 0almost two thirds2 were first'$eneration students7 i?e? neither parent had attended universit ? Around 3%@ came from famil #ac!$rounds which were professional or mana$erial7 13?)@ from s!illed non'manual #ac!$rounds7 and 3.@ from s!illed manual7 semi's!illed or uns!illed #ac!$rounds 0the latter $roup was ver small2? Second'$eneration students with older si#lin$s were far more li!el than first'$eneration students with older si#lin$s to state that these si#lin$s had participated in hi$her education? =omen tend to report lower levels of social and7 to a lesser e+tent7 academic confidence than men7 despite their sli$htl hi$her levels of academic ad:ustment and satisfaction? .esidence are #etter attenders than students who live at home7 and show considera#l stron$er academic ad:ustment? Study behaviours Althou$h students on all of these courses had #een $iven advice on a 4sensi#le5 num#er of hours to spend in private stud 7 over 2%@ stated that the had received no such advice? Amon$ students who stated that the had received advice7 the vast ma:orit 0over 4F%2 stated that the had not followed it? &he avera$e num#er of private stud hours reported was :ust over ) hours a wee!7 althou$h individual reports varied enormousl ? -ore than %.

and 2.@ said that no one reason had #een most importantC for those who named a particular reason as paramount7 the most common was :o# prospects? .@ of women wor!ed7 compared with 4%@ of men7 #ut women with :o#s wor!ed sli$htl shorter hours7 with an avera$e wor!in$ wee! of :ust over 12 hours as opposed to 16?%? Students livin$ at home7 first'$eneration students and student from lower social classes 0#ased on occupation2 were si$nificantl more li!el to have a part'time :o#? Students with part'time :o#s tended to #e either ver $ood or ver poor attenders? Entry and pro-ression Students were as!ed to separate the reasons wh the decided to $o to universit 7 reasons for choosin$ the 9niversit of *orthum#ria7 and reasons for appl in$ to their particular course? Reasons for going to university /eneral :o# prospects were the most frequentl named reason 0)%?"@27 closel followed # the 4self esteem5 reason of simpl wantin$ to achieve a de$ree? Su#:ect interest was named # %3?)@7 and $eneral en:o ment of stud in$ # 37?%@? Eust over 2%@ named famil influence? Around 2. hours each wee!? 6.?)@2? Almost %.irst'$eneration students were si$nificantl more li!el than second $eneration students to name su#:ect interest7 and second'$eneration students were si$nificantl more li!el than second'$eneration to name famil influence? Students who a$ree that the wishes of their famil were important in their decision are less li!el to a$ree that su#:ect interest pla ed a part7 su$$estin$ that the ma #e reactive entrants? Reasons for choosing the University of Northumbria &he fact that the universit offered a particular course was the main reason 06%?6@2? &his was followed # a cluster of reasons named # #etween 3.esponses cluster in this section? Students who disa$ree with the item 4in $eneral7 I onl did the minimum amount of wor! that was required of me5 were li!el to report hi$her private stud hours and attendanceC the reverse was also the case? Averall stud #ehaviours and measures of ad:ustment tend to #e related7 with students who report more effective stud #ehaviours also showin$ hi$her levels of academic and social ad:ustment? &he also tend to have had more accurate e+pectations of universit and stron$er academic orientation? artAtime 1or.iv .@ of students stated that no one reason was most importantC where a primar reason was mentioned7 su#:ect interest was most frequentl cited 023?)@27 followed # the prospect of hi$h earnin$s 014?3@2? iv .@ and 4%@ of students7 includin$ the reputation of a particular School or course7 the reputation of the cit 7 the reputation of the universit 7 and a desire either to leave home or to live at home? -ore women name school or course reputationC more students from professionalFmana$erial and semi's!illed or uns!illed #ac!$rounds state that the chose *orthum#ria partl #ecause the wanted to leave home? All of the students from lower social class #ac!$rounds who state that the chose the *orthum#ria in order to live awa from home are in part'time wor!? Reasons for choice of degree programme Su#:ect interest is named # )3?3@ of students7 followed # the desire for a well'paid :o# 06)?3@2 andFor a particular !ind of :o# 0%. Eust under half of the students 04"?2@2 stated that the had had a part'time :o# durin$ term' time? &he avera$e wor!in$ wee! durin$ term'time was 14?4 hours7 and most :o#s occupied #etween 1.

@ #elieve it was 4too hard5? Eud$ement of academic demand levels associates si$nificantl with feelin$s of ad:ustment to the academic demands of universit ? Students who feel that the have ad:usted well to the academic demands are more li!el to feel that the can understand the rationale for the content of their course? Social ad:ustment is ver hi$h7 and there is a si$nificant association #etween social inte$ration and academic inte$ration? Stron$ social inte$ration was si$nificantl related to $ood time mana$ement? .v ersistence All of these students have pro$ressed to their second ear7 #ut 2%@ state that at some point in the first ear the seriousl considered droppin$ out7 and 31?3@ considered transferrin$ to a different course? 3oor attenders7 those from #ac!$rounds other than professionalFmana$erial7 and students livin$ at home are all more li!el to have considered leavin$? Ad!ustment Students $enerall feel that the have ad:usted well to the academic demands of universit 7 althou$h onl 2%@ 4stron$l a$ree5? 7.?)@ feel that the level of academic demand on their course is 4a#out ri$ht57 and :ust under 2.eelin$s of #elon$in$ and overall en:o ment were hi$h amon$ these students? Hi$h satisfaction with teachin$ qualit also emer$es7 and the ma:orit feel that lecturers are approacha#le? Students who are satisfied with one of these factors are si$nificantl more li!el to #e satisfied with the other? Eud$ement of 4academic demands5 is also si$nificantl related to :ud$ement of 4approacha#ilit 5? Students5 feelin$s a#out their lecturers relate closel to their feelin$s a#out their studies? Students $enerall #elieve the have acquired $ood time'mana$ement s!ills7 #ut are less li!el to e+press confidence a#out their consistenc of wor! throu$hout the first ear7 althou$h a lar$e minorit state that the did wor! consistentl ? -ost feel that the have #ecome $ood at wor!in$ independentl 7 and that their wor!load is 4a#out ri$ht5? Assessment of the level of academic demands is si$nificantl related only to independent wor!in$ s!ills7 and not to either consistent wor! ha#its or time mana$ement? 8stimates of the appropriateness of wor!load correlated si$nificantl with perceptions of wor!load and academic demands? Students who found it difficult to see a clear rationale for course content were also more li!el to perceive their wor!load as #ein$ too heav ? Aver half a$ree that the 4sometimes felt pressurised # financial worries5? Students who feel well ad:usted to their social life are si$nificantl less li!el to a$ree7 and students who feel that the are under financial pressure are si$nificantl less li!el to a$ree stron$l that their lecturers are approacha#le and to show other si$ns of poor academic inte$ration? Expectations 9niversit wor!loads were a surprise to the ma:orit of students surve ed? 8+pectations a#out academic demands were sli$htl more accurate7 and e+pectations of course content were $enerall $ood? Students had a fairl realistic picture of academic staff7 and a reasona#le picture of the teachin$ methods the would encounter? In $eneral7 onl ver small num#ers had had 4ver accurate5 or 4ver mista!en5 e+pectations? Students had reasona#l accurate e+pectations of the amount of academic support the would encounter at universit 7 #ut e+pectations of non'academic support were more accurate? Students had7 however7 rather over'estimated the amount of contact with individual academic staff? -ost felt fairl well'prepared for the need to #e independent learners at universit ? Almost a third of students find that their course is more interestin$ than the had anticipated? v .

@ a$reedFstron$l a$reed with the item 4I often found it difficult to $et motivated to wor! on m course5? 2.@ disa$reed or felt non'committal a#out the statement 4I need to !now how well I5m doin$ in order to feel motivated to wor!5? Surprisin$l 7 in the li$ht of the hi$h levels of su#:ect interest e+pressed elsewhere in the responses7 the item 4I often find m course #orin$ #ut will stic! with it #ecause I want a $ood :o#5 elicited a$reement from almost %.vi 8ase of ma!in$ friends was the area in which their previous perceptions had #een least accurate? Eust 36?"@ found that ma!in$ friends was a#out as eas as the had e+pected #efore the arrived? 1)?%@ found it a #it harder7 and "?2@ found it much harder? B contrast7 24?6@ found that it was easier7 and 1.esponses to items desi$ned to measure intellectual orientation and satisfaction are hi$h7 #ut a hi$h num#er also a$ree that the would prefer to stud 4onl 5 topics which the #elieve to #e relevant to their future careers7 su$$estin$ preference for 4:ust in time5 rather than 4:ust in case5 learnin$? Around 4%@ a$ree that their usual wor!in$ pattern involves doin$ 4the minimum amount of wor! which is required of me57 #ut almost 4.@ re:ect this 4strate$ic5 position? 8otivation &he ma:orit report some pro#lems with motivation? Aver %.@ state that it was 4poor5? Eust 3?1@ feel the had 4ver poor5 preparation from their previous studies? Averall7 accurate e+pectations are consistentl associated with $ood ad:ustment and satisfaction? 8+pectations and satisfaction with e+perience show correlations in specific areas7 such as wor!load7 time mana$ement7 social ad:ustment and teachin$ methods? However7 students5 e+pectations of academic interactions with staff7 rather than of the personal qualities of staff7 seem to determine their perceptions of staff approacha#ilit ? Students $enerall feel quite well prepared for universit 7 althou$h the ma:orit feel that their preparation was accepta#le or adequate rather than ver $ood? Attitudes Students e+press ver hi$h levels of interest in their coursesC few are #ored? .?)@ found that it was much easier? &he levels of social an+iet amon$ incomin$ students appear to #e quite hi$h? A lar$e minorit of students are ver satisfied with school or colle$e as a preparation for universit ? 12?3@ feel their previous institution was a 4ver $ood5 preparation for H87 and 32?3@ feel it was 4$ood5? A less satisfied 32?3@ feel it was 4a#out adequate57 and 2.@ disa$reedF stron$l disa$reed? /ainin$ hi$h mar!s7 as opposed to :ust passin$7 emer$ed as e+tremel important7 and under 1.@? Around 3%@ disa$reed? -ore students a$reed than disa$reed that 4inherent a#ilit is the #i$$est factor in academic success at universit 57 #ut the ma:orit preferred not to e+press an opinion on this item? -otivation appears to have different sources for different students? &he main source of stron$ motivation to en$a$e in da 'to'da academic tas!s is su#:ect interest? -an students state that the are motivated to 4stic! with5 their course7 even if the find it dull7 in order to $et 4a $ood :o#5? However7 this does not seem to translate to hard wor! on a da 'to'da #asis for man students? &he vast ma:orit state that the need to !now 4how the are doin$5 in order to feel motivated to wor!? Students who achieve hi$h da 'to'da motivation seem to have hi$her levels of su#:ect interest7 academic orientation and confidence? &he also show #etter ad:ustment and more realistic e+pectations of universit ? &here is no association #etween a$reement that $ettin$ hi$h mar!s7 rather than :ust passin$7 is important 0nearl all students a$reed with this item2 and doin$ more than the minimum amount of wor! required? -an students seem to want hi$h mar!s on the minimum of effort? vi .

vii Student characteristics and entry choices Students who state that the ma!e the decision to $o to universit #ecause the are interested in stud in$ a particular su#:ect show overall more effective stud #ehaviours7 levels of academic orientation and ad:ustment7 and hi$her motivation and satisfaction? All of these relate to su#:ect interest at the point of the decision to enter H8 rather than :ust at the point of choosin$ a course? Students who mention academic reasons 0e?$? an en:o ment of stud in$ and learnin$2 at the point of H8 entr have hi$her academic orientation and motivation? Instrumental reasons for courseFuniversit entr do not correlate with poor stud #ehaviours7 motivation or ad:ustment unless this is the most important reason? Students who enter the universit or course #ecause of its reputation seem to wor! harder and to feel more stron$l committed to the institution? Students who are influenced # their teachers to enter H8 or to enter a particular course are not particularl li!el to show the pro#lematic characteristics of reactive entrants? However7 students who state that famil influence was important in their decision ma e+hi#it some of these7 especiall if their older si#lin$s have entered universit as well? Students 1ho consider leavinStudents with the followin$ characteristics were more li!el to have considered leavin$ universit : • livin$ at home • parental occupation in a lower socioeconomic cate$or 0possi#l relatin$ to financial hardship7 see #elow2 • $ender 0women were more li!el to consider leavin$7 althou$h this correlation was not si$nificant2 • $eneration 0first $eneration students were more li!el to consider leavin$7 althou$h this correlation was not si$nificant2 • a#sence of su#:ect interest at the point of enterin$ H8 • a#sence of su#:ect interest at the point of course choice • unclear career aims • course choice on the #asis of attraction to the course title • desire for a well'paid :o# as the most important reason for course choice • poor attendance7 low private stud time • low motivation • poor academic ad:ustmentFinte$ration • poor social ad:ustmentFinte$ration • low academic orientation Student intervie1 feedbac. Interviews were carried out with a small num#er of hi$hl motivated and satisfied students? It was possi#le to $lean from these interviews some of the characteristics which had helped them $ain a ver positive e+perience of universit : • thorou$h research #efore choosin$ their course • research and preparation for the e+perience of universit 7 #uildin$ realistic e+pectations • willin$ness to reflect on their own academic and social e+perience at universit ? • e+cellent academic and pastoral support from tutors7 includin$ use of electronic resources • e+cellent teachin$C en:o ment of #oth traditional lectures and interactive sessions vii .

viii • • stron$ and consistent independent stud ha#its and e+cellent time mana$ement proactive and out$oin$ approach to #uildin$ their social lives at universit Sources of dissatisfaction for these students included: • lac! of course'#ased social activities 0some students onl 2 • presence of 4strate$ic students5 • financial hardship7 especiall une+pected financial hardship &hese students were all hi$hl motivated to wor!? Some of the sources of their motivation were: • hi$h levels of su#:ect interest • career aspirations • $rowin$ confidence in their academic a#ilit 04worr 5 was an initial pro#lem for some2 • personal satisfaction and 4#etterin$5 one5s own performance • intellectual $rowth and learnin$ new thin$s • e+cellent teachin$ and $ood relations with lecturers &hese students e+pressed ver similar ideas a#out the purpose of a universit ? &his was re$arded as a com#ination of vocational preparation for wor!7 intellectual stimulation and $rowth7 and personal development and the chance of a 4universit e+perience5? Academic staff perspectives A questionnaire was circulated to academic staff in order to measure perceptions of student characteristics alon$side the findin$s from the student questionnaire? In addition7 a small num#er of interviews were carried out with lecturers? &he followin$ impressions emer$ed: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • staff are aware of an enormous diversit amon$ their students in terms of motivation levels7 preparation for universit 7 attitudes and other factors? overall staff feel ver positivel towards their students and in particular towards the pro$ress which the ma!e over the whole of their course? staff feel that man students are poorl prepared for H8 stud when the arrive staff feel that students find it difficult to handle conceptual or a#stract wor! staff are worried a#out a su#stantial num#er of students who e+pect teachin$ methods which 4spoon feed5 them academicall staff sli$htl overestimate student motivation levels staff $enerall underestimate the e+tent to which hi$h mar!s 0rather than :ust passin$2 are important to students? staff $enerall underestimate the e+tent to which continual feed#ac! on pro$ress is important in motivatin$ students? staff sli$htl underestimate the num#er of students who ta!e a 4strate$ic5 approach to wor!7 #ut have a fairl accurate picture of student private stud ha#its? staff are aware of a small num#er of students who e+pect to 4dictate terms5 staff are aware of the importance of $ood course choice to student retention and of financial hardship? staff are aware of the pro#lem of reactive entr to universit and its implications for retention7 satisfaction and motivation staff are aware of the importance of poor motivation in student retention7 #ut overall this is pro#a#l underestimated? staff are aware of the importance of career aims in universit entr decisions #ut somewhat underestimate the importance of su#:ect interest viii .

i+ • staff and the student interviewees had similar views a#out the mission of the universit C however7 this $roup of students ma have #een somewhat unt pical? i+ .

eed#ac! was not mentioned as a motivator? Averall7 staff felt that it was difficult to encoura$e students to en$a$e in the 4personal development5 aspect of their universit e+perience7 althou$h this is pro#a#l the most valua#le element #oth for students and for emplo ers of $raduates? + .+ Some staff seem to have an accurate perspective on student part'time wor!in$ ha#its7 #ut the ma:orit somewhat underestimate the num#er who wor!7 and sli$htl underestimate the t pical len$th of the wor!in$ wee!? Staff have a ver accurate picture of student stud #ehaviours? -an staff feel that attendance has sharpl declined in the past ear or two? =hen as!ed a#out their !nowled$e of student lifest les7 staff stressed that the had o#served a hu$e diversit ? Students on smaller7 ver specific vocational courses were reco$nised as havin$ $enerall hi$h levels of motivation and e+cellent stud ha#its? Staff also spo!e ver positivel a#out the motivation and stud ha#its of some non'traditional student $roups such as mature'a$e students7 part'time students and first'$eneration students? &ime pressures caused # #alancin$ ver diverse elements7 in particular the need to earn mone 7 social life and academic wor!loads7 was noted # man ? .or some students academic wor! appears to #e the lowest priorit and for others it is paramount? &utors felt that most students do not $ain a useful set of stud s!ills for H8 from their previous educational e+perience? 3ro#lems were noted with areas such as: • time mana$ement and identification of priorities • independent wor!in$ • pro#lem'solvin$ s!ills • lo$ical and conceptual wor!7 structurin$ ar$uments • communication s!ills7 in particular sustained writin$ and report writin$ • readin$7 note'ta!in$ and listenin$ • some aspects of social and interpersonal s!ills =hile students can improve their $eneric s!ills7 most staff found that the sin$le most important factor in this area was the placement ear7 after which students learnt to treat their universit course in a 4professional5 wa ? Averall7 students who too! a 4transactional5 approach to their studies were identified as a particular source of frustration? &hese are students whose approach to hi$her education mi$ht #e summed up as 4 ou $ive us the information7 we $ive it #ac! to ou and ou $ive us the mar!s5? &he do not wish to en$a$e with the su#:ect or under$o an !ind of intellectual 4transformation5? Some staff were aware of the presence of 4strate$ic students57 and also of a small num#er of students who feel that if the are 4pa in$5 the have 4a ri$ht to pass5? Staff felt that levels of motivation var enormousl ? -ost had o#served an improvement in motivation as the course continues? Sources of motivation were identified as su#:ect interest7 career $oals 0which were seen as motivation to pass rather than to wor! hard for most students27 fear of failure and desire to perform well7 and $ood relations with tutors? Gac! of confidence was mentioned as a demotivator # a few staff7 #ut was $enerall underestimated? .

+i Reflections • • • • • • • • most students are ver satisfied and have en:o ed their universit e+perience staff li!e their students and are stron$l committed to providin$ e+cellent teachin$ and learnin$ students feel fairl well ad:usted to their academic and social lives at universit students do relativel little private stud 7 and attendance falls throu$h the academic ear poor attendance relates to low motivation7 lac! of inte$ration and ris! of withdrawal staff have a fairl accurate awareness of student lifest les #ut would li!e more information and more accurate information a#out these a relativel hi$h num#er of students state that the sometimes lac! motivation demotivators include: lac! of interest7 a failure to connect emplo ment $oals with current tas!s 0especiall where future $oals themselves lac! clarit 27 4worr 57 lac! of confidence in one5s a#ilities7 time pressures7 unclear or undefined priorities and poor stud ha#its? low motivation is in a vicious c cle with poor stud ha#its7 lac! of en:o ment and inte$ration7 and a failure to en$a$e with personal development aspects of the course a num#er of students are 4reactive5 entrants to universit C the are vulnera#le to failure andFor withdrawal a num#er of students ta!e a 4strate$ic5 approach to their courseC this puts them at ris! of failureFwithdrawal and disrupts the learnin$ of other students7 in particular ma!in$ it difficult to use 4student centred5 teachin$ methods reasons for entr shape student #ehaviourC students who decide to $o to universit #ecause of interest in a particular su#:ect are more li!el to persist and #e satisfied realistic e+pectations lead to a more satisf in$ e+perience and #etter ad:ustment perceptions of universit are shaped # the relationship of e+pectations to e+perience man non'traditional students are hi$hl motivated and have stron$ stud ha#its staff feel positive towards non'traditional students female students are in $eneral less confident 0academicall and sociall 2 than males students who live in halls of residence have #etter ad:ustment7 attendance and persistence than students who live at home student perceptions of staff approacha#ilit relate at least partl to the academic support availa#le the 4financial realit 5 of student life surprises man students staff and at least some students share a view that the mission of the universit is to offer #oth vocational trainin$ and intellectual $rowth throu$h personal development staff worr that some students do not en$a$e with personal development activities and favour a 4transactional5 approach to learnin$ staff are aware of enormous diversit in the attitudes and lifest les of students self' mana$ement7 prioritisation7 note'ta!in$7 listenin$ and directed readin$7 written and ver#al communication7 pro#lem'solvin$7 conceptual wor!7 and reflection and report on their own learnin$? Staff also worr a#out the development of 4transactional5 approaches to learnin$ staff note that $eneric s!ills improve throu$hout the course and especiall durin$ or after wor! placements? student confidence is often low and students would #enefit from more feed#ac! on their pro$ress and interaction with staff staff and students ma #rin$ different 4unspo!en5 assumptions to the universit C a lac! of 4communication5 ma #e responsi#le for some difficulties • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • +i .

+ii Recommendations • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • stron$ support for more small'$roup andFor one'to'one staffFstudent contact7 includin$ trac!in$ of individual student pro$ress formal routes to individual academic support address issues of poor motivation consider introducin$ activities similar to those of wor! placements earl in the course consider wa s of discoura$in$ transactional approaches to learnin$ and en$a$in$ students with $eneric s!ills and personal development activities e+amine 4$ood practice5 amon$ students and loo! at wa s to e+tend this throu$h the student population attempt to en$a$e all students in su#:ect interest earl on7 includin$ those for whom this is not a hi$h priorit at entr encoura$e students to develop clear personal $oals throu$hout the course activel relate future emplo ment to current studies7 a$ain earl on in the course help staff $ain clear picture of student lives inte$rate realistic information a#out student lives into plannin$ of administrative procedures such as timeta#lin$ #uild in on$oin$ feed#ac! earl in the course ma!e staff aware of 4underl in$5 demo$raphic factors7 e?$? $ender differences and 4class5 differences in part'time wor! ta!e'up? attempt to reproduce some of the 4hall of residence e+perience5 for students livin$ at home 0e?$? facilitatin$ and accommodatin$ stud $roups7 offerin$ 4out of class5 spaces7 etc2 mana$e student e+pectations #efore entr and durin$ the course reco$nise and mana$e the specific difficulties of 4reactive5 and 4strate$ic5 students7 includin$ their impact on the learnin$ e+perience of other students note that these latter $roups are defined # attitudeFapproach7 not demo$raphics facilitate dialo$ue #etween staff and students as a central activit of the courseC ensure that all students participate in this +ii .

Experiences and Expectations arose out of the Survey of ac!ground "iterature on Student Retention which was presented to the SA6 in -arch 2.3? .-round &he plan for this Survey of Student Attitudes.rom this wor!7 three crucial issues for student retention emer$ed? &hese are as follows: • Student expectations of university# Several studies ar$ue that students ma leave universit if their e+pectations are unmet7 or turn out to have #een unrealistic? &his was a common theme in the 4e+it interviews5 carried out in the School of Informatics7 and researchers at a wide ran$e of institutions report similar findin$s? It is also proposed that students5 reported experiences of universit ma relate at least as closel to how it compares to their e+pectations as to what the actuall encounter? Student motivation? &he word 4motivation5 arises in man discussions of student retention and student life7 #ut there is surprisin$l little research on how motivation can #e supported? &here is even some confusion over precisel what is meant # the term? However7 it is almost certainl true that this is an important factor in determinin$ student e+periences and decisions a#out whether or not to continue with a course? In the first place7 low motivation is frequentl cited # students who are optin$ out of coursewor! or attendance7 or considerin$ withdrawal? In addition7 a repeated findin$ in the literature is that withdrawin$ students include man 4reactive entrants5 to hi$her education7 who can #e assumed to have relativel low levels of certain !inds of motivation? A !e tas! ma #e the differentiation of different t pes of motivation7 and of the wa s in which these can #e fostered amon$ students? Student lifestyles and student experiences# Both of the a#ove issues can #e seen as closel related to &into5s well'esta#lished thesis that students who achieve a $ood de$ree of academic and social inte$ration 0or an e+ceptionall hi$h de$ree of one or the other of these2 are the least li!el to withdraw from hi$her education unless the are affected # a serious e+ternal crisis? • • I have e+plored these in relation to the notion of 4culture5 around hi$her education7 #oth within the institution and in the wider societ in which individual universities and the hi$her education s stem e+ist? &his can #e seen to underlie the three central concerns of this pro:ect? Student e+pectations will #e shaped # the comple+ and conflictin$ cultural status of universities in modern British societ ? &heir e+perience when confronted with the realit of a particular institution will form their decisions a#out how to proceed with their hi$her education7 and the same is pro#a#l true of their levels and t pes of motivation? And if we are to e+amine their involvement and inte$ration with an institution7 it is essential that the culture of that institution is understood? It is inevita#le7 even desira#le7 that staff and students in a chan$in$ and diverse institution such as the 9niversit of *orthum#ria will have different ideas a#out what a universit is and what it should offer to7 and e+pect from7 its students and staff? However7 underl in$ cultural #eliefs are rarel articulated7 and differences which are not reco$nised7 ac!nowled$ed and mana$ed can lead to pro#lems of communication and practice? &his report attempts to provide some framewor! for discussion of this matter? I did not investi$ate an of the followin$ matters in detail7 #ecause the are the su#:ect of e+tensive wor! # other $roups within the universit : $uidance tutorin$7 orientation and induction7 recruitment and pre'entr activities7 student finance7 part'time emplo ment7 diversit issues? Inevita#l 7 however7 man of them have arisen 4in passin$5? 1 ....1 AR" #NE$ %A&'(R#UN) Section #ne$ +$+ *ntroduction %ac.1 and 2.47 and out of m wor! with students in the School of Informatics #etween 2.

17 .327 sometimes on the #asis of ver mista!en #eliefs? Student attitudes and e+periences7 however7 are reasona#l well documented # the man surve s of student satisfaction which are now esta#lished? Students are as!ed to report on Itheir perceptions ofJ teachin$ qualit 7 their wor!load7 levels of difficult 7 availa#ilit of academic and non'academic support7 their interest in the su#:ect7 the teachin$ methods and materials the encounter7 and their e+perience of assessment? &heir views on accommodation7 student union facilities7 I6& and li#rar provision and of their financial welfare are also sou$ht? All of these are now e+amined in a national student surve 7 #ut the have lon$ #een a !e part of departmental and institutional reviews in man institutions? &here is alread a su#stantial pro:ect of this t pe underwa at the 9niversit of *orthum#ria7 in relation to the forthcomin$ *ational Student Surve ? It is7 therefore7 relativel eas to find 4percenta$e scores5 indicatin$ the proportion of students in an institution who are 4ver satisfied57 4satisfied57 4neither satisfied nor dissatisfied5 etc? with the elements of universit life considered salient within the standard surve desi$n7 and this information is7 of course7 invalua#le in settin$ polic within an H8I or the H8 s stem? However7 it is far harder to find information a#out precisel what a student means when sFhe evaluates aspects of their universit e+perience? Is a 4$ood5 seminar session one which students will #e una#le to appreciate full without some preliminar readin$7 and in which the are required to ta!e part in activities where the en$a$e with the tutor and their peers> Ar is it one where the can e+ercise their personal choice to turn up entirel unprepared and write down an occasional sentence without havin$ to thin! too hard> Is a 4$ood5 lecture one in which the student learns onl thin$s which sFhe #elieves are directl relevant to a future career7 or one in which potentiall interestin$ concepts or s!ills of which sFhe has never even heard are introduced> &he $rowin$ literature on 4e+cellence5 and 4professionalism5 in H8 teachin$ defines these qualities7 #ut students ma not alwa s share their criteria 1? &here is a small #ut $rowin$ literature7 however7 which ta!es a more discursive approach to student lifest les and the 4student e+perience5 27 and to student attitudes towards their role and their universities? &he relative rarit of such studies ma arise partl #ecause7 if the are to include sufficientl e+plorator interviews7 the ris! either #ein$ prohi#itivel e+pensive to underta!e7 or of usin$ too small a sample to qualif their conclusions as trul representative? However7 I have e+amined some of the wor! which does e+ist? 1 I was #rou$ht up forci#l a$ainst this sort of question durin$ m last ears as a lecturer7 when one student $raded m lectures as 4unsatisfactor 5 and e+plained that this was #ecause 4the lecturer was too enthusiastic5? A collea$ue at another institution7 who re$ularl received an a$$re$ate assessment from her students indicatin$ that she was an outstandin$ teacher7 received poor assessments from two students who said she 4didn5t tell us enou$h and e+pected us to do too much for ourselves5 in seminars? 2 Andrew Shipton5s wor!7 at the 9niversit of *orthum#ria7 is an outstandin$ e+ample? 2 .iterature survey A su#stantial quantit of literature on the topics considered in this stud was surve ed in the first report su#mitted to the SA67 and this has not7 for reasons of space7 #een re'e+amined here? However7 I have included references where parts of that report are particularl relevant? &here is a lar$e literature on student retention7 #ut writin$s student e+pectations of H8 are surprisin$l few? &his is noted # some of the authors cited in the first report7 e?$? AH$a and Su!hnandan 1"")7 -artineH 2.2? -an students who withdraw state that 4the course isn5t what I e+pected5 or draw attention aspects of their academic or social lives which come as a surprise? However7 it is difficult to find much wor! on precisel what students do e+pect? =here this e+ists7 it ma relate onl to particular sections of the student communit 0e?$? mature'a$e students7 students from low'participation nei$h#ourhoods27 or even to oun$ people who have decided not to enter hi$her education 0e?$? 3a ne 2...oddan 2..2 +$2 .

1 #ut which # 2.concern was to e+amine some of the implications of this lan$ua$e and the e+pectations which its use ma en$ender in students7 administrators and academics? &he third issue7 related to #oth of the a#ove7 is the wa in which the wider 9D societ re$ards hi$her education and helps to shape the e+pectations which students #rin$ to universit ? Gi!e the previous ones7 this is potentiall controversial? It is also difficult to find 4hard evidence57 #ecause the pro#lem is rather precisel that uninformed opinions rather than hard evidence are what is under discussion? *evertheless this is an important matter #ecause it is at the root of man student attitudes7 and also attitudes amon$ the $eneral pu#lic to H8 polic ? 3 .3 Ane fact which emer$es clearl from this wor! is that it is almost completel meanin$less to tal! a#out 4students5 as a uniform $roup? &he student #od is now so lar$e and diverse that even amon$ the apparentl homo$enous 4 oun$ post'A'level5 $roup there is an enormous variet of aspiration7 interest and attitude to almost ever aspect of student life? 4<iversit 5 e+ists not onl #etween $roups such as 9D and overseas7 a#le'#odied students and students with disa#ilities7 students from different ethnic $roups7 4 oun$5 and 4mature'a$e5 students or even 4advanta$ed5 students and those from low participation nei$h#ourhoods andFor poor homes? A rich comple+it of factors determines what an individual #rin$s to universit and what she or he will $et out of it? &wo dimensions of diversit which I decided to e+amine in the questionnaire are 4student $eneration5 and choice of academic su#:ectC one which emer$ed as more important than I had anticipated was $ender? &he e+ception to m complaint a#out the paucit of materials is in the area of finance7 where a num#er of e+tensive studies on students5 financial attitudes as well as their circumstances have #een carried out in recent ears? &his is reported in a separate report presented toda ? Another area where it proved difficult to find a $reat deal of secondar readin$ was student motivation? &his is partl #ecause the literature on human motivation in general is fairl small? =here it does e+ist it relates lar$el to 4compelled5 activities such as paid wor! 0there is a lar$e literature on emplo ee motivation27 which does not translate particularl easil to the case of students whose wor! is lar$el unsupervised and essentiall elective? &he wor! on student motivation is also pro#lematic #ecause of the special comple+it in this area with re$ard to motivations which ma #e distant 0e?$? future emplo ment prospects2 andFor va$ue 0e?$? 4a $ood :o#5 or 4a well'paid :o#52? However7 what is essential for student retention and satisfaction is a wa of motivatin$ students immediately to ta!e a full part in their course of stud ? In addition7 the motivation of students to wor! hard is perhaps uniquel su#:ect to factors which are outside the control of their tutors? -an theorists7 from Aquinas on7 have written a#out what the 4culture5 of a universit is7 and what it should #e? A full surve of this literature would #e far #e ond m remit or a#ilit 7 #ut I have addressed three of the issues which are particularl important for student retention? &he first is the potential for mismatches7 lar$el tacit7 in the #eliefs of IsomeJ students and IsomeJ H8Is7 or sections within these7 a#out what a universit is andFor should #e? =here these arise7 it is unli!el that students will en$a$e in #ehaviours which foster their success within the institution7 and it ma #e difficult for the institution to offer appropriate support to the student? &he literature on this topic includes a discussion of wa s in which there ma #e a particular dan$er of such mismatches in the era of 4widenin$ participation5? In fact7 the findin$s of m primar research at 9niversit of *orthum#ria often contradict the impression $iven # wor! at other 9D H8Is in this area? A second concern is the status of fee'pa in$ students as 4customers5 of the universit ? &his is a hi$hl controversial piece of terminolo$ 7 which Sir Howard *ew# descri#ed as 4e+treme5 in 2...3 was used with little qualification in the =hite 3aper $he %uture of &igher Education# In the 9SA7 a strident de#ate continues over whether students should #e called7 and treated as7 customers7 and there are si$ns that a similar situation ma arise in the 9D? .

3 on selected courses in *ewcastle Business School and the School of Informatics? Both continuin$ and withdrawn students received the questionnaire and were invited to complete and return it? It was accompanied # a pre'paid envelope and a letter e+plainin$ the pro:ect and the conditions of anon mit for students who chose to participate? A total of 6% returns were received7 all of which were usa#le? &his represents a response rate of :ust over 21@? =hile hardl overwhelmin$7 this is similar to the rate received in a num#er of <f8S studies and pu#lished articles which have used surve instruments of a similar siHe to the one emplo ed here? A shorter questionnaire mi$ht have ielded more responses7 #ut it would not have #een possi#le to o#tain the ran$e of information and correlations which were availa#le? &herefore7 the decision to use a relativel lon$ questionnaire seems to #e :ustified? &he questionnaire7 of which a cop is included in Appendi+ Ane of this report7 was si+ pa$es lon$? It was desi$ned to elicit four sets of information: #asic demo$raphics7 a picture of da ' to'da student lifest le 0e?$? attendance and stud ha#its7 part'time emplo ment patterns27 reasons for enterin$ the 9niversit of *orthum#ria and a profile of the student5s e+perience7 e+pectations and attitudes re$ardin$ hi$her education? &he questions used a multiple choice format7 with the option of one'word or ver #rief answers in a few cases? Su#:ects were invited to ma!e 4additional comments5 on a final pa$e7 #ut ver few in fact decided to do this? &he demo$raphic questions sou$ht the followin$ information: • • • • • • • • Su#:ect of stud &ransfer status: did the student initiall enter 9niversit of *orthum#ria on the course which the were stud in$ at the end of the first ear> A$e Se+ & pe of entr qualification 0e?$? A'levels7 (687 H8.4 +$/ rimary research &he primar research for this pro:ect too! place in three phases? '()(' Student *uestionnaire <urin$ the summer of 2.. ect2 Accommodation durin$ the first ear Student $eneration: did the student5s father7 mother7 si#lin$IsJ or other close relatives andFor close friends from schoolFcolle$e attend universit Accupation of #oth parents &he questions on student lifest le sou$ht the followin$ information: • • • • • • • • • • *um#er of hours in different stud activities <id tutors su$$est a sensi#le num#er of hours for students to spend in private stud 7 and if so7 how lon$ was this> How much private stud did the student underta!e in a t pical term'time wee!> .easons wh the student either did or did not follow tutors5 advice on private stud ? Attendance levels in each semester .6 9D students who had enrolled as first ears in Septem#er 2.47 a questionnaire was posted to 3..easons for non'attendance if attendance fell #elow 7%@ at an point 3art'time wor! status Hours spent in part'time wor! in a t pical term'time wee! & pe of part'time wor! underta!en Avera$e num#er of da s on which student attended at their campus in term'time 4 .

our final questions as!ed a#out how well the felt lecturers e+plained topics on their courses7 how 4approacha#le5 the felt lecturers to #e7 and required students to :ud$e whether academic demands and wor!loads on their courses were too hard7 too eas or 4a#out ri$ht5? &he aim here was to compare student :ud$ements with the #ehaviours and e+pectations reported elsewhere on the questionnaire? &he section on e+pectations e+amined the e+tent to which students felt that school or colle$e had prepared them for universit 7 and as!ed specificall a#out the e+tent to which their e+pectations had #een accurate or otherwise in the followin$ areas: • • • • • • • • • wor!load academic demands ma!in$ friends interest in the course academic and non'academic support contact with individual staff stud ha#its required at universit 7 includin$ independent learnin$ course content academic staff and teachin$ methods &he final section attempted to measure more $eneral student #eliefs and attitudes7 e?$?: • • • • • interest in the su#:ect and 4academic orientation5 motivation and willin$ness to stud student identit 4instrumentalit 5 of approach en:o ment of the course and the universit e+perience &he results of the questionnaire were anal sed usin$ S3SS software? % .% • Gen$th of t pical commute to campus &he questions on reasons for entr sou$ht the followin$ information: • • • • • motivations for choosin$ to enter hi$her education motivations for choosin$ to attend 9niversit of *orthum#ria motivations for choosin$ the particular course on which student was stud in$ did student consider withdrawin$ or transferrin$ at an point> if student did not withdraw or transfer after considerin$ doin$ so7 wh was this> In all cases where students were as!ed to nominate reasons for their choices or ha#its7 the were invited to tic! 4all which appl 57 althou$h in the case of reasons for enterin$ H8Fthe 9niversit of *orthum#riaFtheir course the were as!ed to nominate one of these reasons as the most important? &he ne+t section measured student ad:ustment and satisfaction with the first ear of their course? Students were invited to indicate their ad:ustment to the academic demands of their course in $eneral7 and then to indicate their ad:ustment to specific aspects of this such as mana$in$ one5s own time and wor!in$ independentl 7 understandin$ course rationale7 and wor!in$ consistentl ? &he were also as!ed to indicate their level of social ad:ustment7 their feelin$s a#out the ph sical environment of the universit 7 and the level of pressure which the felt over financial matters? In addition7 the questionnaire measured their satisfaction with the rate at which the were e+pected to #ecome 4independent learners5 and universit timeta#les? .

.nterviews Students and staff were invited to ta!e part in interviews over the telephone or face'to'face? &hese were semi'structured interviews which addressed the main themes of the questionnaires? Interviews were tape recorded and su#:ected to a discourse anal sis? *o attempt was made to re'code the interviews for anal sis with S3SS7 as the aim here was to $ather more su#tle impressions and narratives? &he student response to the request for interviewees was poor7 and in the end onl si+ interviews were possi#le? B coincidence7 the students involved were all academicall successful and reported a hi$h level of satisfaction with their academic and personal e+perience at universit ? &he interviews proved e+ceedin$l helpful to the pro:ect7 #ecause it was in each case possi#le to identif the approaches to universit entr and first ear stud contri#uted to this satisfaction7 and possi#l also to e+cellent academic performance? In other words7 these are students from whom we can learn 4what went ri$ht5 K especiall #ecause all of them stated that at some point in their first ear the had seriousl considered withdrawin$ from universit ? Seven interviews were carried out with mem#ers of academic staff? &hese also provided some helpful materials7 in particular with re$ard to the issues of widenin$ participation and the e+tent to which students under$o 4transformation5 while at universit ? 6 .6 '()(+ Staff *uestionnaire A questionnaire was circulated # email earl in the autumn semester to mem#ers of staff in *BS7 the School of Informatics7 and the School of the Built 8nvironment? &he response to this questionnaire was a$ain relativel low7 with onl 2. out of over 1. staff sendin$ returns? 9nfortunatel the results ma not #e $enuinel representative7 as it is li!el that onl staff who have an interest in student welfare or student retention would ta!e the time to complete a questionnaire of this sort? Staff who feel resistant to student retention initiatives mi$ht well ar$ue that the do not have time to waste on et another peripheral activit ? &he questionnaire7 which is reproduced in Appendi+ Ane7 was four pa$es lon$ and requested #rief information a#out the staff mem#er5s su#:ect specialisms and professional #ac!$round7 their #eliefs a#out the attitudes7 s!ills and motivations of their students7 their perceptions of student attitudes7 motivations and lifest les and their #eliefs a#out the definin$ characteristics of a 4universit 5? &he attempt was to find out how staff perceive their students? It was not assumed that staff would7 for e+ample7 offer the most accurate picture of their students part' time emplo ment schedules? &he staff questionnaire was desi$ned after the #ul! of the data from the student one had #een anal sed? Because of the e+treme diversit which had emer$ed from this wor!7 a sli$htl unusual format was used in the latter instrument? =here staff were as!ed to respond to items a#out the characteristics of their students7 the were invited to estimate the proportion of their current under$raduate students to which a particular statement applied? &his turned out to #e a ver useful practice? &he sections on staff #ac!$round and $eneral impressions used a multiple choice format? Staff were invited to $ive short written answers to questions a#out their views on wh students drop out of universit and wh the appl in the first place7 and a#out student s!ills7 motivations7 attitudes and lifest les? '()() .

7 7 .

iterature survey 2$+ +('(' Student perceptions and the student experience &olistic approaches to the student experience 8lements of the student e+perience Kteachin$ qualit 7 social relationships7 satisfaction with the ph sical environment7 practical details of or$anisation etc? K are often discussed as if the are quite distinct from one another? Such a separation is a practical necessit in the mana$ement of a universit or department7 #ut it does not reflect the realit of student life? A common perception amon$ researchers who wor! with the narratives of individual students is that apparentl discrete aspects of their e+perience actuall #leed into one another? =here the student is considerin$ withdrawal7 this ma mean that the reasons for leavin$ are unclear to the researcher and possi#l also to the student himFherself? <ifferent K sometimes radicall different K rationalisations can emer$e on different occasions7 or in conversations with different people7 and the outcome of a 4tic! #o+5 questionnaire can contradict entirel the account offered in an interview? .ather less positivel 7 man student advisers who wor! in this field have noted that the e+tent of their success is ver difficult to measure7 #ecause it is impossi#le to !now whether a particular individual actuall would have dropped out? =here 4sta ers5 are investi$ated alon$side 4leavers57 their characteristics turn out to #e remar!a#l similar? &his approach is remar!a#l new in the field of student retention7 as 6hristie et al 02.or a lon$ time7 the potential of a stron$ retention strate$ to improve the e+perience and achievement of all students has #een noted # or$anisations such as *oel'GevitH? .47 61)2? ) .) Section "1o$ .or students who decide to leave7 somethin$ ar$ua#l 4$oes wron$5 in the #alance #etween these disparate elements7 while it can #e assumed that those who sta find a path throu$h the comple+it that in some wa 4wor!s5 for them? It ma wor! e+ceedin$l well7 as it did at the end of the first ear for the students interviewed in this pro:ect7 or it ma :ust a#out come out alri$ht7 as seemed to #e the case at some earlier sta$e of their careers? Ane solution to this comple+it which emer$es in recent wor! on student retention is to research students who do not withdraw alon$side those who depart? In other words7 researchers have increasin$l chosen to loo! at the ran$e of factors which ma!e up the student e+perience for all students7 in an attempt to see 4what $oes ri$ht5? .or e+ample7 one student who had $one into $reat detail a#out his disli!e of course content and of his privatel rented accommodation concluded the discussion # sa in$ 4of course7 it would all have #een fine if I hadn5t #een so worried a#out mone all the time5? Another realised that her unhappiness with the ph sical environment of the universit diminished her en:o ment of lectures whose content she in fact considered 4fascinatin$57 while a third identified his reason for 4not ma!in$ friends5 as #ein$ rooted in an unwillin$ness to commit to a su#:ect a#out which he felt hi$hl am#ivalent? In addition to this7 students have #een shown to evaluate their overall e+perience7 and to ma!e their decision a#out whether to sta or to leave7 on the #asis of a comple+ 4cost'#enefit anal sis5 0GS17 2.42 note in their article comparin$ students at two ver different Scottish institutions7 Heriot =att and /las$ow 6aledonian 9niversities? &he su$$est that the reasons for withdrawal should #e sou$ht as much in the wa students e+perience their circumstances as in the circumstances themselves7 #ecause 4similar circumstances Ima J #ecome un#eara#le for one student #ut not for another5 02..2? Some of the factors involved will #e e+tremel practical ones7 such as qualit of or$anisation on a particular course7 ease of commutin$ to campus7 and usin$ universit facilities such as I& and li#raries? Athers will #e harder to define7 such as 4teachin$ qualit 57 coherence of curriculum7 and social inte$ration? -ost importantl 7 #oth of these $roups will #e mediated # the attitudes and e+pectations #rou$ht to universit # the individual student7 as well as their personal interests7 tastes7 and sta$e of development? ..

" In this report7 I have #orrowed e+tensivel from the methodolo$ used in this stud ? 6hristie et al 02.@ of students mentioned health or housin$ issues7 and the offer of a :o# proved crucial for a onl a ver small num#er 3 06hristie et al 2...27 4232 descri#es man of her su#:ects as havin$ e+ternal circumstances 0financial hardship and lon$ part'time wor!in$ hours2 appear to ma!e them e+tremel vulnera#le to withdrawal? However7 their interviews show them to #e satisfied and committed students who are unli!el to leave universit ? A similar $roup are descri#ed # =inn 02:%:117 #elow2? &here appear to #e two crucial 0and related2 in$redients which operate as an antidote to a potentiall poisonous mi+ture of e+ternal forces? *either of these is entirel within the control of the universit 7 #ut neither is entirel outside it? Ane K the more difficult of the two to descri#e and to foster K is undou#tedl student motivation7 which is discussed in 2:% #elow? &he other is the oldest chestnut of all in student retention literature7 the e+tent to which the student feels that sFhe #elon$s within their universit 7 their course7 and hi$her education itself? If a student feels comforta#le7 welcome and happy in these places7 then sFhe is unli!el to elect to leave them? If e+ternal circumstances threaten that sense of #elon$in$7 then the student5s first response will pro#a#l #e to protect it rather than to hasten its loss? Additionall 7 sFhe is li!el to en$a$e in a set of #ehaviours which match and support their identit as a student7 such as effective stud and re$ular attendance? 6hristie et al 02...47 633 &he su$$est that if relationships are $ood and the student5s feelin$ of #elon$in$ is stron$7 practicall an 4#ad5 circumstance can #e ameliorated? 6hristie et al also point out that their wor! reinforces &into5s view that curriculum and social life are ine+trica#l lin!ed in the e+perience of students? Breen 01"""7 327 identifies four dimensions of 4qualit 5 in teachin$ and learnin$ 0curricula coherence and sequencin$7 development of critical perspective in students7 connectin$ learnin$ material to other disciplines and levels of 4inclusiveness5 of student minorities27 #ut also points out that the 4attitudes7 #eliefs and values5 of students are 3 6hristie et al noted some interestin$ differences #etween 4advanta$ed5 and 4disadvanta$ed5 students who left7 with the former $roup citin$ course or motivational pro#lems more frequentl than the latter 02%@ as opposed to 1)@ for course pro#lems7 and 17@ rather than 1%@ for motivation2? &his contradicts some 4standard approaches5 to the characteristics of widenin$ participation students 0GS17 34'627 althou$h it is similar to the findin$s of #oth the questionnaire and the staff interviews used in this pro:ect? " .42 note that students will usuall under'represent their own academic difficulties 062327 which can also #e assumed to pla a part? In an earlier wor!7 &homas 02..42 hi$hli$ht the importance of this latter t pe of factor: L the e+tent to which the decision to continue in the face of financial 0and other2 difficulties is intrinsicall related to the qualit of relationships with other students7 tutors and support staff7 and the e+tent to which students feel the M#elon$N to the universit ? 6hristie et al 2.ewer than 1.47 6222? 6hristie et al 02.42 found that amon$ their su#:ects7 no sin$le reason emer$ed as #ein$ particularl important in tippin$ the scales towards a decision to leave? &he most common factor named was the rather va$ue 4pro#lems with course57 althou$h this was cited # less than a quarter of students who withdrew? &he ph sical environment of the universit ran!ed surprisin$l hi$h7 althou$h this ma relate to the rather unusual situation at the two institutions surve ed: one is situated on a small and isolated campus7 while the other occupies several lar$e7 somewhat anon mous #uildin$s in one of the sha##ier parts of a #us cit centre? After this came 4lac! of motivation5 0see #elow27 financial pressures and famil pro#lems? ..

.37 411'412 -an writers lin! this strand in the retention literature to &into5s wor!? Bra+ton et al 02.32 su$$ests that a similarl holistic approach underlies effective induction7 descri#in$ the assumptions underl in$ successful American first ear curricula as follows: 4L with student pre'colle$e traits 0e?$? hi$h'school $rades2 held constant7 coursewor! and curricular patterns7 positive classroom e+periences7 and positive out'of'class e+periences 0that collectivel can #e viewed as institutional e+periences2 contri#ute to various learnin$ outcomes such as the development of anal tic7 communication7 personal7 or$anisin$7 math and computer s!illsC and the acquisition of su#:ect matter e+pertise5 /ra son 2.n this pro-ect.retained/ students to investigate factors relating to student retention# .1. have used the experiences of . ..7 p?%7.. have also examined correlations between aspects of the academic and non-academic experiences of students# +('(+ Academic preparedness and study s!ills -an writers stress that this is one area in which the expectations which students #rin$ to universit are a#solutel !e ? Breen su$$ests that the pro#lem is widespread7 and that it relates #oth to $eneral stud s!ills and to the student5s relationship with the culture of the particular academic discipline which sFhe enters: It is plausi#le that man students enter Hi$her 8ducation with ill'conceived ideas of what it reall means to stud their discipline in their chosen universit ? If this is ta!en to #e true7 then a discrepanc e+ists #etween e+pectations 0and motivations2 and e+periences7 this will undou#tedl lead to withdrawal7 failure or the development of inappropriate approaches to learnin$? Breen 1"""7 13 &his is a useful restatement of the importance of a $ood level of student preparedness for universit 0GS17 177 %6')7 "32? 3erhaps this factor e+plains the hi$h levels of retention amon$ &homas5 su#:ects7 despite the relativel hi$h levels of disadvanta$e e+perienced # some of them? &homas found that amon$ her interviewees7 4L the ma:orit L felt academicall either Mquite wellN or Mver wellN prepared to stud in H85 02.27 4342? &homas su$$ests that this is an area in which the universit can address uncertainties: 8ven students who were not well prepared for H8 in a traditional sense 0i?e? with hi$h A level scores2 seemed to feel supported # inclusive teachin$ and learnin$ approaches7 which is responsive to the var in$ levels of academic preparedness? 1.2 quote his view that social inte$ration must occur in the classroom7 which operates as the 4$atewa 5 to the colle$e? Similarl 7 Eansen 02. essential? &hese will themselves #e amon$ the elements of the student which under$o 4transformation5 at universit 04L in addition to Mpure !nowled$eN7 social norms and values are an important part of the conceptual framewor! of academic disciplines75 Breen 1""7 32? In other words7 for student identification to #e trul achieved7 the need to en$a$e with these internal aspects of hi$her education as well as the more o#vious e+ternals? /ra son 02. ...47 p? 4132 points out that curriculum or$anisation is $iven relativel little attention in discussions of retention7 despite &into5s insistence on its importance? &his strand of ar$ument stren$thens the case made in GS1 that it is important to inte$rate social and academic e+periences for students7 a position which is also supported # the student interviews reported #elow? ..

.27 434 &he !e terms here are 4inclusive5 and 4var in$5? Several authors7 includin$ Andrew Shipton in his wor! at the 9niversit of *orthum#ria7 note that when lectures are perceived as #ein$ 4too eas 5 or as repeatin$ material or techniques which students had encountered at A'level7 there is a dan$er that the more !nowled$ea#le7 confident or a#le individuals ma $et #ored? A related trend was noted in the School of Informatics? Here7 students too! a first ear course which was intended to allow them to learn computer science even if the had no former e+perience whatsoever in this field? In practice7 while some under$raduates were in this position7 a num#er had previousl studied in the field at levels from /6S8 to A'level or even H*<? A few of these students elected to miss lectures durin$ the first semester #ecause the felt that the had 4alread done5 the wor! covered in these? &his sounds reasona#le7 #ut durin$ the second semester the #e$an to miss lectures in su#:ects which were new to them7 and several of these apparentl well'qualified students later withdrew or failed units? Students who feel that the course is $oin$ 4too slowl 5 for them ma cease to attend and thus develop poor stud ha#its7 or fail to inte$rate? &homas5 equation of 4preparedness5 with A'level score is not unquestiona#le? A student who does well at A'level ma have acquired e+cellent stud s!ills? Alternativel 7 sFhe ma have #een ver effectivel prepared # a hi$hl supportive secondar school7 without havin$ acquired a stron$ a#ilit to learn independentl ? &he willin$ness to ta!e responsi#ilit for one5s own learnin$ is an essential part of universit stud 7 and helpin$ students to acquire the s!ills and confidence to do this is !e to #oth satisfaction and retention? .17 2"4 11 .12 su$$ests that is onl achieved via an e+plicit7 and on$oin$7 dialo$ue a#out what actuall constitutes learnin$7 so that students understand what the are supposed to #e doin$7 in a ver precise and su#:ect'specific wa 7 as well as how the are to do it? An their own: autonomous learnin$ e+periences do not automaticall turn dependent learners into autonomous ones? .17 2)62? In other words7 the need not :ust to !now that the need to do 4loads of stud 5? &he need to have a sense of what it would #e li!e to #e a#le to do somethin$7 or have a stron$ !nowled$e of a su#:ect? &he also need to $rasp the components of learnin$ this? 6han 02. examined student expectations and beliefs about independent learning# Approaches to teachin$ which encoura$e students to underta!e 4active learnin$5 are often recommended as increasin$ student satisfaction7 and also promotin$ a $ood understandin$ of su#:ect material? Bra+ton et al 02. ..11 &homas 2...n this pro-ect.7 %712 quote evidence that 4active learnin$ enhances student !nowled$e and understandin$ of course content5? &heir caution a$ainst identif in$ 4academic inte$ration5 with 4active learnin$5 is wiseC it is eas to ima$ine a student who feels 4academicall inte$rated5 #ut whose approaches to learnin$ are actuall quite passive 0consider the analo$ of an avid viewer of 0atch of the 1ay who has not !ic!ed a foot#all for a decade2? However7 the reverse is pro#a#l a much safer position to adopt? A student who is encoura$ed to participate in classes which use 4active learnin$5 techniques will almost per force encounter a de$ree of academic inte$ration? &he pro#lem with tr in$ to $et students to #e proactive a#out their studies7 inside and outside the classroom7 is that #oth students and staff need to 4#u into5 this approach? 6han discusses wa s of fosterin$ 4autonomous5 learnin$ approaches in lan$ua$e students7 and su$$ests that for these to #e adopted7 students need to understand what needs to #e learnt and why 06han 2...requent consultations with the students over the approach to their autonomous stud are thus necessar L IandJ L re$ular student'teacher dialo$ue 6han 2.

eed#ac! mi$ht #e little more than a mar!7 an indication of the level of performance attained # a student at one particular point in their course? Students certainl use do $rades as feed#ac!7 or an indication of 4how I5m doin$75 and as such the $rade constitutes a powerful means of communication #etween the student and the universit ? &reatin$ $rades in this wa is one wa in which a student can use an assessment as a tool in their learnin$? &here is a stron$er7 and more 4 =riters on students in I6& disciplines have o#served a similar a#sence of a discourse around 4s!ills5 amon$ si+th'formers7 who tend to confuse s!ills with !nowledge# 12 .17 2)% &his is a specific and individual account of a specific and individual process7 #ut the s!ills descri#ed are actuall ver similar to some of those whose importance is stressed in wor!s on the development of emplo a#ilit amon$ under$raduates7 and in related discussions of lifelon$ learnin$? &he 3<3 is a particular case where such reflection is required? $his might be a site where students could be encouraged to reflect on their own learning behaviours. and also to value these for their potential contribution to future employment and promotion prospects# +('() Student attitudes to feedbac! Ane area of students5 academic e+perience where there is a potential for dialo$ue with academic staff is in the feed#ac! which the receive on their assi$nments? &he questionnaire results demonstrated the enormous importance of feed#ac! to students7 #ut it is also a hi$hl pro#lematic issue? In the first place7 the actual reference of the term is rather am#i$uous? .3 0GS17 )"'".12 Ane difficult here is the lac! of a re$ister in which to discuss wa s of learnin$ 4? Stephenson 2..2 found that the school pupils with whom she wor!ed were more or less unaware that stud itself requires techniques? =hen as!ed 4how do ou learn>57 the either offered ver concrete responses 04I $o to school75 4m teacher tells me thin$s7527 or the repeated the content of lessons which the had attended? *evertheless7 the found the su#sequent e+ploration of actual learnin$ techniques and processes fascinatin$? &he common element in #oth 6han5s and Stephenson5s approaches is small'scale contact and discussion #etween students and teachers? &he 4individual5 element in 6han5s description7 #elow7 indicates that this ma well #e somethin$ that can only #e developed if there is at least some element of one'to'one contact while the discourse itself is #ein$ developed? As with man other measures which have the potential to increase student satisfaction and retention7 this could prove quite unrealistic to implement $iven current levels of resource? *evertheless7 there are wa s in which this discourse can #e initiated within the e+istin$ imperatives for hi$her education? 6han5s account of learner autonom is as follows: Gearner autonom is essentiall concerned with decision ma!in$ on the learner5s partL the locus of control and responsi#ilit lies in the hands of the individual learnerL the autonomous learner accepts responsi#ilit for hisFher own learnin$7 is a#le to ta!e char$e of the learnin$7 determine o#:ectives7 select methods and techniques and evaluate what has #een acquired? HeFshe is e+pected to #e a#le to ma!e si$nificant decisions a#out what is to #e learnt7 how and whenL assumin$ $reater responsi#ilit for hisFher learnin$L the autonomous learner esta#lishes a personal a$enda for learnin$L HeFshe 0with or without the teacher5s help2 is e+pected to #e activel involved in the settin$ of $oals7 definin$ content and wor!in$ out evaluation mechanisms for assessin$ achievement and pro$ress 6han 2..

27 %62? Afferin$ full and useful feed#ac! to all the students in a seminar $roup is time'consumin$7 and it would #e unreasona#le to e+pect lecturers to put a lot of time into this if students seem unli!el to use the feed#ac! well K or at all? &he depressin$ e+perience of handin$ carefull mar!ed essa s #ac! to a $roup of under$raduates who $lance at the $rade and then stuff the papers into a folder is all too common amon$ academics? It will surprise few lecturers to read that the students interviewed # Hi$$ins et al had a reasona#le concept of what constituted 4$ood feed#ac!5? -ost of them wanted tutors to offer comments as well as $rades7 and the were aware that these comments should refer to the 4stren$ths and wea!nesses5 demonstrated in their wor! 02..ormative feed#ac! is reco$nised as an e+tremel valua#le learnin$ tool7 and there is an e+citin$ strand of research7 led # -antH Oor!e 0GS17 114'%27 which ar$ues that it can contri#ute ver effectivel to student retention? Hi$$ins et al note various practical difficultiesC it is difficult to deliver where tutors have heav wor!loads7 in order to #e effective it requires a 4fast turnaround5 of student assi$nments7 and where comments are too va$ue or too ne$ative it ma #e of little use or even counter'productive 02.27 %)2? However7 the were less clear a#out how the could use this feed#ac!? &he attitudes and #ehaviours reported in the stud show a mar!ed contradictionC while "7@ read their tutor5s comments7 and )2@ maintained that the 4Mpaid close attentionN5 to the feed#ac! the receive7 the ma:orit said the spent less than fifteen minutes on it? &his mi$ht arise #ecause students #elieve that the mar!s for these particular assi$nments are alread fi+ed? If so7 then what is missin$ is once a$ain a discourse around the usefulness of feed#ac! in $ainin$ $eneric su#:ect or learnin$ s!ills7 and in #uildin$ up a sound !nowled$e of one5s sub-ect area as well as performin$ well in one particular tas!? ...27 %%2? In 13 .eed#ac! #ecomes a more practical part of the learnin$ e+perience when it involves some discussion of the stren$ths and wea!nesses of assessed wor!7 perhaps with advice a#out how the student can improve their performance7 and hence their $rade7 in su#sequent assi$nments? .22 note that tutors ma disa$ree on what constitutes feed#ac!7 and ma also #e c nical a#out whether students actuall use it 02..13 satisfactor 7 element of feed#ac! where the student is offered some discussion of $rades with a personal tutor or the lecturer who mar!ed their wor!? .inall 7 there is formative feed#ac!7 where a piece of wor! is underta!en primaril in order to o#tain the tutor5s comments and a $rade is either purel indicative7 or entirel a#sent? Gess formal 4formative feed#ac!5 mi$ht include a discussion of how well the student demonstrates his or her s!ills and !nowled$e in tutorials7 seminars or practicals? &here is also the pro#lem of precisel what feed#ac! is meant to do? In a stud at m previous institution7 a hi$h num#er of students a$reed with tutors that the comments written on essa s 0includin$ formative ones2 were intended to help students to develop s!ills in anal sis7 e+pression and ar$umentation? A small num#er7 however7 voiced the opinion that writin$ an essa which would not #e allocated a mar! was 4a waste of time when ou could #e doin$ somethin$ ou $et a mar! for5? Ane of these students descri#ed her understandin$ of the purpose of comments on an essa as follows: L ou do what the tutor tells ou7 and then if ou can hand in a second draft ou $et more comments7 and then ou can use those to perfect that essa even further7 and then ou5re sure ou5ll $et the #est mar! ou can? &he student5s focus in her course was simply on $ainin$ mar!s7 rather than on $ainin$ the s!ills which would allow her to achieve #etter mar!s? &his is not an unusual confusion 0see 2:%:) #elow27 #ut it ma!es it e+tremel difficult to encoura$e students K and # e+tension7 staff K to 4#u into5 the process of formative feed#ac!? Hi$$ins et al 02.

12? Students ma find it difficult to relate such $eneral points to the particular piece of wor! which the have su#mitted7 or to their own assessment of their a#ilities? Here too7 dialo$ue seems to #e essential? Specificall 7 students who have pro$ressed throu$h the school s stem in an atmosphere where 4$ettin$ mar!s5 is a priorit ma need some time and support to ad:ust to a settin$ in which su#mitted wor! is re$arded as a tool to #e used in a learnin$ process7 rather than an end in itself 0informal discussion with several tutors su$$ests that mature'a$e students who have e+perience of Access courses are often more receptive to the idea of formative feed#ac! than students who enter directl from school2? . students should be engaged in an explicit discourse about the purpose of feedbac! within their development as sub-ect specialists and s!illed graduates# %ormative feedbac! should be used where possible# +('(2 Student attitudes to teaching and learning &eachin$ and learnin$7 more than an other part of the student e+perience7 is an area where the universit can control the input to the student e+perience? A $reat deal of discussion in the student retention literature su$$ests that if students are offered 4student centred5 approaches in the classroom and other aspects of their academic course7 the will en:o it more and prove less li!el to withdraw? However7 once a$ain the attitudes of students to the e+perience offered to them is crucial? Eohnson 0GS17 172 discusses the pro#lem that 4student centred5 teachin$ can #e unpopular with certain students who lac! motivation or confidence7 #ecause students who are placed at the 4centre5 of their learnin$ e+perience need to wor! hard and consistentl ? 8ven ver willin$ students can have difficulties with the transition from school teachin$ methods and assumptions to the ones the encounter at universit ? It would #e a mista!e to assume that 4student centred5 approaches have onl #ecome widespread in hi$her education since the introduction of teacher trainin$ for universit lecturers and a discourse around teachin$ methods in the tertiar sector? <espite the tone of some discussions of this su#:ect7 in man departments the lecture has formed onl a part of the teachin$ strate$ ? Seminars and tutorials7 where students are encoura$ed to discuss7 anal se and en$a$e with concepts7 have alwa s #een at least as important if not more so 0in other words7 in their da 'to'da :o#s 4lecturers5 mi$ht more appropriatel have #een termed 4tutors52? Aften such teachin$ methods incorporated oral and written formative feed#ac! on student wor!? 14 .47 ""2 also interviewed tutors who found that their students did not respond well to these methods? Ane of the difficulties is that # their ver nature7 such documents use rather va$ue wordin$C .14 addition7 the methods which are most quic!l delivered 0e?$? num#er $rids or tic!'#o+ pro formas2 are often the ones to which students respond least readil 7 or find hardest to interpret? .ormative feed#ac! will wor! #est were students feel that the are developin$ their own learnin$ in partnership with the universit 7 a situation which is similar to the one which will support independence in learnin$? Its #enefits are least li!el to #e felt where students adopt an essentiall transactional approach7 in which the provide the 4ri$ht5 answers and in return are $iven the 4ri$ht5 mar!s? Again.47 1..idle 02..idle 5s e+ample is an item which assesses students5 a#ilit to 4access7 interpret and evaluate information from electronic sources5 02.

37 3) Such students are therefore li!el to #e relativel unwillin$ to en$a$e with the universit 5s attempts to support their transition to more useful learnin$ patterns? &he research carried out # <oole #ac!s up the view that prior learnin$ e+periences are 4salient5 for student #ehaviours once in hi$her education 02...37 3%2? 9nsurprisin$l 7 the found a consensus that e+posure to a particular t pe of teachin$ methods can7 over a period of time7 shape student approaches to learnin$: Student'focussed conceptual chan$e approaches to teachin$ are associated with deeper approaches to learnin$ and teacher'focussed information transfer approaches to teachin$ are associated with surface approaches to learnin$L consonant and coherent patterns of relationships 0surface approaches with perceptions supportin$ surface approaches7 and deep approaches with perceptions supportin$ deep approaches2 were related to lower and hi$her qualit learnin$ outcomes respectivel ? 3rosser et al 2.47 2322? He found that students were capa#le of learnin$ to learn in 4wa s that are considered conducive to qualit outcomes5 #ut that the will often prefer low qualit approaches if the have learnt that these #rin$ rewards? 3nce again.. the establishing a discourse around learning and demonstrating the value of this to students emerges as a priority# 1% .37 3) &his is $ood news for lecturers who adopt 4student focussed conceptual chan$e approaches5 in their classes and lectures? However7 students do not arrive at universit as #lan! slatesC the ma have surface approaches to learnin$ which are stron$l en$rained #ecause of7 or despite7 the learnin$ environments the have previousl e+perienced? 6han$in$ these in the twelve wee!s of the first semester is a considera#le challen$e for the universit 7 especiall in the a#sence of a well'defined discourse around how teachin$ and learnin$ happen? A further pro#lem is indicated # 3rosser et al5s researchC students who report surface approaches are li!el to have a whole cluster of ne$ative e+periences around their universit studies? In the same classes: students who reported adoptin$ surface approachesL perceive the teachin$ to #e poorer7 the $oals and standards to #e less clear7 the wor!load to #e too hi$h and the assessment to #e testin$ reproductionL Ithe J were shown to have poorer qualit understandin$ of !e concepts and to #e performin$ less well on tests of achievement? An the other hand7 students who reported adoptin$ deeper approaches and who perceive the teachin$ to #e #etter7 the $oals and standards to #e clearer7 the wor!load to #e not too hi$h and the assessment to #e testin$ understandin$ were shown to have hi$her qualit understandin$ of !e concepts and to #e performin$ #etter on tests of achievement? 3rosser et al 2.1% &hese sessions provided the t pe of individual7 concept'driven instruction which is essential to higher education 0and which man emplo ers of $raduates e+pect their recruits to have e+perienced2? &he were a practical realit while student num#ers were relativel small7 #ut as staff:student ratios #ecome similar to those found in secondar schools it ma #e difficult to maintain characteristic universit teachin$ methods7 and wa s of reproducin$ these for lar$er num#er will need to #e found? 3rosser et al e+amined a su#stantial #od of research on 4the relation #etween student perceptions of the learnin$ conte+t7 approaches to stud in that conte+t and the qualit of the learnin$ outcomesL5 02..

47 3)42? &homas $ives several e+amples of the sort of interaction which is valua#le outside the classroom: Students seem to #e more li!el to feel that the are accepted and valued # staff if lecturers and tutors !now their names and e+hi#it other si$ns of friendship7 are interested in their wor! and treat students as equalsL Ithe appreciateJ Mthe fact that ou can call staff # their first name is a ma:or thin$NL Mwe can $et hold of lecturers at an timeN? &homas 2.27 43227 while &a lor and Bedford list 4student' teachin$ staff interaction5 factors 02...17 122 quotes the statistics on retention and staff:student ratios which were put forward # *A&.idle 02..22 addresses some of these issues7 which can #e re$arded as additional aspects of student integration# A student who feels that the do not 4#elon$5 in a universit or a particular su#:ect ma well feel uncomforta#le K li!e a forei$ner who has not et acquired fluenc in a second lan$ua$e K interpretin$ or adoptin$ the re$ister of the institution or the discipline? 3rovidin$ an environment in which such learnin$ is supported7 and where students realise that these are thin$s which can be learnt7 is an important part of inte$ration? 0&his issue returns in the discussion of widenin$ participation #elow7 2:42? +('(4 $utor-student relations and the student experience &here is ample evidence that re$ular contact #etween staff and students is a#solutel fundamental to student retention: one'to'one interactions in teachin$ situations7 or$anised social contact and $uidance tutorin$ are all elements of this? GS1 contains detailed discussion of the literature on this point7 which is reiterated throu$hout the wor! on the student e+perienceC for e+ample7 &homas points out that student motivation rises when tutors appear to 4care a#out5 students and their learnin$ 02.*8 02.16 Some of the characteristics of 4low qualit approaches5 include a stron$ focus on the acquisition of information rather than of concepts7 a nervousness a#out learnin$ to read or reproduce 4academic lan$ua$e57 and a disli!e of handlin$ am#i$uit ? ..47 ") K 1.H87 and stresses that these need to #e ta!en seriousl 0see GS17 317 73'42? 16 .27 432 Students who are accepted on 4first name5 terms # their lecturers7 and who have eas and informal access to staff7 are li!el to #e well inte$rated into their department7 and it is unquestiona#le that this sort of atmosphere will #e conducive to #oth satisfaction and retention amon$ students? &he difficult in achievin$ it7 however7 is less li!el to come from the attitude of some academic staff mem#ers and more li!el to arise from the realit of modern staff'student ratios? &his point is rarel made in the literature7 and where it appears it is often dismissed #ecause 4we cannot chan$e the economic realit of modern staff'student ratios5? And et7 it is difficult to remem#er the names of all the students in several first ear seminars of twent or more as well as those in senior ears7 to #e in a position where an of the man students one teaches can 4$et hold of IoneJ at an time57 or indeed to treat a $roup of a hundred or more students collectivel as 4equals5? &his commentar is not intended to add to the hand'wrin$in$ over the state of hi$her education7 #ut it is important that the immova#le realit of current student num#ers is factored into the search for wa s to provide satisfactor personal contacts and support for students? 9..

*8 descri#es a pro:ect at <urham which included a 4s m#olic handover5 of students from their parents to their colle$es? =here this was used7 retention rates rose even further 02.esidence 02...*8 noted that students at *ewcastle 9niversit had e+perienced particular pro#lems with inte$ratin$ students livin$ at home7 and that at the 9niversit of Sunderland7 retention rates for students livin$ at home are lower than those for students livin$ in Halls of .22 also re$ards student space as crucial to #oth satisfaction and retention? B contrast7 retention is hi$hest in the colle$iate s stem of <urham 9niversit 7 and a $reat deal of this ma #e attri#uta#le to the hi$h levels of inte$ration and 4#elon$in$5 offered # this? It is certainl true that <urham found little or no variation in retention rates #etween students from different social classes or with different A'level scores who lived in the colle$es in the cit ? Supportin$ this point even more stron$l 7 9.17 2%2? &o some e+tent7 it is possi#le that factors which mean a student chooses to live in universit accommodation will themselves dispose that student to remain at universit ? &hese students have had7 at some point7 to choose #etween their home and their universit 7 and could #e ar$ued thus to have shown at least some de$ree of commitment to enterin$ hi$her education? &he will pro#a#l e+perience more practical difficulties if the choose to drop out than students livin$ at home? In addition7 universit accommodation tends to #e favoured # the 4 oun$5 students who are more li!el to have reasona#l standard fundin$ circumstances and few e+ternal responsi#ilities? However7 the accommodation itself is undou#tedl a positive factor? Givin$ in a communit which is defined # the universit ma well support 4student #ehaviours5 which at #est will foster all aspects of student life includin$ successful stud and at least will provide a stron$ sense of inte$ration? Students at *orthum#ria report 4$ettin$ to$ether5 to stud 7 and this activit ma foster a sense of #elon$in$ within their su#:ect communit 7 either #ecause the are tal!in$ to other students with whom the have this in common7 or #ecause a part of their identit within a peer $roup is as 4the computer scientist5 or 4the #usiness studies person5? 8ven if the stud is unpleasant or difficult7 the $roup ma help #uild confidence # helpin$ students to realise that 4it5s not :ust ImeJ5? 6hatterton su$$ests that 4student spaces5 ma function as: the #asis for the development of a common set of student dispositions7 or somethin$ li!e a Mstudent ha#itusNL the unique residential tradition of the British universit 7 althou$h decreasin$ in importance7 is a framewor! which nurtures and perpetuates these specific student dispositions? &his framewor!7 e+tendin$ to shared student housin$7 halls7 the li#rar 7 the la#orator and the lecture theatre creates7 a Mspecial time and placeN with its atmosphere of deference and inquir which7 temporaril 7 sets students apart from the non'student worldL 6hatterton 1"""7 117 =hat measures can reproduce some of the e+perience of the Halls of .esidence to provide spaces which are distinctl appropriate for students is also important? 17 .17 422? &homas 02..17 +('(5 Accommodation and retention &he correlations #etween t pe of accommodation and student retention which were o#served in this pro:ect 0":%2 are # no means unusual? 3racticall ever stud which has e+amined this varia#le has come to a similar conclusion? In the *orth 8ast7 9.esidence for students livin$ at home or in privatel rented accommodation> Ane possi#ilit is the provision of dedicated social spaces on campus which are suita#le for different $roups of students: common rooms where students can spend time without havin$ to purchase food or drin!7 areas which are easil accessi#le # ph sicall disa#led students7 areas where alcohol is not served? And if such spaces are to feel li!e some sort of 4home57 then the need to #e reasona#l pleasant to loo! at7 clean7 warm and safe? *eedless to sa 7 support for Halls of .

1) Space suita#le for $roup stud 0an activit which could usefull #e supported7 at least informall 7 # academic departments2 would also #e ver useful? &he traditional li#rar is not suita#le for this #ecause $roup stud # its ver nature involves interaction and discussion K it is unli!el to #e entirel quiet? It ma also proceed more fluentl if students are a#le to drin! coffee while the wor!P &he accommodation issue lin!s directl to widenin$ participation7 #ecause students from poorer families7 disa#led students and other non'traditional $roups are most li!el to live in the parental home? &homas found that this latter option man of the 4local5 students in her stud felt the would have #een #etter'inte$rated and advanta$ed for universit life if the 5d #een a#le to 4$o awa 5 to colle$e7 #ut were una#le to do so for financial reasons: those students who do not live in MstudentN accommodationL are more li!el to feel mar$inalised from their peers7 and thus that the occup a lower position? &homas 2....2? 6ommutin$ distance was a frequent difficult 7 as was findin$ a place to stud quietl and comforta#l in the famil home? A si$nificant num#er of students also reported that their famil re$arded them as 4availa#le5 for household or carin$ duties #ecause 4the were the one without a proper :o#5? 9.27 12 1) .47 6272? &he did find that at /las$ow 6aledonian 9niversit 7 where the ma:orit of students live at home7 pro#lems with the universit environment and travel arran$ements were not noted as often as at Heriot =att 9niversit 7 possi#l #ecause the universit campus is central #oth to the cit and to local pu#lic transport provision? A further factor here ma that livin$ at home is 4normalised57 and so students evolve a culture in which a #alance #etween universit and home is easil struc!? Interviews in the earlier School of Informatics pro:ect at the 9niversit of *orthum#ria uncovered #oth practical and cultural pro#lems for students livin$ at home7 some of which are discussed in GS1 0167 377 46'%.27 43627 indicatin$ their level of inte$ration there? 6hristie et al ma!e a similar point7 statin$ that: to the e+tent that livin$ at home ma #e primaril a strate$ of ris! reduction adopted # relativel disadvanta$ed students7 this su$$ests that livin$ at home constitutes another mechanism creatin$ class differences or inequalities 6hristie et al 2.27 4342? A student livin$ awa from home will still have to deal with these issues7 #ut the transition will pro#a#l #e less star!? In her stud 7 she found that students in halls of residence actuall used the word 4famil 5 to refer to their new livin$ arran$ements 0&homas 2..27 436'7 Givin$ in universit accommodation also helps inte$ration #ecause it can contri#ute to the process of personal development and 4transformation5 which students under$o at universit ? &homas notes that 4friends and social networ!s5 encountered throu$h the universit can challen$e the powerful 4famil ha#itus5 which ma #e conflictin$ or disruptive especiall for first $eneration students 02..47 626 Both inte$ration and the presence of an eas 4$et out clause5 are raised # this o#servation? 6hristie et al also ar$ue that the specific pro#lems facin$ students who live at home should #e addresses in a universit retention strate$ 02.*8 notes the importance of the communit to student inte$ration: =ith re$ard to friends and peersL research found that these were often the first source of advice and support for students that were considerin$ leavin$ universit ? Gocal students that continued to reside at home felt that the missed out on #ein$ a#le to access this t pe of advice 9..*8 2.

1" 2$2 +(+(' Student &haracteristics 6iews of students &he literature reviewed in GS1 indicated that it is naQve to tal! a#out 4students5 as if the were a uniform $roup? In a earl inta!e now num#erin$ several hundred thousand7 e+treme diversit of attitude7 e+perience and interest is the onl realistic possi#ilit ? &he accompan in$ paper on students and mone discusses some wor! on the ran$e of financial circumstances and values which students #rin$ to universit 7 and it is reasona#le to assume that this ran$e will #e :ust as wide in other aspects of their student lives? In Sections 13 and 14 #elow7 I e+amine some of the attitudes towards students e+pressed # m interviewees amon$ academic staff at the 9niversit of *orthum#ria7 #ut here I will ma!e a ver #rief attempt to put some of this in conte+t? Studies of student attitudes and cultures are in relativel short suppl 7 #ut one distinctl $loom perspective from the 9SA is offered # &a lor 02....427 some of whose o#servations ma rin$ true in relation to at least a minorit of 9D students? He quotes the research of the 96GA Hi$her 8ducation .esearch Institute7 who have #een trac!in$ student #ehaviour since 1"66? Accordin$ to this #od 7 the current $roup of under$raduates in the 9SA are: the most academicall disen$a$ed7 or even compliant colle$e students with all' time low measures for time spent stud in$ and all'time hi$h measures for #oredom and tardiness7 $rade inflation notwithstandin$? &a lor 2.47 3 ' 6 He relates the focus on 4!nowled$e5 rather than s!ills7 descri#ed a#ove7 to an attitude in which: MDnowled$eN is not a ma:or $oal for man students7 with information that directl relates to their career $oals the onl thin$ worth learnin$L much more information availa#le7 #ut woefull little a#ilit to separate the meanin$ful from the meanin$less? &he do show a distinct interest in e+actl what the will #e $raded on and what will #e necessar to achieve their specific $rade $oals &a lor 2.47 1 &a lor uses the popular device of $enerational definition to contrast 4traditional5 students 0who ma now #e parents or lecturers2 with the current $eneration of under$raduates? & pical mem#ers of the current late teenFearl twenties $roup7 which he terms 4/eneration *eRt57 are: 6onsumer orientedL Idesirin$J instant $ratificationL entertainment orientedL value freeL adapta#le and pra$maticL self'interestedL scepticalL c nicalFdistrustfulL commitment reluctantL safet consciousL uncivil and unwillin$ to appear carin$L intellectuall disen$a$ed IwithJ reduced self' efficac L selective ris!'ta!ers 0with notoriousl short event horiHons52L IwithJ parent issues 0parents are more involved and are Mdoin$ itN for their children li!e never #eforeL2L diverse and comforta#le with this #ut more 4class separate5 and technoliterate &a lor 2..47 % &his latter set of attitudes was certainl found amon$ some of the students surve ed at *orthum#ria? &a lor5s point that this reduces the commitment of students to core classes7 $eneric s!ills trainin$ and courses which concentrate on the theoretical underpinnin$s of a su#:ect is important7 not least #ecause it relates to students5 willin$ness to en$a$e with some !e emplo a#ilit s!ills? It will also ma!e them una#le to 4fit in5 with some of the assumptions a#out hi$her education which underlie man standard course desi$ns7 #ein$: 1" .

.2... . a remar!a#l poor fit to the e+pectations and values of colle$e facult and staff7 and what schools intend to offer &a lor 2.22 loo!s at the wa s in which shifts in the siHe of the hi$her education sector have affected student attitudes towards universit : Ari$inall the student viewed the universit as a finishin$ school7 then later as a source of social control7 instrument of $overnment polic 7 provider of education services7 and recentl supplier of education services under contract? &he universit L has seen the student as a mem#er of the social elite7 a child 0runnin$ the spectrum from wilful #rats throu$h to ever thin$ that a parent would want27 a citiHen7 a recipientFcustomer of educational services and recentl as a client or customer of those services? &he challen$e for universities has alwa s #een to reconcile its view with that of the students to ensure that #oth $et somethin$ from the relationship 6orcoran 2.47 % 8ven if one does not follow &a lor5s latter points a#out social values and postmodern sensi#ilities7 it would #e difficult to ar$ue that a sensi#le course for a universit would #e to remodel its teachin$ to fit in with the desires of this Iminorit J $roup of students? *ot onl would this ma!e it difficult to deliver esta#lished K and pro#a#l important K curricula in man su#:ects7 it would si$nificantl reduce the e+perience of hi$her education which is #ein$ offered to students? B $ivin$ the 4/eneration *eRt5 $roup 4what the want57 all students K includin$ these ones K would #e seriousl 4sold short57 a point which will #e addressed at $reater len$th #elow 012 and 132? 6orcoran 02.27 1 It has to #e said that7 if either of these is the norm7 then *orthum#ria is a $ood place to #e for #oth staff and students? Ane of the findin$s of this pro:ect was that staff and students here # and lar$e li!e one another? Some students7 enou$h to come to the attention of all the tutors interviewed7 certainl do #rin$ the assumptions of /eneration *eRt to their first ear studies7 #ut the less helpful elements of these seem to diminish as the pro$ress? *one of the tutors I spo!e to7 however7 e+pressed an sentiment which could #e interpreted as #etra in$ a view of students as 4children57 wilful #rats or $ood two'shoes? &he overwhelmin$ commitment was to an institution in which students are citi7ens7 and citiHens who en:o as much maturit and equalit as the can? $his is an area in which the university should be aware of what we are doing right and ma!e sure that this is maintained and nurtured# +(+(+ Student self-perceptions( s!ills In the followin$ section7 I shall loo! #riefl at some wor! on the wa s in which student self' perceptions relate to their academic and social #ehaviour within the institution7 #ecause an attempt to measure this is !e to the primar research reported in 3art &wo? Students7 li!e an other $roup of people7 do not alwa s have entirel relia#le self'perceptions7 and their reports of e+periences at universit can relate more to their e+pectations and dispositions than to the realit the descri#eC this commonsense o#servation e+plains wh a $roup of students who have ta!en precisel the same course can have widel different views even on apparentl concrete matters such as wor!load and difficult ? 2.

42 point out that while academics and emplo ers have well'developed discourses on s!ills7 we !now ver little a#out how students view them 02..2? =here such a discourse does e+ist7 their student su#:ects tended to 4perceive the Mworld of wor!N as demandin$ a $reater ran$e of s!ills than academic stud 5 02.47 1242? &he evaluated s!ills K and were motivated to acquire them K as the perceive them to #e relevant to future emplo ment? Ane reason for the #elief that universit does not require s!ills K and the consequent resistance of some first ears to either discussin$ them or valuin$ their acquisition a#ove the acquisition of mar!s or !nowled$e K ma #e the sense that universit is 4:ust another three ears of school5? A student who has achieved the $rades which ensure entr to universit is confident that she or he can 4alread do all that5? A challen$e for hi$her education is to find wa s of articulatin$ its difference from secondar schoolin$ in wa s which do not devalue the latter? Ane theme which arose in several e+it interviews in the School of Informatics was the loss of confidence that hit students who had done well at school with ver little effortC this $roup can #e at real ris! of withdrawin$ if the transition is not well handled? 21 .27 762 such as stress or heav wor!loads? Ance a$ain this research supports the case for a discourse around wa s of learnin$ as a !e part of the student e+perience? &he lac! of an e+istin$ discourse is mentioned a#ove? GiHHio and =ilson 02..32 e+amines the 4stud approaches5 adopted # students7 and su$$ests that these can #e $rouped into 4consonant5 and 4dissonant5 orchestrations of stud ? She su$$ests that the student5s approach ma!es a considera#le difference to how the learn7 what the learn and how the feel a#out it? 4<issonant5 or$anisations occur where students adapt poorl to the learnin$ environment and do not match their stud approaches to the teachin$ methods which the are offered? An e+ample would #e the 4surface oriented5 student descri#ed in 2:1:4 a#ove who encounters teachin$ methods intended to foster deep learnin$? B contrast7 students with 4coherent stud orchestrations5 scored hi$h on 4deep scales5 4seemed to #e conscious of themselves as studentsL had $ood metaco$nitive s!illsL ver certain that their wa of stud in$ was functional and successful in their learnin$ environmentL continued to see! for understandin$ even thou$h their learnin$ materials were sometimes ver factual in nature?5 Gind#lom'Ol1nne 2...32 quotes a ver consonant student who descri#ed her stud in$ thus: MIt is simpl that when ou understand what ou are stud in$L when o uhave a conte+t7 then details Mstic!N to the $eneral picture almost # themselves? Oou don5t have to concentrate on memorisin$ them?N Gind#lom'Ol1nne 2....47 11.37 71 She also found that 4L students who e+press coherent stud orchestrations seem to #e MimmuneN to the demands of the learnin$ environment5 02.37 71 Gind#lom'Ol1nne 02.21 Gind#lom'Ol1nne 02..

22
+(+() Student self-perceptions( wor!load

In this pro:ect7 student perceptions of wor!load were found to relate far more closel to theire e+pectations than to how much wor! the actuall did? Similar results arise in other studies? Dem#er 02..47 1662 notes that student perception and actual hours ma not alwa s relate closel : the wor!load perceptions of his students did not show a si$nificant correlation with either hours spent in class or t pical hours spent in private stud ? In fact7 the student who spent least time in class and independent stud had the hi$hest wor!load perception score and complained most a#out #ein$ overwor!ed? Dem#er5s o#servation was that this student put in 4as little wor! as possi#le7 while :ust $ettin$ # 5? &he student also descri#ed himself as unmotivated and #ored 0Dem#er 2..37 1732? Dem#er 02..42 ar$ues that class environment is crucial7 and that an over'reliance on summative assessment and low staff'student interaction can lead to low morale amon$ students7 accompanied # the perception that the are 4overwor!ed5? However7 when he interviewed students who studied in the same classes their wor!load perceptions turned out to #e ver different 02..47 17727 which indicates that student approach is actuall more influential? Ance a$ain7 Dem#er found that students who had not mana$ed the school' universit transition well perceived their wor!loads as 4too hi$h5 02..47 17)27 and that $ood relationships with other students and with staff led to low perceptions 02..47 17"2?

22

23
2$/ "ransformation

&hus far7 discussion has focussed on wa s in which the universit can #oost the li!elihood of a student5s persistin$ in hi$her education # helpin$ them to develop s!ills and attitudes which will allow them to feel 4included57 and to #enefit from teachin$7 feed#ac! etc? which encoura$e them to #ecome active and involved learners? All of these are wa s in which the universit can change students who enter its courses7 althou$h the also involve chan$es in the institution itself? It is assumed that students will under$o some de$ree of 4transformation5 durin$ their time at universit ? However7 is it reall desira#le7 or even ethical7 for an institution to require this> Should universities set out to 4transform5 their students> &homas 02..22 su$$ests that it is not desira#le? She states that a trul inclusive hi$her education institution would #e one in which: students are allowed to #e themselves7 and not e+pected to chan$e to fit in with institutional e+pectations which are ver different to their own ha#itus &homas 2..27 44. She su$$ests that7 for wor!in$'class students in particular7 an institution which requires entrants to chan$e in an wa is threatenin$ and possi#l also illi#eral? Her proposal is that the universit itself should chan$e in order to accommodate students who enter from a variet of #ac!$rounds7 and that to privile$e certain aspects of universit practice and culture 4#ecause the wor! for their purpose5 is simpl to perpetuate social inequalities? It would #e difficult to ar$ue a$ainst this position in principle? &homas5 discussion7 however7 is unclear a#out precisel which elements of 4institutional ha#itus5 should chan$e7 and which ones are activel implicated in the perpetration of a 4white7 male7 middle class7 a#le #odied5 0&homas 2..37 4332 culture? =ithout such a #oundar 7 or at least discussion a#out a #oundar 7 the dan$er of e:ectin$ the #a# alon$ with the #athwater is considera#le? Historicall 7 universities have #een implicated in a $enuine social elitism7 most of which has nothin$ whatsoever to do with $enuine academic and intellectual activit ? It is essential that such social elitism should not #e confused with intellectual comple+it and conceptual or practical wor! which is essentiall difficult7 #ut nevertheless important? ;or e+ample7 it is 0one hopes2 unequivocal to su$$est that all re$ional or national accents should #e accepted without ridicule or comment in the classroomC how a person pronounces words has no #earin$ on their content? Similarl 7 the lecturer who told a class includin$ the oun$ <iane ,ea that northern 8n$lish families !ept coal in the #ath clearl displa ed an e+tremel unhelpful ha#itus 0and a cavalier approach to the accurate of o#servational data7 at least as serious a char$e in a universit 2? Some cases7 however7 are less clear'cut? &homas quotes one of her su#:ects as findin$ the lan$ua$e used in te+t#oo!s and classrooms as 4too academic57 and therefore unwelcomin$? And it is true that incomin$ students can have difficult interpretin$ and reproducin$ standard academic discourse? Informal discussion with several e+perienced lecturers su$$ested that the most common pro#lem was not the much' mentioned use or otherwise of the first person7 #ut with essa and ar$ument structure and precision of e+pression? 6ruciall 7 widenin$ participation students were not re$arded as displa in$ these wea!nesses an more than the student #od as a whole7 or as #ein$ an less a#le to #ecome fluent in this discourse? It is not difficult to see how a stron$ ar$ument can #e made that students who want to $ain a universit level of education should #e supported in readin$ and writin$ in a re$ister which does the wor! of a fairl traditional academic lan$ua$e? A mature academic discipline does require clear and precise e+pression of ideas which ma #e comple+ andFor a#stract? It does require dispassionate and lo$ical ar$umentation to reach or support conclusion7 and it does

23

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require an understandin$ of particular concepts and !nowled$e7 alon$ with the a#ilit to e+press and discuss this with fellow practitioners? Students should certainl #e supported in acquirin$ these aptitudes7 and not discoura$ed or ridiculed if the arrive at universit in need of help with this acquisition? And where vocational disciplines which have #een #rou$ht into the hi$her education s stem have their own distinct and effective modes of discourse7 these need to #e reco$nised and respected? A reduction of the opportunities for students to learn 4how to do5 !inds of discourse which will enhance their intellectual e+ploration 0and almost certainl their confidence as well2 would not constitute widenin$ participation? &homas5 point is essentiall a#out 4transformation5C essentiall she ar$ues that students should not #e required to chan$e to fit in with hi$her education? &o promise that a student can enter universit and not chan$e7 however7 would #e foolish if not dishonest? It would #e practicall impossi#le to participate full in a de$ree course and not chan$e in some wa s7 and it is li!el that those wa s will feel hi$hl personal to man students? Ane of the definin$ characteristics of an hi$her education course is that it requires the student to en$a$e with particular wa s of thin!in$ and actin$7 and in most cases these will #e different from the ones which the student has encountered previousl ? It would #e limitin$ not to $ive students this opportunit 7 #ut is it actuall illi#eral to require them to ta!e it if the are to achieve hi$h mar!s and possi#l also their desired emplo ment on $raduation> &his question could #e answered with a statement that the are required to ma!e intellectual chan$es7 and not social ones? 8ssentiall 7 however7 most universit courses will include an element of encoura$in$ students to loo! at the world in different wa sC this is one of the wa s in which the are essentiall distinct from much short'term trainin$? Breen quotes wor! which su$$ests that students from different disciplines ma eventuall displa different 4conceptual ecolo$ies5 0Breen 1"""7 42? ;or e+ample7 ph sics students tend to see the world as rational and o#:ective7 have distinctive motivational features such as low intrinsic motivation and hi$h competence motivation Breen 1"""7 % Settin$ #oundaries on precisel which elements of the world are appropriate for new or e+tended modes of consideration would #e impractical 0and pro#a#l :ust as illi#eral as encoura$in$ such chan$es in the first place2? S!e$$s 0GS1 46'72 points out that e+perience of the social and cultural conte+t of education often #rin$s chan$es in tastes and #ehavioursC are these to #e re$arded as impositions or opportunities> Has a student who chan$es his or her preferred readin$ matter from a ta#loid to a #roadsheet #een empowered or #rainwashed> In addition7 hi$her education tends to enter the lives of individuals at a sta$e when the are particularl open for personal transformation? 4Ooun$5 students arrive at universit durin$ the adolescent ears7 when the are alread under$oin$ su#stantial personal chan$es7 and mature' a$e students often arrive either #ecause the have recentl e+perienced ma:or internal or e+ternal life'chan$es7 or #ecause the wish to do so? Ar$ua#l 7 man students ma actuall #e see!in$ some de$ree of transformation7 and a $enuine transformation # definition includes an element of the un!nown? 9niversities mi$ht #e #etter advised to concentrate on helpin$ students to articulate and mana$e transformative processes? Boulton'Gewis et al7 wor!in$ with a $roup of widenin$ participation students in Australia 0their su#:ects were Australian a#ori$inals7 whose participation rates are historicall ver low27 discuss a model of learnin$ in which the academic learnin$ process is re$arded as insepara#le from personal transformation? Gearnin$ consists of: 0a2 increasin$ one5s !nowled$e7 0#2 memorisin$7 0c2 appl in$7 0d2 understandin$7 0e2 seein$ somethin$ in a different wa and 0f2 chan$in$ as a personL a

24

17 13 8ssentiall 7 she su$$ests that if students are encoura$ed to develop an enhanced ran$e of articulac and critical awareness7 the can turn this on their own e+perience in order to ma!e sense of it and to cope with the chan$es involved? 8ncoura$ement to use this capacit to focus on one5s own life could also help students avoid some of the less desira#le elements of % #e Such chan$es in 4social class culture5 are almost alwa s assumed to #e from #ein$ wor!in$'class to #ein$ middle'class7 #ecause the dominant social culture amon$ students 0and pro#a#l also academic staff2 in 9D universities is a middle'class one? However7 it is important to note that other chan$es are possi#le? -iddle'class students can emulate upper'class ones7 and m own e+perience of teachin$ in a universit with a ver #road class mi+ture su$$ests that some middle'class students can e+perience cultural chan$e towards wor!in$'class norms? &he latter !ind of chan$e7 however7 is relativel unli!el to #e 4enforced5 # perceived availa#ilit of opportunit in the wa that #ecomin$ middleFupper class mi$ht #e7 and it is eas to ima$ine scenarios in which it could #e re$arded as a patronisin$ or unpleasant !ind of 4class tourism5 0althou$h this is certainl not inevita#le2? 2% .37 137 Her su#:ects 0female7 first'$eneration student British -uslim women2 included man who felt that education 4#roadened their horiHons5 and enhanced #oth their $eneral confidence and their sense of assurance a#out their identit 7 culture and reli$ion 0Ahmad 2.37 ).....37 1462? -ann actuall descri#es 4transformative5 activit as crucial to reducin$ the pro#lems of student alienation in the hi$her education e+perience: the development of the capacit to #ecome aware of the conditions in which we wor!7 and the responses which we ma!e to themL the capacit to act on that awareness must arise out of criticalit K the capacit and opportunit to question7 e+amine7 uncover7 reframe7 ma!e visi#le and interpret? -ann 2.17 4412? Ane successful student friend was praised #ecause she 4Mhasn5t chan$ed a #itNL she5s e+actl the same as she wasN5 02.or this $roup7 $oin$ to universit would onl #e accepta#le if ou were $uaranteed that ou would 4Msta the same as ou were #eforeN5 02..or their white interviewees7 not 4$ettin$ a#ove our station5 was crucialC their #lac! su#:ects identified elements of #lac! male culture as vulnera#le within hi$her education %? Eac!son also ar$ues that transformation is pro#a#l inherent in enterin$ hi$her education: all students will e+perience the transition into hi$her education in different wa s7 for almost all students it will entail si$nificant life chan$es? Such chan$es and discontinuit can pose threats to their sense of who the are Eac!son 2. &heir su#:ects7 however7 did not e+pect to chan$e 4as people5 durin$ their course 02.37 ))2? Archer et al found that disli!e of the idea of personal chan$e discoura$ed some of their British white and #lac! wor!in$'class male su#:ects from enterin$ hi$her education? .17 4422? ..37 342 Ahmad descri#es a similar inevita#ilit 7 #ut while she ac!nowled$es that it ma une+pected or unsettlin$ she writes of transformation as an empowerin$ process: =hilst the ultimate $oal is the attainment of a piece of paper7 a qualification si$nif in$ a certain academic specialit 7 few of us leave hi$her education the same person that we enteredL we are MtransformedNL Aur !nowled$e #ase is $reater7 our emplo ment prospects improve 0so we are led to #elieve2 and our social and personal e+periences are richer? Ahmad 2.2% hierarch 7 with the first three focussin$ on qualitative dimensions of learnin$ while the latter three are characteristicall qualitative Boulton'Gewis et al 2...

26 e+posure to a new social settin$? A criticall aware student7 for e+ample7 can understand precisel wh accent does not indicate intelli$enceC a student who has #een encoura$ed to use lan$ua$e effectivel and to have confidence in their a#ilit and their ri$ht to use an academic discourse can re:ect the su$$estion that their /eordie speech patterns show that the are 4a #it thic!5? 3romotin$ one of the oldest functions of the universit can at least help to #rea! down some of its rather newer social associations? 26 .

47 1)...27 2$0 +(2(' 4idenin.2 discusses a num#er of issues which ma mean that the recent e+pansion in hi$her education ma do little to address the e+istin$ class divide7 with the emer$ence of different 4tiers5 of hi$her education7 and persistent differences in financial welfare? 9..hodes and *evill hi$hli$ht one factor which is hi$hl relevant to non'traditional students: the are still under'represented in 9D hi$her education 0...22 lists 4specific characteristics5 of institutional ha#itus which mi$ht help non' traditional students to feel welcome and to persist? &hese include staff attitudes and relationships with students 4which minimise the social and academic distance #etween them and ena#le students to feel valued and sufficientl confident to see! $uidance when the require it5 0&homas 2.27 and their concerns are therefore in some dan$er of #ein$ overloo!ed? Archer et al note that men and women from 4wor!in$'class5 homes 4participate in rou$hl equal 0#ut ver small2 num#ers57 and also note that there are important racial differences in participation ratesC for e+ample7 African'6ari##ean men and Ben$ali men fare far worse than other $roups 0Archer et al 2.*8 2.17 4332? 6hatterton 01"""7 12.22 quotes &homas5 02.12 wor!7 which su$$ests that were widenin$ participation students are in a minorit their particular needs ma not come to the attention of the institution7 or ma #e poorl understood7 or that these students ma simpl #e ver isolated: students from a low socio'economic $roup are more li!el to succeed in a universit that reflects their own socio'economic and cultural e+periences and e+pectationsL the attitudes of staff7 learnin$ e+perience and the e+istence of $ood peer support networ!s also contri#ute to the retention of non'traditional studentsL staff need to #e aware of the different social7 cultural and academic #ac!$rounds of students7 to accept and respect students and develop an inclusive model of teachin$7 learnin$ and assessmentL 9.27 44.27 as well as 4inclusive5 teachin$ and learnin$ strate$ies 4which do not assume that the ha#itus of MtraditionalN hi$her education students should #e the ha#itus of new cohorts5 0&homas 2.participation$ some further issues Non-traditional students and the student experience Several aspects of the student e+perience which are particularl relevant to non'traditional students 0e?$? accommodation2 have alread #een discussed in this paper and in GS1? Authors such as ...*8 02.hodes and *evill 2.17 11 &homas 02.27 4412? Some of the difficulties with this latter su$$estion7 in the a#sence of more concrete discussion # its author7 are discussed a#ove? 6hatterton su$$ests that some of the other roles performed # man non'traditional students ma ma!e it difficult for them to identif as students: *on'traditional student lifest les are not MframedN in the same wa as traditional students7 lar$el #ecause of other roles which the perform such as Mparent' studentN or Mwor!er'studentN which renders their identit as students less visi#le 6hatterton 1"""7 11" 6hatterton writes a#out cultural awareness7 #ut there is a more practical issue here too? &hese non'student roles ma leave individuals with little time to en$a$e in the #ehaviours which would help them to fit in with the wider 4student life5 or to spend as much time as mi$ht #e desira#le on their studies? &here is evidence that practical matters are at least as important as cultural ones for non' traditional students 0not least in the findin$s of this pro:ect7 see #elow2? 6hristie et al e+amined stated reasons for withdrawal alon$side measures of 4advanta$e5 or 4disadvanta$e5? &he found that disadvanta$ed students actuall appeared to have a sli$htl higher academic 27 ..

2)
orientation than their advanta$ed classmates? Anl 16@ of disadvanta$ed leavers cited 4pro#lems with course57 compared to 2%@ of advanta$ed ones? An other items the trend was less mar!ed #ut still presentC a lac! of motivation was cited # 17@ of advanta$ed leavers and 1%@ of disadvanta$ed7 while the universit environment was mentioned # 1)@ advanta$ed and 14@ of disadvanta$ed? &he onl item on which disadvanta$ed students scored more hi$hl was 4financial pressure57 althou$h onl 12@ cited this compared with 1.@ of advanta$ed students 06hristie et al 2..47 6222? A useful reminder of the difficulties with e+aminin$ this issue is $iven # Haque7 who points out that differences e+ist #oth #etween and within different $roups of non'traditional students? She also notes that it is ver difficult for universities to identif these relia#l 7 especiall as these relate to reli$ion and ethnicit 0Haque 2..17 132? ;inall 7 in loo!in$ at the attitudes and e+periences of non'traditional students7 the importance of levels of confidence should not underestimated? Ane of Eac!son5s informants also noted the much hi$her confidence levels of pu#lic school pupils 02..37 33727 and man staff can offer anecdotal evidence that mature'a$e and first $eneration students 0especiall women2 often articulate a sense that the 4shouldn5t reall #e here5? ;indin$ a #alance #etween #uildin$ confidence and encoura$in$ students to ta!e on challen$es is an important tas! for tutors and those involved in student support? &his is one area where Haque5s advice ma #e particularl salient? ;or e+ample7 Archer et al 02..12 found that non'white men #elieved that hi$her education culture contains #oth racism and a $enuine meritocrac which will allow hi$h achievers to overcome this? &heir white wor!in$'class su#:ects7 however7 #elieved stron$l in the 4s stem5 which wor!s a$ainst them? -irHa interviewed women students who recognised structural #arriers of race class and $ender7 and #ecause the see the pro#lems are #etter at surmountin$ these 01""27 4422? &his latter is an e+ample of precisel the !ind of application of critical thin!in$ s!ills to individual social situations which is descri#ed a#ove? +(2(+ Support and access to support

Ane common findin$ is that non'traditional students show different patterns of advice'see!in$ from those of the traditional $roup 0e?$? 9;*8 237 442? Brown and 3iatt 02..17 1%'162 sa that s stems of support for non'traditional students should #e simplified if this $roup are to #e encoura$ed to enter and sta in H8? &his does not impl that non'traditional students are una#le to understand 4comple+5 arran$ements7 #ut shows an ac!nowled$ement that if support is hard to access there will #e an additional #arrier for students who ma alread lac! confidence? &he lac! of a social $roup from whom to $ain informal and non'threatenin$ advice is important here? It is much easier to as! a parent or friend who has #een to universit a#out somethin$ potentiall em#arrassin$7 such as means'testin$7 than to admit i$norance or possi#le failure to a mem#er of universit staff? A surprise for man academics who feel supportive towards widenin$ participation students is that such students still worr that the ma #e 4:ud$emental5? And non'traditional student ma not wish to #e identified as suchC the naturall want to 4fit in5?

2)

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2$5 +(4(' Students and motivation $ypes of student motivation

As I su$$ested a#ove7 it is ver clear that the 4motivation5 of the student to en$a$e with their academic wor! and their universit e+perience is crucial in determinin$ whether that student persists at universit ? =here correlations with demo$raphic and academic factors #rea! down7 this intracta#le and individual qualit ma well #e the most important factor in determinin$ retention rates? A motivated student can overcome man ne$ative circumstances7 while for an unmotivated individual even e+cellent lectures and a supportive peer'$roup ma do nothin$ to enhance their e+perience of universit ? A student5s level of motivation will colour his or her attitude towards the institution and course7 #ut it is also essential #ecause it determines how much time the put into their student activitiesC attendin$ classes7 stud in$7 readin$7 wor!in$ on assi$nments7 tal!in$ to and socialisin$ with other students7 sittin$ around and thin!in$ a#out their su#:ect and the chan$es in their lives? -otivation will thus directl affect academic success and proficienc 7 confidence and inte$ration? &he term 4motivation5 is used rather loosel in reference to students? It is possi#le to distin$uish three important areas in which students have different t pes and de$rees of motivation: 12 -otivation for enterin$ hi$her education7 and for choosin$ a particular institution and course 04entry motivation52 22 -otivation for en$a$in$ with da 'to'da coursewor! tas!s7 contact hours and student activities 04daily motivation52 32 -otivation to $ain somethin$ at the end of their course7 e?$? a de$ree7 a particular !ind of :o# or rate of pa 7 a particular social position or self esteem 04 future motivation52 -a!in$ a separation #etween these is quite important7 althou$h the are clearl interlin!ed? In particular7 separatin$ daily motivation from the other two is necessar #ecause a student can have an a#undance of entry motivation and future motivation7 #ut these ma simpl not translate into the willin$ness to perform the relativel small dail tas!s which will fulfil them? =inn ac!nowled$es that while most studies of the student e+perience concentrate on teachin$7 learnin$ and assessment strate$ies7 4little attention has #een paid to the impact on student motivation of recent chan$es in the social and economic conte+t of hi$her education5 02..27 44%2? &his is partl #ecause of the difficulties which students have in articulatin$ their own motivations7 and #ecause of the intan$i#le nature of motivation itself? Breen offers a wor!in$ definition of motivation as: the nature of an individual5s internal forces and the e+tent to which the define e+ternal $oals and direct the individual towards themL a pro#lem is encountered when attemptin$ to characterise the learnin$ environment within which the student is oriented in order to esta#lish towards what the are oriented Breen 1"""7 1 Breen notes that man students ma #e somewhat unclear a#out their e+ternal $oals7 even where the state them ver stron$l ? Similarl 7 a student who states that sFhe has a ver stron$ future motivation ma e+hi#it #ehaviours which show a distinct lac! of daily motivation? <espaul et al 02..42 point out rather $loomil that a $reat deal of student motivation is simpl outside the control of the institution in which a student is stud in$? Gevels and directions of student motivation are to a $reat e+tent determined #efore students arrive7 and in addition7 e+ternal factors will continue to impact on this characteristic of the student:

2"

3.
6urrent emotions and conte+t complement the perception of an activit and re$ulate the level of en$a$ementL en$a$ement in stud is not intrinsicall motivatin$ and will #e minimised to ma+imise social activities and pursue more motivatin$ activities <espaul et al 2..47 14. K 141 -1!inen et al caution a$ainst ta!in$ student motivation at universit for $ranted7 or indeed #lamin$ H8Is for squanderin$ a #oundless 4natural5 resource: <ue to the voluntar nature of hi$her education7 one mi$ht ima$ine that motivational pro#lems would not e+ist amon$ universit students? It sometimes happens7 however7 that students whose stud orientation is not clear $ain access to universit L #ecause of their am#i$uous orientation7 the are una#le to follow the t pical course of stud in$L often the first si$nals of these !inds of pro#lems are ver implicit and students5 intentions to drop out surprise their fellow students7 famil mem#ers7 and even close friends5 -1!inen et al 2..47 173 3eople enter universit for all !inds of reasons other than 4stud orientation57 and non' academic reasons are :ust as li!el to #e found amon$ traditional as non'traditional students? Archer et al ma!e the important #ut rarel heard point that middle class students ma #e :ust as 4instrumental5 in their motives as first'$eneration students7 usin$ hi$her education to reproduce privile$e 0Archer et al 2..17 43)2? An student who lac!s stud orientation is vulnera#le7 however? Spendin$ thirt to fort self'directed hours on an activit 7 for a period of several ears7 will #e difficult for an one who is not essentiall motivated to do so? +(4(+ Retention and motivation

-1!inen et al measured the level of 4commitment5 felt # their su#:ects to their su#:ect ma:or7 to socialisin$ within the universit 7 and to a particular future career as indices of motivation? &he also as!ed students if the had considered chan$in$ their 4ma:or5 durin$ the first ear? Almost a fifth of students had7 #ut this was far more common amon$ 4non'committed5 students than amon$ those who e+pressed stron$ commitment either to the core activities of #ein$ a student 0stud in$ andFor socialisin$ in a universit conte+t2 or to a specific future career? -ore than one third of students without either of these e+pressed commitments were considerin$ a chan$e of ma:orC five per cent considered quittin$ alto$ether? &his is reflected in the proportion who actuall did chan$e su#:ects or withdraw 0-1!inen et al 2..47 1)22? In addition7 -1!inen et al found that over 4.@ of students who had left # the third ear #elon$ed to the non'committed $roup in the first ear? Anl around a quarter of those still present had #een classified as 4non'committed5 in the first ear? A reported lac! of interest proved to #e a stron$ indicator of future withdrawal7 as did a #elief that one5s studies were lar$el 4irrelevant5? However7 as commitment improved so did $rades7 which supports the notion that motivated students wor! harder? +(4() 0otivations for entering higher education

Student motivations for enterin$ hi$her education in the first place will to some e+tent determine #oth student e+pectations7 and student motivation to en$a$e in their coursewor!? Several studies have surve ed students in order to identif the reasons wh the choose to $o to universit ?

3.

@ will not? =inn 02..127 hi$her education was seen almost solel as a route to a hi$her salar ? -an made no connection #etween the s!ills $ained on a universit course and those which would #e rewarded # this salar in :o#s requirin$ $raduate'level education? &he followin$ is quoted as a t pical comment: MI wouldn5t as! for a de$ree I5d :ust as! for mone L that5s what ou5re $oin$ to $et at the end of the de$ree7 the mone 7 so ou mi$ht as well as! for the mone strai$htawa N Archer et al 2.37 61%2? Ahmad7 # contrast7 found that the -uslim women whom she interviewed voiced a completel different set of reasons? Some wanted to emulate their older sisters 0rather than male famil mem#ers27 to 4do somethin$5 with their lives7 to prove themselves to their famil 7 overcome racial discrimination in the la#our mar!et7 or to achieve 4a #etter life5 0Ahmad 2.....27 44)2? Some of these will #e students who want the qualification in order to $et a :o# which #rin$s them a hi$h salar 7 or social !udos7 or #oth? Athers will undou#tedl #e amon$ the 4reactive entrants5 discussed in GS1 0%4'%27 who are amon$ the most vulnera#le to withdrawal? =inn 02..17 14)2? 31 .hodes and *evill 02.22 ar$ues that this $roup will onl $row with: near universal middle'class participation7 which means that most students now enter hi$her education #ecause the e+perience little choice in the matter7 IwhichJ estran$es students from the possi#ilit of e+periencin$ a meanin$ful personal purpose in en$a$in$ in hi$her education =inn 2...31 Hi$$ins et al 02...27 %32 as!ed students to indicate all of the reasons #ehind their decision? &he found that for "2@7 4$ainin$ qualifications5 was important7 a result which is not in itself surprisin$C most students who $o to universit will e+pect to come out with a de$ree? =orr in$l 7 onl 71@ of their informants said that their en:o ment of learnin$ was a factor? &his means that almost three quarters of enterin$ students e+pect to spend the ne+t few ears in an activit which the find pleasura#le? However7 almost 3.17 1472? 3arental e+pectation was influential7 #ut 4an individual desire to achieve at a certain level for purel personal developmentL5 was ver often found 2.17 43"2? It is important to note that these opinions are held # non-participants? Some students ma enter universit with these attitudes7 #ut where such individuals persist the will often chan$e their orientation entirel from an instrumental to an academic one 0Geathwood and A56onnell 2.17 437 3ersonal $rowth7 the intrinsic merits of stud 7 or interest in a particular su#:ect are completel disre$arded? &here is a minor discourse which sees H8 as offerin$ an 4opportunit 5 for these thin$s7 #ut it is minimal and resentful and its tone is essentiall resentful 0Archer et al 2.27 447 &he presence of a hi$h num#er of such students ma contri#ute to a resistance amon$ some students to the idea of transformation? .47 1)42 found that in their sample the ma:orit of entrants to universit were 4self motivated5? Gi!e the students surve ed # Hi$$ins et al7 their priorities com#ined stud and instrumental orientation7 with the most frequentl mentioned #ein$ 4!nowled$e acquisition5 and 4empowerment in the :o# mar!et5? Amon$ the non'entrants interviewed # Archer et al 02...22 quotes a *6IH8 stud which found that onl 1%@ of full'time students said 4interest in the su#:ect5 was their most important reason for enterin$ hi$her education? 23@ said the did not want 4to e+perience intellectual $rowth and stimulation5 and 32@ did not want 4to learn a#out and discuss new ideas5 0=inn 2.

.47 174 K 1772? &hese are as follows: 32 ..ea et al 2.17 3?1 K 3?3 In addition7 school careers services felt that the were often pullin$ in the opposite direction from the parents? &he situation at the private schools was completel different7 with students #ein$ offered several careers consultations over a period of time7 #etter trainin$ for careers staff7 #etter material resources and a lon$er period of time #ein$ allocated to discussion with individual students? 6hristie et al similarl note a 4social class $radient in access to information5 02.ea et al5s stud 7 the students who attended lar$e7 diverse state institutions su$$ested that: careers advice was lar$el uninfluential orL activel unhelpful? Students most commonl commented that advice had simpl reiterated what the alread !new or else had #een so inconsequential the had difficult recallin$ what advice had actuall #een $ivenL institutions in the state sector had far lower levels of resourcin$? &he were also respondin$ to ver different student needs? .47 6272? +(4(2 8oals and values 90:!inen et al.42 su$$est that different #eliefs a#out the meanin$ of stud relate to different !inds of motivation? &he use the term study orientation to refer to: L how students see the meanin$ of and how the locate themselves in relation to their universit studies as a wholeL i?e? what is their $eneral stud orientation -1!inen et al 2.47 62427 and point out that $iven the comple+it of factors involved in ma!in$ an H8 decision 0see GS17 %%27 retention rates are actuall rather $ood? 06hristie et al 2..17 7?%2 found that it operated in all of the institutions the surve ed7 from the .32 &he current pro:ect found correlations #etween student satisfaction and commitment7 and stated reasons for entr ? 3eer pressure seems to operate as an important factor for all social $roups of students? . -1!inen et al 02.ea et al 02..12 descri#e ver different practices and resources in careers advice at different schools? &his is another issue which relates to widenin$ participation #ecause of the different levels of resource availa#le to different social $roups? In .or e+ample7 at #oth Istate schoolsJ advice and support is rooted in a reco$nition of the considera#le financial and $eo$raphical constraints man of the students are operatin$ under .47 17% In addition7 the loo! at student self'concept in relation to the social life of universit 7 and the e+tent to which the identif sociall as students? .8 colle$e to the private schools? In the latter7 indeed7 one student was deli$hted when he failed to achieve the $rades required to enter medical #ecause it 4li#erated5 him to $o to Art School instead? Schools are ver powerful in #uildin$ the student self'ima$es which then determine H8 choices? &he pro#lem for retention arises when the student enrols on a course which fitted other people/s ima$e of them7 #ut finds that their self'ima$e chan$es when their old peer' $roup is no lon$er present? &he availa#ilit and qualit of careers advice is also crucial in helpin$ students to ma!e choices of course and universit in which the are li!el to persist? ..ea et al 02....our $roups of students are distin$uished on the #asis of 4stud orientation5 0-1!inen et al 2.

.2 la#el three $roups of students accordin$ to the wa the approach their 4da to da 5 studies? &hese are: Study oriented students7 who 4place $enuine importance on the contents of stud in$5 #ut 4L also appreciate the social elements of stud in$7 such as student parties and peer interaction5 02.47 17)2? Interestin$l 7 onl in the faculties of Gaw and 8ducation do the ma:orit of students #elon$ to this $roup 0althou$h the are well'represented in minorit num#ers elsewhere2? &his findin$ is surprisin$ #ecause these are # definition vocational courses? 4or.Alife oriented students7 who 4have alread ta!en a mental step toward their future wor! careerL the #elittle the meanin$ of student life and hi$hli$ht the importance of careful plannin$ of stud in$ in order to $raduate fast5 02.47 17) ' 1)...47 17)2? &his $roup contains a hi$h num#er of medical students7 althou$h it is su$$ested that this ma #e #ecause these students have a lon$ course7 and #elieve that the are in touch with 4the real world5 #ecause of the nature of their wor!? NonAcommitted students7 who displa 4unclear stud orientation? Hi$h an+iet also distin$uishes these students who are still clarif in$ the personal meanin$ of stud in$5? &his $roup lac!s stud 'related $oals7 and its mem#ers often attach low importance to social relationships within the universit ? &he ma:orit of its mem#ers come from the humanities and the natural sciencesC in other words7 the non'vocational su#:ects? &his does not7 of course7 impl that most of the students in these su#:ects are non'committed7 #ut simpl that a lac! of stud orientation is often coupled to a lac! of clarit a#out future career $oals? &his is in a$reement with the findin$ reported in GS1 0%37672 that a lac! of clear $oals can predict withdrawal? 33 .33 "heory oriented students7 who en:o e+plorin$ theoretical pro#lems and accomplishin$ their own learnin$ $oals? &hese students have a set of attitudes towards learnin$ which are most in tune with those of a humanistic universit culture? &he will feel at home within a traditional universit ethos and will #enefit most from courses which ma!e fairl standard assumptions a#out student $oals and wa s of learnin$? &his is the $roup who are li!el to emplo 4deep learnin$5 practices7 and also the one most li!el to thrive in traditional $raduate emplo ment? rofessionAoriented students7 who see! trainin$ for a particular career? 3otentiall 7 this $roup will e+perience a discrepanc #etween the e+chan$e value of their stud and its and practical value in preparin$ them for their chosen profession? In practice7 man of these students will #e similar to the 4theor oriented5 ones7 especiall if the career for which the aim is a profession with a su#stantial theoretical underpinnin$? -edical students with a stron$ scientific interest7 law ers fascinated # the wa the law wor!s7 social wor! students concerned a#out why societ is the wa it is or midwifer students who find the variet of #irth e+periences amaHin$ would all show characteristics of #oth t pes? A particular profession ma 7 for these students7 #e an instrument in pursuin$ their theoretical $oals? &urriculum oriented aim to meet demands of their stud pro$ramme in order to finish successfull and $ain their 4piece of paper5? &his $roup e+hi#it a hi$hl instrumental orientation7 and ma well adopt 4surface5 approaches to learnin$? Af course7 students in the first two cate$ories would almost certainl report that the want to $ain their de$rees7 and to $ain $ood ones? However7 $rades or qualifications in themselves are not the primar motivation7 as the are for the curriculum oriented $roup? ractice oriented students emphasise the practical value of their course7 and state that the consistentl attempt to find somethin$ personal in their studies? =hat motivates them is findin$ somethin$ 4relevant to me5 in their course? In a sense the re$ard universit stud as a personal development tool7 and for that reason ma #e willin$ to learn? &he !e to #uildin$ their motivation is to help them develop their concept of 4relevance5? In addition7 -1!inen et al 02.

hodes and *evill 02.. +(4(5 0otivation and satisfaction .427 rather than e+aminin$ the 4end $oal57 loo! at what the call 4satisfiers5 and 4dissatisfiers5 which ma operate for students? Students in their stud reported that the followin$ factors affected their satisfaction or otherwise with universit : Satisfiers • • • • • • • • • • desire to achieve academic success 01.@2 desire to secure $ood career prospects 0)%@2 feelin$ stimulated to learn 06"@2 friendliness of teachin$ staff 07%@2 hi$h level of control over own wor! 0%%@2 feelin$ a#le to cope with de$ree level wor! 047@2 friendliness of other students 06)@2 intellectual challen$e 06%@2 support from famil Fpartner 06..34 -iller et al 01"""2 point out a similar relation #etween the value which students place on stud 7 and motivation? &he found that for the students in their stud : learnin$ $oal scores were positivel related to intrinsic valuin$ scoresL individuals interested in increasin$ competence and !nowled$e tended to e+perience en:o ment and satisfaction in their learnin$? HoweverL e+periencin$ en:o ment and satisfaction from school tas!s was also related to perceivin$ those school tas!s as instrumental to personall valued future $oals7 despite the su#stantial amount of shared variance #etween learnin$ $oals and perceived instrumentalit L e+periencin$ intrinsic satisfaction depends in part on perceivin$ the activit as instrumental to attainin$ personall valued future $oals? -iller et al 1"""7 2%) In other words7 instrumentalit and a focus on future $oals does not diminish intrinsic satisfaction with a tas! or learnin$ motivation? Indeed7 ma!in$ the lin! #etween a lon$'term aim and an immediate tas! has a positive affect on motivation to perform the immediate tas!? =hat seems to #e the case is that the lac! of such a lin! diminishes motivation? It is also possi#le that a focus on a 4s m#olic5 $oal 0e?$? a mar! or a lar$e salar 2 provides wea! immediate motivation7 while focus on a lon$'term $oal which constitutes a particular !ind of activit 0e?$? a career as a law er or computer scientist2 #oosts daily motivation? &o put it rather more simpl 7 focus on doing in the future ma!es a student more li!el to do things now? .@2 feelin$ a#le to show initiative 03"@2 34 .ocus on having thin$s in the future is less effective? &his ma #e simpl #ecause the activities involved in $ainin$ future and immediate $oals 0$ettin$ a particular sort of :o# and attendin$ a lecture or writin$ an essa 2 are quite similar? -iller et al 01"""2 point out that: future $oals represent important incentives for present action7 #ut onl when current tas!s are perceived as instrumental to attainment of those future $oals -iller et al 1"""7 2%.

47 137 K 1472 discusses four ps cholo$ical theories of motivation which ma #e relevant in an academic conte+t? SelfAefficacy theory essentiall locates motivation in an individual5s level of confidence? &his chimes with the e+perience of man academics that a student who #elieves that sFhe can perform a particular tas! and has the a#ilit to meet its challen$es is li!el to en$a$e in that tas!? 6onfidence is particularl related to the motivation to attend timeta#led sessions? Accordin$ to Seifert7 4self'efficac 5 refers to a person5s #elief a#out whether sFhe is a#leFuna#le to perform the tas! at hand? Students who are efficacious 0those who perceive themselves as essentiall capa#le2 are more li!el to #e self're$ulatin$7 and to participate in stud activities7 includin$ those which the feel ma #e difficult? &he #elieve that the have the a#ilit to meet challen$es with success? &hose who feel themselves less capa#le will avoid difficult tas!s7 and to ta!e a performance'oriented approach 0see #elow2? Ane difficult with this theor in relation to students is that students who are unmotivated don5t alwa s see themselves as incapa#le? A familiar case is that of the 4#ri$ht #ut #ored5 underachievin$ student who does :ust enou$h to $et # ? She or he ma well feel capable while attachin$ no value to effort #e ond the minimum? Some ma also perceive themselves to lac! capa#ilit and use this as self'protection? Athers K perhaps mature'a$e students are frequentl in this position K ma #elieve stron$l in their lac! of capa#ilit #ut even more stron$l in their capacit to overcome this # hard wor!? Attribution theory e+amines the wa s in which individuals attri#ute perceived causes to outcomes7 or provide individual e+planations of wh particular events turn out as the do? .or e+ample7 different people mi$ht decide that the passed a test #ecause the wor!ed hard7 or #ecause the were 4luc! 57 or #ecause in this case the teacher :ust happened to $et it ri$ht7 etc? &he attri#utions made $ive rise to positive or ne$ative emotions7 which in turn act as determinants for future #ehaviours? &he particular attri#utions made7 and characteristic patterns of attri#ution7 will #e determined # a comple+ of issues: personal histor 7 characteristics7 circumstances etc? In addition7 levels of self'efficac ma also #e relevant? Hi$hl efficacious people are $enerall more inclined to ascri#e #oth $ood and #ad outcomes to own a$enc 7 while those who are less confident tend to prefer 4e+ternal5 e+planations? 3% .@2 other students5 views of universit life 033@2 &he found that students were equall motivated # 4!nowled$e acquisition5 and 4empowerment in the :o# mar!et5 02..47 1)427 or in other words7 a #alance of instrumental and academic orientations? =hat is interestin$ a#out their stud is the wide ran$e of different factors which ma operate in determinin$ student satisfaction7 and thus motivation? +(4(< =sychological theories of motivation Seifert 02.3% 1issatisfiers • • • • • • • • Stud Fpersonal life #alance 076@2 availa#ilit of learnin$ resources 071@2 societ 5s view of students 0"%@2 feel a#le to cope with the wor!load 0%4@2 ph sical conditions 072@2 feelin$ a#le to $et financial advice 06%@2 variet of assessment techniques 04..

or man 7 4L $iven the choice #etween feelin$ $uilt # not wor!in$ and feelin$ shamed # wor!in$ hard and failin$7 students would rather feel $uilt than shamed5 0Seifert 2.47 1412? 4.47 1412? .ailure which is attri#uted to low effort leads to $uilt7 while failure from hi$h effort is lin!ed to feelin$s of shame and humiliation? -an students are essentiall 4failure avoidant5C the want to loo! neither laH nor foolish? .36 Seifert separates three elements in attri#ution: • • • the locus of causality: does the cause ori$inate within the individual7 e?$? inherent a#ilit or effort7 or outside them7 e?$? difficult of a tas! set # others7 disruptions7 etc the stability of the cause: is the cause sta#le7 e?$? level of intelli$ence7 or will it chan$e7 e?$? temporar minor illness the controllability of the cause: can the individual affect the cause7 e?$? amount of stud 7 or is it #e ond their control7 e?$? whether a tutor li!es them or not 6ruciall 7 student perceptions of causes operate here7 rather than accurate o#servation and assessment of situations? Ane student ma tend to see $rades as the result of an individual7 sta#le and uncontrolla#le cause 04I5m clever5F 4I5m stupid52 while another sees them as the result of chan$ea#le and controlla#le factors 04I wor!ed hard5F 4I didn5t wor! hard enou$h52? .47 141'22? &hese offer an 4e+cuse5 other than ina#ilit for failure? Achievement -oal theory is similar to the framewor! put forward # -1!inen et al7 in that it descri#es academic motivation is an attempt to achieve $oals7 and specific student #ehaviours are a function of desires to achieve particular $oals? .ailure which is attri#uted to stable causes ma lead to e+pectations of continued failure or success? Students who attri#ute outcomes to internal7 controlla#le causes are more li!el to feel pride7 satisfaction7 confidence and to have hi$her self'esteemC t picall 7 the are inclined to wor! on harder tas!s7 persist lon$er7 and en$a$e more with their su#:ects? In the related selfA1orth theory7 motivation is characterised as arisin$ from attempts to maintain or enhance self'worth? In this framewor!7 it is assumes a sense of self'worth is critical to ever 'da functionin$? Self'worth is defined as a 4:ud$ement one ma!es a#out one5s sense of worth and di$nit as a person5C in =estern culture at least7 this is inherentl connected to performance? In the self'worth theor of motivation7 students $ain their self' worth from their perception of their performance in tas!s? Success which is perceived as comin$ from hi$h a#ilit leads to pride and self'esteemC if this was accompanied # low effort7 a sense of hi$h a#ilit is also $ained? ..ailure'avoidant students strive to loo! competent7 or alternativel to avoid loo!in$ competent as a wa of protectin$ self'worth? 3erceived effort is important #ecause the 4failure'avoidant5 student #elieves effort is an inde+ of a#ilit : 4smart people do not have to tr hard and people who tr hard are not smartL li!e a#ilit perceptions7 effort perceptions are important?5 0Seifert 2.or failure'avoidant students7 performance is the source of self'worth and a#ilit is the source of performance? ..esearch in this area focuses primaril on two dominant $oals: learning 0master or tas! $oals2 and performance 0e$o'oriented $oals2? Students pursuin$ master $oals are similar to -1!inen et al5s 4theor oriented5 students? &his $roup are 4self re$ulatin$5 and 4self determinin$57 with dispositions that foster co$nitive development? 8ssentiall 7 the are students who welcome7 even see!7 transformationC the want to #ecome a#le to do thin$s? &he #elieve that effort 0i?e? somethin$ internal and controlla#le2 causes success or failure7 and the intelli$ence is re$arded as mallea#le? 8ven if the start out #elievin$ that the are alread intelli$ent7 the see this as a quantit to which the can add throu$h hard wor!? &he li!e challen$e7 and en$a$e in strate$ and positive self' statements? In $eneral7 the are more li!el to ta!e responsi#ilit for #oth success and failure? 36 ..ailure avoidin$ strate$ies57 i?e? e+cuses to protect a#ilit perceptions7 ma include effort withdrawal 0not tr in$27 procrastination7 maintainin$ a state of disor$anisation7 settin$ $oals too hi$h7 settin$ $oals too low7 cheatin$ or as!in$ for help 0Seifert 2.

.37 Students pursuin$ performance $oals are similar to the curriculum'oriented students descri#ed a#ove7 and are 4preoccupied with a#ilit concerns5? &heir primar interest is in their performance relative to others7 and in the wa the are perceived # others? A#ilit and intelli$ence7 which the view as fi+ed qualities7 are re$arded as the causes of success and failure # this $roup7 and the also tend to view difficult as failure? &he attri#ute outcomes to uncontrolla#le factors7 and are less li!el to process information relative to previous successC in other7 the are less willin$ to reflect on their e+periences? &he will displa adaptive #ehaviours if their confidence is hi$h7 #ut will displa maladaptive #ehaviours if confidence is low? Amon$ the latter $roup7 wor! avoidance $oals are sometimes o#served? =here these operate7 students do the minimum to $et # 7 and avoid challen$e? 3ossi#l #ecause the view the purpose of their academic wor! as a performance which is rewarded with $rades or praise7 or some other e+ternal inde+7 the tend to perceive it as lac!in$ inherent meanin$? *ot surprisin$l 7 4failure avoidance5 is often a motivation for the #ehaviours of this $roup? Seifert su$$ests that elements of all of these framewor!s ma interact? .meaning/ of wor! &wo common factors emer$e as important from all of the approaches discussed a#ove: the role of an individual5s goals7 and their awareness of their capability in achievin$ these? &hese can #e lin!ed via the notion of meaning? A tas! derives its meanin$ for an individual from the $oals which the have in mind when the underta!e it7 and from their #eliefs a#out wh and how the tas! can #e completed? A universit which attempts to increase the motivation levels of its students can $uide them towards findin$ meanin$ in their academic activities? However7 the can #e encoura$ed to attri#ute different sorts of meanin$ to particular activities? .indin$ wa s to enhance a sense of capa#ilit 7 responsi#ilit etc? will pro#a#l help students #oth to #e more successful7 and more hi$hl satisfied accordin$ to the t polo$ quoted in 3:2:2? 37 .47 1472? Seifert su$$ests that what lin!s all of these approaches is the importance of the student5s willin$ness to ta!e responsi#ilit for their own learnin$7 and the confidence #oth required to achieve this7 and $enerated # it? Oet a$ain7 this can most easil #e influenced # the universit via tutor'student interactions: .or students to develop into health 7 adaptive and constructive individuals7 it is imperative to foster feelin$s of competence and control? 3revious research has su$$ested that the teacher'student interaction is the critical factor in fosterin$ a sense of competence and autonom Seifert 2..47 147 +(4(> 0otivation and the .or e+ample7 #eliefs a#out self'worth ma interact with performance $oals7 and students who are pursuin$ performance $oals are ver similar to failure avoidant students in their desire to protect a#ilit perceptions # provin$ oneself or avoidin$ appearin$ incompetent? =hat drives the master pattern is a stron$ sense of self ? Students who #elieve that the are 4masters of their fate5 have a stron$ sense also of control and pro#a#l also of responsi#ilit ? &he 4#ri$ht #ut #ored5 student descri#ed a#ove can #e seen as havin$ a $reater e+ternalit than a master student? 8ssentiall 7 this student has decided to ta!e a low de$ree of control over his or her learnin$ 0which ma in turn contri#ute to #oredom2? -aster students tr to ma!e academic content meanin$ful7 #ut 4L the #ri$ht #ut #ored wor!'avoidant student e+pects the content to #e made meanin$ful for them5 0Seifert 2.or e+ample7 is it more desira#le to motivate students to pass7 or to motivate them to value their wor! #ecause of its contri#ution to their future professionalism 0and as a # 'product of this7 to pass2> .

47 147 A clear curriculum or$anisation7 and an ongoing discourse around this with students 7 seems to #e crucial here? Gecturers need the time and space7 and the contact with students7 to en$a$e in this sort of meta'discourse around the courses which the teach? In this wa 7 even where lon$'term $oals are relativel ne#ulous7 short'term ones can #e stren$thened and rendered more concrete7 and students5 awareness of an interest in the immediate tas!s can #e fostered? =hile 4incentive values5 such as $rades are important7 remindin$ students that these are most readil achieved # a deep en$a$ement with the wor! will also #e a motivatin$ factor? However7 none of this can #e done unless students have a #asic level of motivation which is hi$h enou$h to ensure that the attend7 and that the pa attention to the interactions facilitated # their universit ? Breen 01"""7 ) ' "2 found that motivation was lin!ed to two factors: a desire to $ain hi$h mar!s7 and interest in the su#:ect7 with mar!s #ein$ e+plicitl lin!ed to perceived emplo ment prospects? However7 another important factor was student 4camaraderie5? Breen su$$ests7 therefore7 that a feelin$ of involvement in the 4culture5 of the su#:ect #ein$ studied is influential in determinin$ motivation? A student who feels involved and included in their su#:ect is li!el to adopt its social and academic values7 and therefore to en$a$e in activities which support these? In this wa 7 the $oals of the student and the $oals of the institution 0#oth the particular universit and the whole su#:ect discipline2 are ver similar: &he acquisition of a disciplinar wa of thin!in$ and !nowin$ is the $oal that Hi$her 8ducation see!s to facilitate and # virtue of havin$ made the choice to specialise in one or two disciplines7 it is reasona#le to assert that the student is also oriented toward that $oalL however the o#:ective e+istence of the academic environment is no $uarantee that students perceive it o#:ectivel L Breen 1"""7 2 3) .3) -iller et al quote wor! which su$$ests that onl if students perceive the lin! #etween their academic #ehaviour and their future $oals will the #e trul motivated7 and that shorter'term rewards and punishments7 or 4$uilt57 are not effective motivators 01"""7 2%22? &he difficult with this is that these are ver difficult lin!s to ma!e? In the first place7 man students do not have clear $oals in relation to their careers when the enter universit ? =hat is a relativel simple lin! for law7 medicine or nursin$ students is far more difficult in su#:ects which deliver the $eneric s!ills and !nowled$e #ac!$rounds which are valued # man emplo ers? Student $oals ma #e in flu+7 or ma chan$e? 8n$a$in$ students in a process of reflection on their lon$'term aims is one possi#le solution7 #ut it is unli!el to wor! in all cases7 especiall for oun$ students who are still at a sta$e of rapid personal development? In addition7 man students are quite unaware of what elements of their course will #e useful to them in their future careers7 or of the precise value of current learnin$? As discussed a#ove7 man tend to value !nowled$e most hi$hl 7 while emplo ers thin! more in terms of s!ills? =hat is relevant to one sort of :o# will not #e relevant to another7 and mass H8 cannot reall cater for individual $oals7 or even interests? Seifert articulates these difficulties: 3erceived meanin$ is important in motivated #ehaviour? &he master student is a#le to find meanin$ in the wor!? If students do not find the wor! meanin$ful and tend to ma!e e+ternal attri#utions7 then wor! avoidance ma develop? &o this point7 however7 little attention has #een paid to meanin$ in studies of academic motivationL If students do not understand what it is the are supposed to do7 then the ma not #e a#le to find meanin$ in their wor!? If the topic does not ma!e sense7 the ma not #e a#le to discern the relevance of the topic? Gi!ewise7 if students do not feel capa#le of understandin$ the topic7 the ma not find the wor! meanin$ful Seifert 2..

47 3332? If the stress surroundin$ the e+amination itself can #e reduced7 then the revision period can operate as a ver helpful part of learnin$? -acdonald5s su#:ects are all mature'a$e Apen 9niversit candidates7 who ma well have #een sittin$ onl one or two e+aminations7 rather than the ei$ht or nine which formed a traditional 4finals5 period? +(4('@ Aapability and motivation &here is $eneral a$reement that students who #elieve in their own capa#ilit are more li!el to wor! hard and em#race challen$es than students who lac! confidence? Breen ma!es the lin! #etween perceived lac! of competence and a lac! of motivation? Eac!son found that students self'evaluate partl on the #asis of the mar!s the $et 02.evision was :ust the icin$ on the ca!e? I reread some of the articles with interest7 the were much more interestin$ the second time round? It started puttin$ ever thin$ into perspectiveN MI found that there is a post'course period when the information ta!en up durin$ the course seems to reor$anise itself in m mind and reappears later7 ma!in$ even more senseLN MI have #een rereadin$ it and have #een quite encoura$ed # the fact that some of the thin$s I stru$$led with at the time7 and $ave up on7 actuall ma!e some sense now? I must have learnt somethin$ durin$ the earN -acdonald 2..27 33.2? &he followin$ quotations from students support this view: M=hen I was revisin$7 it all started to come to$ether? .2? If e+aminations are presented to students as a learnin$ tool7 and preparation and the e+ams themselves are placed within a supportive conte+t7 the can actuall #oost #oth su#:ect understandin$ and motivation? -acdonald discusses the sense amon$ at least some lecturers and students that e+aminations can #e helpful in these wa s7 and quotes research which indicates that students develop a 4s noptic understandin$5 durin$ e+am revision 02.37 33"2? =here the feel that the have 4done #adl 57 the are li!el to continue to underachieve and to put in less effort7 creatin$ a vicious c cle? 3" .3" 6hoice of a particular su#:ect7 thou$h7 is not enou$h? Students ma enter reactivel 7 or on the #asis of poor advice7 or with a mista!en impression of what the su#:ect involvesC a student who enters with a stron$ $enuine interest and accurate e+pectations ma #ecome detached if local factors in their department lead to disappointment with their particular course? &he institution needs to provide a stron$ and coherent environment which reinforces su#:ect culture in the classroom7 and prefera#l outside it for each cohort of students? +(4(? 0otivation and examinations -acdonald 02....22 provides an e+tremel interestin$ discussion of the function of e+aminations in #uildin$ student motivation? 8+aminations are #ein$ used less and less in hi$her education assessment7 and man practitioners would ar$ue that their motivational impact is low or even counter'productive7 operatin$ as the most #latant case of mar!s #ein$ privile$ed over learnin$ outcomes? However7 -acdonald su$$ests that the pro#lem with e+ams 4L ma not #e the e+aminationL #ut rather7 the perceptions which students have of its role5 02..27 332 Ather students mentioned 4the challen$e7 the need to put in more effort7 and to stud more seriousl than the mi$ht otherwise5 02..27 33.

22 loo!ed at 4motivation5 as the 4#lac! #o+5 factor which meant that students who had classic 4personal pro#lem5 circumstances nevertheless wor!ed e+tremel hard? In her stud 7 students were $rouped accordin$ to their levels of e+ternal commitments 0such as part'time wor! or childcare and domestic duties2 alon$side their levels of motivation and hours spent on academic wor!? =inn identified one $roup of students with ver hi$h levels of e+ternal commitments 0:o#s7 childcare7 domestic responsi#ilities27 who nevertheless put in lon$ hours on their coursewor!7 attended well7 and were 4hi$hl motivated5? Sualitative data relatin$ to their da 'to'da schedules revealed 4hectic5 lifest les7 and in$enuit in findin$ time 0and space2 to stud : it is clear that these students are all hi$hl motivated? &he appear to have an intrinsic motivation7 valuin$ their academic e+perience to such an e+tent that the $o to $reat len$ths to fit their studies into lives which are alread demandin$? &he variousl emplo ed the accommodation mechanisms of sacrifice 0of social activities or time with famil 27 support 0e?$? from a partner2 and ne$otiation 0e?$? of periods of time to stud 2? =inn 2...or the students who have few e+ternal time pressures7 however7 motivation emer$es as the central issue #oth on an e+ternal e+amination of their lives and in their own narratives? &his 4low e+ternal commitments7 low academic wor!in$ time5 $roup tal! relativel little a#out issues which can #e $rouped as 4teachin$7 learnin$ and assessment5? =here these arise7 their interest tends to #e in 4pla in$ the s stem5 in order to pass? &he have little motivation that relates to an interest in the su#:ect7 or indeed in personal development? &he t polo$ies evolved a#ove would descri#e them as 4curriculum5 or 4performance5 oriented? 4.27 4%.27 4%12? =hen as!ed whether the had considered stud in$ part'time rather than attemptin$ to fit a full'time course around their other commitments7 the tended to repl that part'time stud is more difficult to mana$e financiall ? &he main difference #etween these two $roups appeared to lie in their perception of the relationship #etween e+ternal pressures and the possi#ilit of committin$ a su#stantial amount of their time to stud 7 #ecause the siHe and nature of the o#stacles involved was so similar? &his could #e seen as an issue of 4motivation57 and possi#l also of 4confidence5? However7 =inn found that these $roups did not articulate their situation in these terms7 #ut tal!ed a#out their difficulties7 either as thin$s which prevented their stud in$ or as thin$s which the succeeded in overcomin$ on a re$ular #asis? .. Eac!son also found that man students #elieve that for ever one7 there are 4thin$s ou5re naturall $ood at57 and that a 4natural hierarch 5 of a#ilit e+ists? In other words7 the #elieve more in inherent qualities than in their own capacit to learn and to #uild s!ills and !nowled$e? Students who do not hold this #elief7 or who re:ect it7 are li!el to wor! harder 0Eac!son 2.37 3372? Both of these factors emer$ed as important in the research carried out as part of this pro:ect? Ance a$ain7 feed#ac! and interactions #etween tutors and students appear to #e essential? +(4('' 0otivation and effort 3? /? =odehouse5s advice to aspirin$ writers 04appl the seat of the pants to the seat of the chairL527 is also valua#le for students who wish to succeed at universit ? -otivation has two essential functions for the successful studentC it ma!es their course en:o a#le7 and it ensures that the do enou$h wor! to pass? =inn 02. . A second $roup had ver similar personal andFor domestic circumstances7 #ut 4L e+perienced their dail lives as hi$hl stressful andL simpl could not fit an more academic wor! into their lives5 0=inn 2..4.

. hours a wee! and then it5s supposed to #e 3.27 4%42? *one of these students7 however7 volunteered to #e interviewed7 possi#l the did not see wh their wor!in$ ha#its could #e of interest #ecause this is simpl 4what the do5? Interestin$l 7 all of the students interviewed in the pro:ect reported here would fall into this latter $roup? -otivatin$ students to en$a$e with their su#:ect so that the put in enou$h time to succeed is essential for student retention? Eansen ma!es this lin! e+plicit: Students have considera#le free time to plan their own stud time and the can choose whether to spend their time on stud or other activities? &herefore pro$ress in hi$her education depends on students5 discipline to stud re$ularl Eansen 2.esearch with 4strate$ic students5 in School of Informatics indicates that these students are vulnera#le to withdrawal as their strate$ies are inherentl quite ris! ? Interestin$l K and encoura$in$l K =inn found that a#out a quarter of the students who completed the initial questionnaire for her stud showed a ver 4student 5 lifest le? &his $roup have 4few e+ternal commitments5 alon$side hi$h levels of academic wor!7 with an avera$e of a#out thirt hours a wee! of independent stud 02..or this student7 the dis:unction #etween $oals and classroom wor! has reached a point of complete unrealit C it is e+tremel li!el that she will $ain the first she desires with these wor!in$ patterns? However it is li!el that she7 and other students with this approach7 will actuall pass if the persist in hi$her education? &his is #ecause at least some of these students put a certain amount of in$enuit into 4pla in$ the s stem5 and $ettin$ # on as little wor! as possi#le? &he will come to the attention of staff involved in retention when one part of their strate$ies unravels? ..27 4%32? Because the were poor attenders7 of course7 the possi#ilit of their #ein$ 4as!ed5 was reduced7 and poor attendance and low wor!load entered a vicious c cle? Interestin$l 7 while these students showed ver low daily motivation7 their levels of future motivation emer$e as quite hi$h in their narratives? &he followin$ is a t pical statement: MI suppose I haven5t $ot the motivation? =ell7 I am motivated7 I5m focussed on what I want to do7 and I5m $oin$ to $et m de$ree7 I want to $et a first7 #ut I5m not motivated from da to da ? I don5t thin! we have enou$h hours of teachin$? =e5re onl in here for 1..27 4%3 .41 =inn identified a su#stantial third $roup of this t pe? All were 4 oun$5 and had few responsi#ilities 0onl a minorit had :o#s7 and onl one perceived herself as havin$ financial difficulties2 #ut did little academic wor! 0=inn 2.47 416 &he #est pro$ramme of stud s!ills and self'mana$ement trainin$ in the world will not #e effective if students do not put in the time and effort required to use it? 41 . hours independent stud P &he $ive ou independent stud to do7 and readin$ to do7 #ut no#od actuall chec!s whether ou5ve done it? &he don5t5 !now if ou haven5t done it7 so it5s eas not to do itN =inn 2.27 4%22? &his $roup were poor attenders at timeta#led sessions7 and in $eneral the or$anised their wor! in a ver assessment'driven wa ? =hat stopped them wor!in$7 primaril 7 was 4sittin$ around57 althou$h 4social life5 also emer$ed as a popular alternative to wor!in$7 and the had a stron$ social orientation? =hen as!ed wh the didn5t do more wor!7 the content of their classes and the t pe of teachin$ the encountered were not mentioned? &he onl learnin$ issue which emer$ed was the fact that the were unwillin$ to put in an wor! on aspects of the course which the #elieved would not #e tested? As one student put it7 4MI onl prepare for seminars if I thin! the 5re $oin$ to as! usN5 0=inn 2..

..47 427 Eansen also proposes that spendin$ too much time on student orientation at the #e$innin$ of a course ma actuall reduce students5 pro$ress7 #ecause it 4leads to a less active stud attitude and a dela attitude5 0Eansen 2...42 Eansen also su$$ests that 4the or$anisation of the curriculum can contri#ute to student motivation and stud pro$ress502....47 41%2? She proposes the followin$ practices: • • • • • • • spreadin$ tests throu$hout the semester avoid parallel courses where possi#le avoid havin$ two tests in one wee! where re'tests are offered7 do not spread these throu$h the ear avoid or$anisin$ re'tests and normal e+ams in the same wee! pa attention to feed#ac! from students offer students sufficient opportunities to practice tests Eansen 2.47 1312? However7 motivation is determined not onl # the individual and the particular tas! which the are set? 6onte+tual factors 4L such as place7 the social environment IandJ alternative activities are continuall wei$hed a$ainst su#:ective mental states such as motivation5 0<espaul et al 2.low state57 where 4optimal e+periences5 are achieved7 is defined # 4hi$h challen$e and hi$h s!ill5 IrequirementsJ? Boredom is o#served where low challen$e meets hi$h s!ills7 apath with low challen$e and low s!ills7 and an+iet with hi$h challen$e and low s!ills 0<espaul et al 2.47 131 Ance a$ain7 it appears that in assessin$ wor!load and the capacit to fulfil it7 perception is at least as important as the actual levels of wor! required? <espaul et al su$$est that the 4.47 41% K 4162? <espaul et al 02..47 4272? 8ffective instruction for increasin$ student motivation would include clarit in e+plainin$ course aims7 interaction and e+pressiveness #etween staff and students7 and ample opportunities for students to receive feed#ac! on their wor! 0Eansen 2.2? 42 ..47 41727 and that 4L dedication7 plannin$ #ehaviour and the wa time is spent do affect academic successL it $oes without sa in$ that the amount of time students spend on their stud is an important factor?5 0Eansen 2.47 13.42 also e+amine how motivation determines actual 4time spend5 on different activities7 and conclude that the amount of time spent on stud is crucial to achievement and retention? &heir 4flow model5 of motivation7 #ased on the emotional response of individuals to tas!s7 assumes that: emotional profiles are not related to the o#:ective nature of the activities #ut to its su#:ective assessment K how an individual feels challen$ed # 7 and perceives the availa#ilit of s!ills to successfull perform the activit <espaul et al 2.

47 14. K 141 &his a$ain provides an ar$ument for measures to increase student inte$ration7 so that their academic and social lives are to some e+tent fused7 and at least some of their social identit relates to their academic activities? &he discussion of informal 4stud $roups5 a#ove is relevant here7 as is the relationship of student motivation to clarit of career $oals? Ar$ua#l a student who thorou$hl en:o s their wor! to the e+tent that the would sa it partiall defines them7 or a student who self'identifies as a IfutureJ doctor7 law er7 nurse7 teacher7 etc?7 has lin!ed their social and academic lives7 and is thus e+tendin$ the hi$hl motivatin$ social conte+t into their academic wor!? -iller et al reiterate the importance of lin!in$ future $oals to current activities7 so that the dis:unction o#served amon$ some students #etween lon$'term $oals and current wor! patterns can #e avoided? &his7 the ar$ue7 will help to en$a$e the hi$hl 4instrumental5 students who ma see their coursewor! solel in terms of fulfillin$ course requirements and doin$ the minimum to 4$et the mar!s57 leavin$ them vulnera#le to usin$ onl surface approaches to learnin$ and 4hi$h ris!5 strate$ies for $ettin$ # : 3ast researchL has shown that perceptions of instrumentalit are related to co$nitive en$a$ement and achievement? If students do not perceive current academic activities as instrumental to attainin$ personall relevant future $oals7 we question whether those activities will have sufficient incentive value to foster the level of student co$nitive en$a$ement necessar to produce meanin$ful learnin$L we #elieve su#sequent research should e+amine interventions that not onl help create learnin$ oriented environmentL #ut also help students clarif realistic future $oals and the paths needed to reach them? Such an intervention would have students identif self'relevant future $oals and develop self' re$ulator s!ills needed to construct a path to those future $oals? B doin$ so we #elieve students will #e more li!el to perceive school learnin$ as instrumental to their personal futures7 thus increasin$ the incentive value for en$a$in$ in school' related wor!? -iller et al 1"""7 2%" 43 ..2? Students who are alread stud 'oriented and confident will respond to tas!s which stretch them7 #ut not all students will fall into this $roup7 and not all of this $roup will #e highly motivated in this wa ? =here students perceive their s!ills as low7 activities aimed at raisin$ these s!ills ma themselves #e perceived as too challen$in$7 and the result ma #e an+iet rather than enhanced motivation? How can one course cater for students whose levels of s!ill and perceptions of this ma var > &homas5 plea7 discussed a#ove7 for fle+i#le teachin$ methods is relevant here7 #ut this is resource'intensive and requires a hi$h level of s mpathetic interaction #etween tutors and their students? Helpin$ students to understand their s!ill levels7 and how to improve these where necessar 7 once a$ain ma #e a useful strate$ ? A$ain followin$ <espaul et al7 pa in$ attention to the conte+t of stud is important? &he su$$est that: while activation was hi$hest at home and alone7 the optimal mental states were reached in social situationsL en$a$ement in stud is not intrinsicall motivatin$ and will #e minimised to ma+imise social activities and pursue more motivatin$ activities <espaul et al 2.43 +(4('+ Strategies for building student motivation <espaul et al found that for the 4hi$h achievin$5 student population the studied7 4challen$es7 #ut not s!ills7 drive activation5 02..47 13"2? However7 while 4Lraisin$ challen$es increased activation #ut this increase was si$nificantl attenuated for stud in$5 02..47 14.

47 124 However7 students $enerall did not see their universit course as a site where these s!ills would #e used or developed: students rated all s!ill areas 0e+cept written communication2 as more relevant to their future wor! than their present course of stud ? Students appear to perceive the Mworld of wor!N as demandin$ a $reater ran$e of s!ills than academic stud GiHHio and =ilson 2.44 Ane wa of doin$ this is to encoura$e students to identif the lin! #etween employability s!ills and the s!ills which the need to succeed on their course 0and7 indeed7 which will help them to en:o it2? In this wa the lin! #etween the course and the :o# is $iven more content than would #e the case if students operate on an assumption of crude credentialism7 in which simpl $ettin$ our 4piece of paper5 is seen as a route to a well'paid :o#? GiHHio and =ilson also ar$ue that s!ills are a !e element of motivation? &he pic! up on the wor! which relates perceptions of causalit to motivation7 and ar$ue that 4L the value students place on capa#ilities is the !e factor in influencin$ their level of motivation for further development5 0GiHHio and =ilson 2.47 1122? Students were a#le to identif various !inds of s!ill: most were in a$reement that 4s!ills5 could #e $rouped into si+ areas? &hese were as follows: • • • • • • disciplinar Fprofessional written communication and information literac pro#lem'solvin$ communication and leadership conceptual thin!in$ and or$anisational mem#ership personal responsi#ilit GiHHio and =ilson 2..2? GiHHio and =ilson found that student #eliefs a#out s!ills var with su#:ect7 $ender7 anticipated profession7 a$e and life e+perience 0GiHHio and =ilson 2..47 1.strategic student/ &he vast ma:orit of students do not drop out of universit ? &his pro:ect7 and various national surve s 0e?$? 9niteFH83I 2.47 11..47 124 Instead7 students evaluate and value s!ills accordin$ to their perception of how relevant these will #e to their future emplo ment? &his also predicts their motivation for learnin$ different s!ills? &herefore7 ma!in$ the lin!s #etween the s!ills which can #e practiced or developed on the course and those which are valued and sou$ht # emplo ers will #e a useful wa of #uildin$ student motivation to wor! hard? +(4(') Ahallenges to motivation( the ."2? =hile academics and emplo ers have well' developed discourses on s!ills7 we !now ver little a#out how the are viewed # students 02..%27 indicate that a su#stantial ma:orit are actuall ver satisfied with most aspects of their e+perience7 and it is important to remem#er while readin$ this section that the pro#lematic $roup under discussion are # no means representative of the whole student population? However7 there is considera#le evidence that a particular pro#lem for student retention and satisfaction is the e+istence of a $roup of students who are distinctl unmotivated7 and whose primar consideration is to do as little academic wor! as possi#le at universit while still $ainin$ some sort of paper qualification? &he are sometimes termed as 4strate$ic5 students #ecause their primar characteristic is the adoption of a 4strate$ 5 which will allow them to 44 ...

17 13 &hese are #asicall the 4strate$ic students5 descri#ed # Dneale 01""72? Dneale e+plains that these students are 4out of step5 with the fundamental culture of the universit 7 which is #ased on an assumption that 4students want to #e at universit L IandJ L are interested in the de$ree su#:ects the are stud in$5? However7 4these two statements are less true than man collea$ues thin!5 0Dneale 1""77 11"2? 4Strate$ic students5 will not fit either a traditional model of the student who 4reads for a de$ree57 or into the modern one of a student who is encoura$ed to 4own their own learnin$57 en$a$e in an interactive classroom environment where the teachin$ and learnin$ is student'centred7 and $ain a ran$e of s!ills which prepare them for $raduate emplo ment? If students enter the classroom unwillin$l 7 it is difficult to put them at its centre? <oole draws attention to the same trend: 04in this conte+t of dramatic demo$raphic shift and risin$ peda$o$ic e+pectation7 timeworn assumptions a#out universit students qua learners 4% .4% 4$et # 5? Interest in their su#:ect is sparse amon$ this $roupC attendance is poor7 and the will do little or no wor! which does not achieve a mar! which contri#utes to their final de$ree qualification? &his is the $roup who7 if the are onl required to pass a certain num#er of module in order to pro$ress7 will i$nore one unit alto$ether and accept that the are $oin$ to miss out on the s!ills and content of that part of the course? =hile =inn does not use the term 4strate$ic57 she identifies a $roup of precisel this t pe in her stud and lin!s their #ehaviours to the $overnment strate$ of encoura$in$ students to enter hi$her education lar$el on the #asis of its potential for #oostin$ their future earnin$s: &hese interviewees had an instrumental approach to their studies7 aimin$ to do the minimum of academic wor! required? &he e+periences of these students raise issues a#out the nature of student motivation? &hese students are motivated to pass their assessments and attain a de$reeC indeed7 one student sa s she is motivated to achieve a first? If7 as is the case in much recent hi$her education polic 7 economic outcomes in terms of a de$ree which will lead to emplo ment are prioritised over the process of learnin$ and intellectual development7 then these students ma #e considered to #e motivated =inn 2.27 %"2? Similarl 7 -ann ar$ues that student 4alienation5 leads to an instrumental approach to assessment: the wor! that is underta!en # students is not usuall done for the $ood of the $roup of learners or other communit 7 #ut in order to satisf the requirement of the teacher and the institution7 and for the mar! that ma #e o#tained? &hus7 assessed wor! that a student produces can #e seen as part of a s stem of e+chan$e -ann 2...27 4%3 -an of the 4curriculum'oriented5 students descri#ed # -1!inen et al would fall into this $roup? Students who enter reactivel 7 #ecause the want to enhance their earnin$ potential 0whether that involves improvin$ on or reproducin$ their famil 5s social position27 are li!el to #e amon$ them7 and as num#ers e+pand with man students concentratin$ on financial $oals7 there is a $ood chance that their num#ers will e+pand? &he are a difficult $roup to teach7 and are li!el to #e most resistant to attempts to introduce student'centred and 4active learnin$5 approaches in the classroom? Hi$$ins et al characterise their views as essentiall 4consumerist57 and su$$est that the are li!el to #e resistant to initiatives such as formative feed#ac! #ecause the 4L conceive assessment tas!s as o#stacles to overcome in the pursuit of $rades5 0Hi$$ins et al 2..

.46 are decreasin$l valid5 <oole 2.47 23127 and =inn 02.eportC the recipients of 4/entleman5s &hirds5 and the .22 also found a worr in$ lac! of interest in thin$s which are prett fundamental to #ein$ a student? &he stud in School of Informatics at the 9niversit of *orthum#ria identified a su#stantial minorit of students who mi$ht well #e descri#ed as strate$ic7 includin$ a num#er who were quite happ to descri#e their strate$ic attitudes on the assumption that as the 4customers5 of the universit the had ever ri$ht to adopt these and still to $ain a $ood de$ree? 9nsurprisin$l 7 man of these students had failed units and were at ris! of withdrawal7 and the accounted for a hi$h num#er of leavers? &his was usuall #ecause their lac! of commitment had led to poor attendance and performance7 and the had fallen too far #ehind to pro$ress? Aften the had fallen on the 4wron$ side5 of the ris! involved in their strate$ies? A student who aims for the pass mar! of 4.ourths and Specials attained # the Bertie =ooster set would pro#a#l have met most of the criteria for a 4strate$ist5? Dneale 01""77 12%2 su$$ests that these students have #een present in our universities7 #ut that the onl emer$ed as a cause for concern as retention and achievement rates were su#:ected to $reater scrutin 7 and as students #e$an to demand hi$her 4value for mone 57 whose definition # strate$ic students ma #e different from that either of the institution or of their more academicall 'oriented peers? 3erhaps #ecause of this7 Dneale encountered enormous resistance amon$ some of the academic staff whom she surve ed to the idea that the mi$ht have admitted an such students? &hree of the fift 'two departments whom she approached responded with an e+tremel defensive refusal to participate in her stud 7 alon$ with a stron$ statement that the did not #elieve an of their students fitted this description? Interestin$l 7 in several cases she o#tained a ver different reaction from Heads of <epartment and from lecturers who actuall had dail contact with students7 the latter acceptin$ that a minorit of their students were definitel 4strate$ic5 0Dneale 1""77 12.@ ma miss this and $et 42@7 #ut the same mar$in of error will $et them a mar! of 3)@? /ettin$ the #alance wron$ on more than one module will land the student in ver hot water indeed? Similarl 7 a strate$ of failin$ one module onl wor!s if the mar!s on all one5s other modules are satisfactor ? Ane ver important reason wh it would #e foolish for a universit to attempt to cater for this $roup of students7 rather than encoura$e them to chan$e their approach7 is that the are definitel in a minorit ? It would #e e+tremel unfair on the ma:orit of students who enter H8 #ecause the en:o their su#:ects7 and to those who are at least open to en:o in$ their su#:ectsC it would diminish the e+perience7 and rewards7 availa#le to those students who want to wor! hard and $ain the full #enefit which H8 can #rin$? And of course7 it would #e disastrous for the econom and the emplo ers who need hi$hl 's!illed $raduates? Dneale 01""77 123 K 42 quotes tutors who found that the strate$ies adopted # these students led to poor results andFor hi$her than avera$e levels of withdrawal? &he refuse to contri#ute when there is no mar! assi$ned to the particular assi$nment or class7 en:o 4no e+am5 modules and fail to attend on essa '#ased modules7 su#mit wor! late7 attend onl until the assessment point7 fail as much as the are allowed to fail7 do not sit e+ams if the have alread attained a pass mar! on continuous assessment7 and will actuall admit that the are #ein$ strate$ic? Dneale ar$ues that it is unfair #oth to staff and industrious students to #lame the universit for failures amon$ this $roup7 or to ma!e it eas for them to pass or pro$ress? Strate$ amon$ students is e+tremel unli!el to #e a new phenomenon? &his sort of #ehaviour has pro#a#l alwa s accounted for a num#er of the #are passes awarded7 and for some of the 14@ of students who dropped out in the era of the . K 1212? *evertheless7 staff in fort 'three departments admitted that the had some strate$ic students? -ore of them were stud in$ 4mainstream5 su#:ects than off#eat or specialist ones7 and staff 46 ..o##ins .

21 % 1.47 found that this $roup tended to descri#e their reasons for entr as instrumental or reactive? Strate$ic students were overwhelmin$l male7 and invaria#l 4 oun$5 0Dneale 1""77 1262? &he followin$ statements7 characteristic of 4strate$ic students57 were presented to students and staff7 with responses as follows: Statement B of depts 1here students a-reed ) % 13 " 2 4 " B of depts 1here students a-reed 1" 13 3. 21 I5m not interested in an part of the su#:ect I5d rather #e in a :o# #ut there aren5t an :o#s A de$ree is :ust what ou do after school I :ust found + easiest at school T don5t care much what I stud &he teacher :ust handed round 96AS formsL I made a random choice #ased on the local foot#all teams I never read a prospectus Dneale 1""77 122 -otivatin$ and retainin$ this $roup of students is difficult7 #ut it is important for $eneral student morale and retention rates7 as well as staff satisfaction? 47 .

...or the 9D7 *6IH8 01""72 found that a quarter of staff in pre'1""2 universities and 3%@ in post'1""2 universities said the needed to teach #asic competencies that should have #een covered #efore entr into hi$her education? &his could #e ta!en as evidence that students in man countries reall are enterin$ hi$her education with hi$h e+pectations and poor levels of preparation? However7 some writers su$$est that staff should not complain a#out their students7 and should instead ad:ust their attitudes7 their teachin$ practices7 or #oth? &a lor and Bedford 02.47 3". 6 =ith respect to the H8A7 the lac! of an attri#ution is not surprisin$? &his statement is an astonishin$ over'simplification of an e+tremel comple+ su#:ect7 and it would #e difficult to ar$ue that even the #alance of the research evidence supports it? 4) .. 0-cInnis and Eames 2..7 62? &a lor and Bedford found similar levels of staff dissatisfaction reported # other Australian studies 02..@ # 2.47 3762? ....47 3)"2 state that a 4deficit discourse5 is adopted # staff7 and ar$ue that their: attitudes a#out students5 deficiencies reinforce an assumption that there is one mainstream academic culture7 with one mainstream discourse7 operatin$ within an unchan$in$7 static and consistent or$anisational conte+tL students who do not succeed or who have difficulties in accessin$ and masterin$ the mainstream academic discourses are la#elled as #ein$ under'prepared or Mintellectuall deficientN and a sin! or swim approach to non'completion is acceptedL &a lor and Bedford 2.27 from whose methodolo$ I have #orrowed heavil ? In their Australian stud 7 4dissatisfaction with the academic qualit of students more than dou#led #etween 1"7) and 1""35 0-cInnis and Eames 1""%7 %2 and up to %..4) 2$5 Academic staff dissatisfaction A num#er of studies7 li!e the one carried out here7 e+amine the attitudes of academic staff to the current $eneration of students? A consensus emer$es from these that man staff are dissatisfied with some of the attri#utes and attitudes of the students the teach? GS1 discussed some of these issues7 and while the staff surve ed for this pro:ect were in $eneral fairl positive7 some serious concerns were also voiced? <iscussin$ staff dissatisfaction is pro#lematic7 #ecause the issues involved are emotive? 6riticism of the levels of 4preparation5 amon$ students can #e confused with criticism of those students7 or of their intelli$ence7 or indeed of their social class? Ge$itimate staff concerns can too easil #e dismissed as the moanin$ of 4other worldl 5 academics who are 4out of touch5 with the 4real world57 despite the fact that an one who is in da 'to'da contact with students at a modern universit is unli!el to #e in this position? And retention is a particularl difficult issue to raise #ecause man staff feel that the are #ein$ 4#lamed5 for losin$ an students at all? 6omments li!e the 0unattri#uted2 quotation on the H8A we#site that 4retention is a measure of how valued and respected our students feel on campus5 6 do not ma!e this discourse an easier? &here is surprisin$l little academic research on how academics feel a#out students? However7 various institutional studies in the 9D 0GS17 742 do indicate a hi$h level of concern a#out student preparation amon$ academics? Hal#esle#en et al 02.32 su$$est that man tutors have a sense that a num#er of their students do not do allocate enou$h of their time to academic wor!7 althou$h it is quite li!el that this has #een the case for a ver lon$ time indeed? Ane of the most comprehensive surve s of staff opinion is the on$oin$ wor! of -cInnis and Eames 01""% and 2.

..47 3"12 is contentious? In the first place7 if withdrawal were primaril the fault of the lecturers7 then rates would presuma#l #e considera#l hi$her than the are on man courses7 #ecause one factor which is common to all students is the academic e+perience which the are offered? &he discussion of motivation in the previous section also indicates that we i$nore 4student factors5 at our peril7 as do man students5 accounts of their own preparation for universit ? -an staff ma tal! in terms of a lac! of preparation amon$ their students7 #ut it is quite possi#le that this is #ecause such a lac! is actuall found7 and not #ecause the are clin$in$ to a convenient 4deficit discourse5? 4" .47 3".27 4242 accuses academic staff of 4victim #lamin$5 in their complaints a#out student preparation and commitment? &a lor and Bedford5s view that 4this essentiall student'centred view of non'completion runs counter to the current research findin$s on this topic5 02.2? Similarl 7 &homas 02.4" &he su$$est that rather than a 4focus on helpin$ students to chan$e57 staff should loo! at wa s to chan$e 4course desi$n7 teachin$7 or institutional practices5 02..

%..42 notes that the desired economic prosperit actuall relies upon the development of 4deep !nowled$e and hi$h level thin!in$ s!ills5: 7 Both this and the quotation from 6harles 6lar!e are ta!en from Smithers 2. ..or whatever reason7 students are li!el to encounter attitudes which present universit as offerin$ financial rather than intellectual opportunities? In other words7 the e+ternal culture focuses on 4instrumental57 and possi#l also 4performance'orientated5 approaches to hi$her education7 while #oth individuals and emplo ers ma #e more satisfied # the outcomes of more traditional attitudes? -ost students will pro#a#l continue to choose universit courses on the #asis of personal interest and directed career $oals7 #ut it is possi#le that the new mar!et'#ased discourse around H8 ma shift the #alance to some e+tent7 at least until this 4version5 of H8 matures in the 9D 0as it has done in the 9SA2? It will #e easier for students to a$ree with 6harles 6lar!e5s much'quoted warnin$ that 48ducation for education5s sa!e is a #it dod$ 5 rather than with Dim Howells5 view that: Gearnin$ for learnin$5s sa!e is somethin$ we should criticise ver waril ? 3eople want to learn simpl #ecause learnin$ is wonderfulL Oou $et a taste for learnin$ and then ou want to learn even more7? &he discussion in the previous section su$$ests that this possi#ilit ma have serious consequences for the content of H8? Students whose orientation is stron$l wei$hted towards instrumentalit and a preoccupation with performance are li!el to lac! daily motivation7 to emplo 4surface5 modes of learnin$7 and to re:ect the student'centred classroom? =here this occurs7 it will dou#tless lead to more discontent amon$ academic staff7 and possi#l also have consequences outside the universities themselves? <oole 02. 2$2 +(<(' &ulture and hi-her education $he purpose of higher education &his section is intended to $ive a ver #rief introduction to some discussions of the attitudes to hi$her education which students are li!el to encounter as the appl to universit and durin$ their careers? It is an e+tremel #rief account of an e+tremel comple+ area7 and as such will undou#tedl suffer from some omissions or simplifications? Ane crucial connection which has #ecome important in recent ears is #etween economic prosperit and hi$her education? &his applies #oth nationall and personall ? &he proposed e+pansion in student participation is :ustified partl #ecause on the #asis of research which su$$ests that a countr whose populations have hi$her education will deliver competitiveness in the economic field? Another strand of :ustification7 the 4equalit of opportunit 5 a$enda7 is also rooted in the lin! #etween H8 and financial $ain? &he opportunit which is more frequentl discussed is the opportunit to earn a hi$her salar than the ones availa#le for most non'$raduate wor!? And this is the #asis on which the e+pansion in hi$her education is funded? Students who reach a threshold of earnin$s which is :ud$ed to reflect their educational advanta$e will #e e+pected to repa the loans which the have ta!en out in order to attain the de$rees which win them this earnin$s differential? It would #e possi#le to spea!7 idealisticall 7 of another sort of 4opportunit 57 and to su$$est that people from all sectors of societ should have access to the qualit of life and the ran$e of intellectual opportunities offered # a universit education? However7 this is a relativel infrequent stance? It can #e seen as illi#eral and elitist7 su$$estin$ that the intellectual life of social $roups who have historicall not participated in H8 in an considera#le num#ers is in some wa 4inferior5 or less interestin$ and li#eratin$ than that found in universities? Ar it can #e re$arded as old fashioned in the a$e of the $lo#al mar!et? .4? %.

47 231 =inn descri#es the wa s in which the focus on individual $ain from $raduate status has chan$ed the emphasis in hi$her education e+periences? 8ven thou$h emplo ers ma see! students with rather 4traditional5 H87 there is a dan$er that the universit s stem ma #e #ein$ $iven less chance than #efore to deliver these: while chan$es in the siHe and characteristics of the student population and in fundin$ arran$ements have $reatl altered the student e+perience7 chan$es in the understandin$ of the nature and purpose of hi$her education have perhaps had more fundamental consequences for students? &he drive to ma!e hi$her education relevant to national economic needs placed the emphasis on vocationalism and the e+trinsic value of education in terms of its emplo ment outcomes =inn 2.12 su$$ests that education has #een separated from transformation for students of all social classes7 and not onl those whose class status mi$ht have #een transformed: %1 ....%1 current e+pectationL has important ori$ins in contemporar #usiness and political imperatives? Accordin$ to a pervasive rhetoric on lifelon$ learnin$ and innovation7 competitiveness in $lo#alisin$ !nowled$e economies requires a su#stantial corps of wor!ers who not onl comprehend theoretical principles7 #ut also solve pro#lems independentl throu$h fle+i#le and creative thin!in$ <oole 2.37 1%"2? &his can still #e found in the 9D7 especiall amon$ first'$eneration andFor mature'a$e students? &he idea of the clever oun$ wor!in$' class student who finds intellectual and economic empowerment throu$h hi$her education 0alon$side painful alienation from their famil 2 was a powerful motif in 9D culture and indeed in British literature: this is the theme of &ow 8reen Bas 0y 6alley7 $he Stars "oo! 1own7 8orbals oy.ecentl 7 for e+ample7 certain post$raduate courses at A+ford were casti$ated in the press for usin$ the institution from which entrants had $raduated as one of their selection criteria? Silver quotes a stud of American colle$es in the earl twentieth 6entur which descri#s a 4Mculture of aspirationN K not that of the institutions #ut that of parents see!in$ access to privile$e for their children5 0Silver 2.odd <o le5s $he 6an7 for e+ample2? Gi!ewise7 the #elief in this function of hi$her education is articulated relativel rarel 7 perhaps #ecause it ma sound anti'e$alitarian or perhaps #ecause it is difficult to :ustif within the pervasive mar!et framewor!? -ann 02.ussell /roup mem#er? It is accepted that some emplo ers and man social elites do ran! universities in this wa 7 and there are also attempts underwa to avoid or criticise 4discrimination5 on the #asis of which universit someone attended rather than whether the attended at all? . $he Aorn is 8reen and later7 and with a less'characteristic female lead7 Educating Rita? *one of the heroIineJs of these wor!s see their aspiration as #ein$ towards a hi$her social position or salar C the see! a different inner life and a personal 4transformation57 althou$h none of them do their emplo ment prospects an harm? &he literar device is less common in contemporar writin$7 althou$h it does still emer$e 0education offers #oth economic $ain and an inherent #enefit from learnin$ to the characters in ..27 447 &his approach is ver effective for motivatin$ students to enter universit 7 #ut not necessaril for motivatin$ them to wor! while the are there? Interestin$l 7 the issue of increased status or cultural capital as a result of $oin$ to universit is discussed relativel little7 possi#l as the overall num#ers of $raduates rise? &o some e+tent this has #een replaced # a focus on the outcomes of attendin$ a 4presti$ious5 universit such as a .

.eactive entrants will often arrive at universit #ecause of their famil e+pectations7 which are themselves rooted in a de$ree of social privile$e? &his $roup will often arrive with va$ue $oals for the future and a low academic orientation7 #oth of which can lead to dissatisfaction with the course and withdrawal? +(<(+ Social stereotypes Surprisin$l 7 despite the modest success of widenin$ participation initiatives7 particularl at new and ur#an universities7 ver old'fashioned social stereot pes of students and universities persist? -an of these are discussed in GS1 034'%.27 437 &his latter comment is interestin$ #ecause it shows how powerfull media ima$es and stories shape student #eliefs? It would #e eas to find places in A+ford or 6am#rid$e where class #ias %2 .17 436 An alternative conception was that male students were all: M#offinsN or M#odsNL #oo!ish7 unattractive men: M&here5s a $eneral stereot pe7 isn5t there> Someone who needs $lassesL participation in H8 was lar$el associated with ne$ative7 undesira#le ima$es of masculinit Archer et al 2..2? Archer et al 02....%2 IresearchJ shows how the meanin$ of education has in societ 7 and thus for individuals7 chan$ed over time7 influencin$ individuals5 motivation towards education and thus their educational e+perienceL most students nowada s $o to universit L #ecause the e+perience no real choice in the matterL for most interviewees7 the timin$ of education followed a cultural script t pical of their particular $eneration7 $ender and social class -ann 2..17 4362? In addition7 man non'participants #elieve that universit is ver hard wor!7 #orin$7 4doesn5t $et ou an where57 and 4no fun5 0Archer et al 2.17 4362? &homas 02..22 found that her participant su#:ects #elieved in a clear hierarch of universities7 and associated particular characteristics with different institutions? In interviews: the students #rou$ht up and discussed class #ias at A+#rid$e and one student commented: MI don5t want to $o somewhere that treats people li!e that? I5d rather $o somewhere where I5m allowed to #e who I am and do what I want to doN &homas 2.17 " ..12 found that amon$ the non'participant men in their wor!in$ class sample: universit students were 0unfavoura#l 2 conceptualised as middle'class men7 a$ainst whom respondents positioned themselves as AtherL? man a$reed that Mit is alwa s rich people $oin$ into uniNL it is rich7 white middle'class men who participate 0the M.17 436 &his latter #elief relates partl to the perception that all students are 4#ro!e57 and therefore risi#le 0the contradiction of this with the #elief that all students are rich and en:o a lu+urious lifest le funded # their families is not noted2? Some of Archer et al5s su#:ects also commented that students were people somehow unfit for 4man5s wor!57 and said that if the were wastin$ their time $oin$ to universit the could not 4M#e out $raftin$N5 li!e a proper man 02.ichard BransonN people7 as one #lac! 6ari##ean oun$ man put itL Archer et al 2.

32 reviews some of this literature7 #ut su$$ests that the idea of one unitar culture within H8 or within a particular universit is unhelpful #ecause: the fact that the parts of the McollectionN can #e defined as Msu#culturesN in some sort of pro+imit does not ena#le them to #e a$$re$ated as a culture? Assertin$ that there is a dominant culture simpl # passes the issues of conflict and lac! of coherence Silver 2...%3 is rife7 and equall eas to find places where student diversit is respected and valued? &he student whom &homas interviewed has never #een to either universit and has no friends there7 #ut is confident that she !nows what the are li!e? Similarl 7 students with a famil tradition of pu#lic school and elite universit education would pro#a#l hold entirel erroneous #eliefs a#out the 9niversit of Stafford 0where &homas5 research was carried out27 on the #asis of newspaper stories7 received wisdom and no e+perience whatsoever? &hese stereot pes are relevant to student e+pectations7 #ecause the can lead to a lac! of confidence amon$ entrants? &his ma relate to confidence in their academic a#ilities7 which will not #e increased # the widespread7 #ut deepl erroneous7 assumption that social class and intelli$ence are usuall lin!ed)? Ar the social assurance of students from historicall non' participant #ac!$rounds ma #e diminished #ecause the #elieve the ma #e re:ected or sti$matised within the universit ? 3articularl in the first term7 this can $ravel dama$e their chances of for$in$ vital social networ!s7 especiall around their department and su#:ect? +(<() $he culture of the university Bourdieu5s wor! on H8 assumes that H8 in $eneral7 and each individual universit 7 have ver powerful cultures? &he 4ha#itus5 of universit consists of a powerful set of #eliefs7 assumptions7 attitudes and #ehaviours in which an individual needs to #e fluent in order to fit in7 and which are rarel made e+plicit? -uch of the wor! on student retention discussed in GS1 assumes the e+istence of a 4ha#itus5 of this t pe? &his assumption underlies man mentorin$ pro$rammes7 for e+ample7 where it is assumed that senior students will #e a#le to help new ones to #ecome fluent in the culture of their institution and department? Similarl in mana$ement theor the notion of 4or$anisational cultures5 has #ecome popular7 and several writers have applied this to universities? Silver 02...37 167 He ar$ues that for most academics7 the distinctive culture and values of their wor!place are located in their su#:ect discipline7 the academic profession7 and the values of scholarship 0Silver 2.17 )"42 %3 .37 1622? Breen 01"""2 ma!es a similar ar$ument7 su$$estin$ that students will often choose su#:ects #ecause of an affinit for #oth the content and the culture of a particular su#:ect7 and that tappin$ into this can #e e+tremel valua#le in #uildin$ their motivation? A$ain7 some initiatives for retention 0and recruitment2 are founded in the notion of su#:ect cultures? A case in point is the attempt to increase the num#er of women who choose to stud and to persist with stud in certain science disciplines7 where the 4su#:ect culture5 includes assumptions and even #ehaviours which are essentiall se+ist? ) It occasionall $ains a new twist: for e+ample7 at present it has #een $lossed in the lan$ua$e of popular science with ar$uments a#out $enetics which will mean certain families have onl ever #een fit for uns!illed andFor manual occupations? &he pervasive discourses a#out the 4end of the class s stem5 and the 4fact5 that educational opportunities are toda determined strictl # a meritocratic s stem are also useful in #olsterin$ this view7 which is re:ected # most researchers? Sullivan7 for e+ample7 states that 4L despite the fact that lower'class pupils are seriousl disadvanta$ed in the competition for educational credentials7 the results of this competition are seen as meritocratic and therefore le$itimate5 0Sullivan 2.

.17 "2? .....2 su$$ests that e+ternal pressures on aspects of the esta#lished culture of 4the academic profession5 and of man su#:ects within that to a lar$e e+tent underlie the unhappiness with their wor!in$ lives voiced # some academics: what SaidL called the Mutopian spaceN afforded # universities has shrun!7 and the #alance of power #etween the facult and the administration7 has shifted? &his shift entails an encroachment on the assumed freedoms of academic life7 and fuels resentment towards institutional authorit Sharroc! 2.rom this perspective7 the students is estran$ed from the possi#ilit of a meanin$ful personal purpose in en$a$in$ in hi$her education7 and from an intrinsic pursuit of !nowled$e7 understandin$ or :ustice throu$h such an education? -ann 2.7 1%4 =ith mar!etisation and e+pansion7 cultural chan$e in H8 is inevita#le? &a lor and Bedford identif as characteristic of universit culture not Said5s 4utopian space57 #ut a s stem of social privile$e and an enshrinement of this in academic practice? &heir description of the situation in Australia could also #e applied to that of the 9D: the culture of hi$her educationL has chan$ed si$nificantl L the $rowin$ le$itimac of fle+i#le pathwa s for universit entr 5 the e+pansion of teachin$ strate$ies availa#le7 particularl fle+i#le deliver initiativesC and the shrin!in$ financial support from $overnment and increasin$ trends towards user pa s &a lor and Bedford 2.47 37% However7 it would #e possi#le to ar$ue that these are chan$es in the circumstances of hi$her education which impact on its culture7 rather than chan$es in the culture itself? =here do students fit into this picture> If su#:ect disciplines and particular institutions have distinctive cultures7 then so do student #odies? Shipton5s wor! at the 9niversit of *orthum#ria offers an invalua#le picture of this7 as do a handful of other 4case studies5 of student cohorts? Ane theme which emer$es from several recent accounts is the sense of 4alienation5 descri#ed # -ann? She su$$ests that this is felt # man students who enter 4reactivel 57 either #ecause of famil e+pectations or #ecause the can thin! of nothin$ else to do? In her account7 this alienation and the sort of entr decisions which foster it arises from the current social position of hi$her education and the 4particular social conditions in which students now find themselves5 0-ann 2.%4 Sharroc! 02..17 "2? &hese conditions affect student attitudes #oth to the purpose of their universit education and to its content: she su$$ests that there is 4a $reater focus on efficienc and effectiveness at the e+pense of comple+it and am#i$uit 5 0-ann 2..17 " -ann proposes that such 4alienated5 students will #e unmotivated7 strate$ic and li!el to adopt poor learnin$ strate$ies: .idle 02...ecent writin$ on hi$her education has called for a focus on the development of critical #ein$ as a prime purpose for hi$her educationL However7 a consistent %4 .47 ""2 also notes that students are increasin$l uncomforta#le when as!ed to handle am#i$uit ? She su$$ests that the traditional7 humanistic and 4transformative5 aims of H8 are diminished in this conte+t7 where entr into universit is itself no lon$er 4transformative5 #ut pre'determined7 with a: sense of the life course7 and especiall the educational life course7 as institutionalised7 followin$ normativel and ine+ora#l the same Mprescri#edN path? .

%% findin$ in research on student learnin$ is that man learners at different times tend to adopt either a surface approach to their stud 7 characterised # a focus on rote learnin$7 memorisation and reproduction7 a lac! of reflection7 and a preoccupation with completin$ the tas!L or a strategic approach7 characterised # a focus on assessment requirements and lecturer e+pectations7 and a careful mana$ement of time and effort7 with the aim of achievin$ hi$h $radesL In #oth cases7 the approaches could #e descri#ed as e+pressin$ an alienation from the su#:ect and the process of stud itself? -ann 2..17 7 Alienation is li!el to arise when staff and students attempt to use the s stems of hi$her education to communicate and colla#orate7 #ut attach different 4meanin$s5 to the elements of this s stem? Somethin$ a!in to the 4cross cultural communicative failure5 descri#ed # lin$uists such as Eohn /umperH can arise? 46ross cultural communicative failure5 is found where spea!ers of the same lan$ua$e7 or users of the same non'ver#al communication s stems #rin$ fundamentall different meanin$s or associations to this7 which are themselves never e+plicitl articulated? Such miscommunications in the universit settin$ can lead to student withdrawal or failure? %% .

. )3?1 21 K 24 4?6 2% K 3.@ 1)?2@ )1?)@ 3)?%@ 61?%@ $able +( Sex of students in the survey Several writers 0e?$? Dneale 1""77 Eansen 2.@ %. 4?6 31 and over 1?% $able '( Age of students in the survey Because 6omputin$ students made up a hi$h num#er of the respondents7 a hi$her percenta$e were male than female? 6oincidentall 7 the proportion of male and female respondents from the 6omputin$ pro$ramme mirrored almost perfectl the proportions for this su#:ect nationall ? However7 a sli$htl hi$her proportion of the Business Studies students who responded were female? Identical num#ers of male and female students responded from Business and 8conomics7 althou$h the response from this cohort was small? %usiness studies 9emale 8ale %usiness C Economics &omputinAll respondents 62?%@ 37?%@ %.32 have noted that women students $enerall show hi$her levels of motivation7 and this was the case in the current stud ? It is possi#le that several of the items relatin$ to motivation and academic orientation have #een wei$hted #ecause of the $ender #alance of the $roup surve ed? B sheer coincidence7 32 respondents were on the *BS courses and 33 studied 6omputin$? %6 . sex and programme of study &he 6% students who responded to the questionnaire were all full'time first' ear 4home5 students on the 6omputin$7 Business Studies and Business and 8conomics courses? &hese are courses with a stron$ vocational element which ma #e ta!en either # students who have studied similar su#:ects at school or colle$e7 or which ma #e chosen # students with academic #ac!$rounds in other areas? 3erhaps #ecause onl full'time courses were considered7 the a$e profile of the students was s!ewed stron$l towards 4 oun$5 students? &he results of this surve 7 therefore7 should #e ta!en as relatin$ primaril to this a$e $roup? A-e ran-e ercenta-e of students 17 K 1) 6?2 1" K 2.%6 AR" "4#$ E7 ER*8EN"A. 9*N)*N(S Section "hree$ Research findin-s$ student characteristics /$+ )('(' )emo-raphics Age.

?)@ lived in shared housin$ which the were rentin$ on the private mar!et? &his num#er seems low7 #ut first ear students are the least li!el $roup to share private rental accommodation? 6?2@ of the students lived in private halls of residence? &here was no correlation #etween t pe of accommodation and pro$ramme of stud 7 or #etween se+ and t pe of accommodation? Had more mature'a$e students #een included7 a correlation with a$e mi$ht have emer$ed 0mature'a$e students are considera#l more li!el to live 4at home527 #ut their num#ers were too small to $ain a meanin$ful statistic on this point? )('(2 Student generation and parental occupation &wo related varia#les were used as 4pro+ies5 for social class? Students were as!ed to indicate whether either of their parents had attended universit 7 and to indicate their parents5 occupations? 9nsurprisin$l 7 the association #etween these factors was statisticall si$nificantC all #ut one of the parents in professional or hi$her mana$erial occupations had attended universit ? &hese varia#les were used in preference to postcode anal sis partl #ecause the latter would have compromised the promised anon mit of the stud 7 and also #ecause I was specificall interested in the e+perience of students whose parents were $raduates? A relativel hi$h level of refusal to answer these questions was anticipated7 #ut in practice onl two students withheld information? &he ma:orit 063?1@2 of students in the stud were 4first $eneration5 universit students7 i?e? neither of their parents had attended universit ? Amon$ the second $eneration students7 13?)@ had two $raduate parents7 12?3@ had a father #ut not a mother who was a $raduate7 and "?2@ stated that their mother had #een to universit #ut that their father had not? 26?6@ of $raduate mothers and 2"?4@ of $raduate fathers had attended universit as mature'a$e students? &hese parents were no less li!el to hold professional or hi$her mana$erial roles than parents who had attended universit at a traditional a$e7 althou$h the num#ers involved are too small to provide reall relia#le statistics? &a#les three and four present the occupational classifications of students5 fathers and mothers respectivel ? &a#le five represents an attempt to characterise the occupational classification of a student5s household where the parents are in similar occupations? %7 .@2 held A'levels as their primar entr qualification? "?2@ had vocational A'levels7 and the rest held diplomas7 H8. qualifications or other qualifications? All #ut one of the Business Studies students had traditional A'levels7 #ut this was the qualification of onl 7%@ of Business and 8conomics students7 and 6"?7@ of 6omputin$ students? )('() Accommodation 41?%@ of the students lived in their own home or 0more li!el 7 $iven their a$e2 the home of their immediate famil ? 32?3@ lived in 9niversit of *orthum#ria'owned halls of residence7 and "?2@ in 9niversit of *orthum#ria'owned shared houses or flats? 1.%7 )('(+ Entry *ualifications &he vast ma:orit of respondents 0).

1%?4 6?2 $able 4( &ousehold occupational classification Accordin$ to H8SA statistics7 the 9niversit of *orthum#ria draws around 27@ of its students from Social 6lasses IIIm7 I( and (? &he fi$ures presented here su$$est that the sample in this surve contained a sli$htl hi$her percenta$e of students from these classes7 around 33?)@? &his ma #e #ecause the courses e+amined are vocational in natureC nationall 7 su#:ects with a stron$ vocational element tend to attract a hi$her num#er of widenin$ participation students than non'vocational 0e?$? traditional humanities su#:ects2 or 4professional5 courses 0e?$? medicine or law2? Students were also as!ed to indicate whether an older or oun$er si#lin$ had attended universit ? Because of the a$e of most of the students in the sample7 ver few stated that a oun$er si#lin$ had #een in H87 and this statistic was disre$arded 0had more mature'a$e students responded7 it could have #een of use2? However7 for students who had an older si#lin$7 the fi$ures on participation were stri!in$? Anl 44@ of older students with older si#lin$s stated that one of more of these had attended universit ? %) .?.?.%) 9ather<s occupational classification 3rofessionalFhi$her mana$erial -ana$erial S!illed7 non'manual S!illed manual Semi's!illed 9ns!illedFroutine Self'emplo ed AtherFchose not to answer ercenta-e of students 21?% 2. 13?) 13?) 12?3 4?6 4?6 "?2 $able )( %ather/s occupational classification 8other<s occupational classification 3rofessionalFhi$her mana$erial -ana$erial S!illed7 non'manual S!illed manual Semi's!illed 9ns!illedFroutine Self'emplo ed AtherFchose not to answer ercenta-e of students 1)?% 6?2 3)?% 1?% 4?6 1.?) 3?1 1%?3 $able 2( 0other/s occupational classification arental occupational classification 3rofessionalF mana$erial S!illed Semi's!illed or uns!illed -i+ed Insufficient information ercenta-e of students 3%?% 23?1 2.

%" &here was no correlation #etween parental occupation and participation in H8 # an older si#lin$7 #ut parental participation in hi$her education is stron$l related to participation # more than one child? Amon$ first $eneration students with an older si#lin$7 onl 2%?)@ of these si#lin$s had attended universit ? Amon$ second $eneration students with an older si#lin$7 however7 )%?7@ of si#lin$s had also $one to universit ? It appears from this that parental education does determine the li!elihood of participation in hi$her education? &he onl demo$raphic varia#le which approaches a si$nificant correlation with student $eneration is accommodation t pe? Second $eneration students are more li!el to live in halls of residence 047?)@ as opposed to 24?4@27 and sli$htl less li!el to live in the parental home 03.?4@ as opposed to 46?3@2? &his ma #e #ecause parents who have attended universit encoura$e these students either to choose a universit which is outside their home town7 or to en$a$e in the 4total student e+perience5 offered # livin$ in universit accommodation7 or #oth? It is also possi#le that these families are in a #etter financial position to help their children live awa from home and pa hall fees? %" .

K 14 1% K 1" 2.@ normall do 3 hours or less7 and 16?1@ do :ust five hours in a normal wee!? &here was a cluster of 17?7@ at 1. or more 32?3 24?1 22?% 6?4 ) 6. . /$2 )(+(' Student study behaviours $imetabled hours Students were as!ed to indicate the num#er of hours of formal stud which appeared on their first ear timeta#les? In order to ma!e it easier to add up different !inds of activit 7 the were as!ed to separate this into lectures7 seminars or classes7 small $roup tutorial7 la# sessions7 stud $roups and other activities? Some variation was inevita#le7 #ecause students filled in the questionnaire after the end of term7 and it is ver unli!el that man 0an >2 of them consulted their old timeta#les? *evertheless7 the variation is surprisin$l wide? &he lowest num#er of 4contact hours5 listed was ei$ht7 and the hi$hest was 26? .eassurin$l 7 there were clusters around the 4correct5 num#er of hours? 3)?7@ of 6omputin$ students recalled 1) hours of formal stud 0the correct num#er27 and a further 22?6@ recalled 1"7 so almost two'thirds of students had an accurate memor of their timeta#les? &he lowest fi$ure $iven was 16 hours 0"?7@ of students2? Business and 8conomics students varied rather more7 with estimates from 1. 0one student27 and )?1@ of the sample stated that in a normal wee! the did no private stud at all? Almost 2.6. hours a wee!? &a#le Si+ shows the patterns of private stud reported # students? Number of hours spent in private study ercenta-e of students . hours to 1) hours7 althou$h there was a cluster around 14 hours? Business Studies students var a $reat deal7 with estimates from ) to 2% hours? &here is a small cluster7 with 3"@ of students statin$ that the spent #etween 14 and 16 hours in class? &he avera$e amount of contact time reported # students on all courses in 177 with a standard deviation of 3?"? )(+(+ =rivate study &he variation in the amount of time spent in private stud was enormous? Students were as!ed how much private stud the did 4in a t pical term'time wee!57 and some of the fi$ures reported are so low that a hi$h level of truthfulness can #e assumed? All of the students surve ed are students who e+pect to pro$ress into their second ear on the #asis of their actual first ear performance? &he avera$e num#er of hours for all students was :ust over ei$ht hours7 #ut there was an enormous standard deviation of 7?1)% hours? &he hi$hest num#er of hours reported # an student was 4.K4 %K" 1.

eports varied from 1 hour per wee! to ).amil commitments K 4?"@ *ot sureFother K 17?3@ Students who felt the were 4doin$ enou$h5 were si$nificantl more li!el to state that the also felt that the understood the su#:ect well enou$h? &he were also si$nificantl more li!el to state that the lac!ed motivation? However7 students who felt the understood the su#:ect well enou$h tended not to report a lac! of motivation7 or #oredom with their studies? &his su$$ests that different students have interpreted the word 4enou$h5 in different wa s? Ane $roup appear to :ud$e that 4enou$h5 stud is the amount that will allow them to $ain a $ood $rasp of their su#:ectC in other words7 the ma!e an academic :ud$ement a#out their wor!? &hese students are unli!el to #e 4#ored5 or 4unmotivated5 when faced with private stud ? However7 a second $roup :ud$e 4enou$h5 stud to #e 4enou$h for me5? &he simpl 61 .61 $able six( Number of hours spent in private study *o association was found #etween hours spent in private stud and pro$ramme of stud ? =omen appear to spend sli$htl lon$er in private stud than men7 with an avera$e of )?4% hours as opposed to 7?32? All of the students who claim to do no stud at all in a normal wee! were male7 and far more men than women do less than five hours in a normal wee!? However7 all of the students who do 2. hours per wee! 014?%@ of students2 and 2. hours per wee! 01"?4@ of students27 with the ma:orit recallin$ a fi$ure somewhere #etween these two? &his su$$ests a reasona#l accurate recollection # most of the students surve ed? However7 of students who stated that the had received advice7 onl 17?)@ said that the usuall followed it? Students who rarel did the 4advised5 amount of stud were as!ed to indicate the reasons wh the did not follow their tutors5 advice? In practice a response to this item was offered # a sli$htl higher num#er of students than stated that the had received advice #ut failed to follow it? &his indicates that the question was interpreted as 4wh did ou not do a $reat deal of private stud >5 # some respondents? It is pro#a#l sensi#le7 therefore7 to re$ard the responses to this item as relatin$ to students5 perceptions of their own stud ha#its rather than of their willin$ness to follow the advice of their tutors? &he responses to this item are as follows: I felt that I was doin$ enou$h stud K %3?7@ I lac!ed motivation K %1?2@ I felt that I understood the su#:ect well enou$h K 34?1@ I found private stud #orin$ K 34?1@ .social life was too #us K 26?)@ I was too #us earnin$ mone K 1"?%@ 3ersonal or medical pro#lems K 7?3@ . or more hours a wee! are also male? 72?2@ of students who do ten hours a wee! are female? Students were as!ed whether the had received advice from their tutors a#out a sensi#le num#er of hours to spend in private stud each wee!? Althou$h students on all courses were advised a#out this7 27?4@ of respondents said that the had received no such advice? However7 there was considera#le variation in their report of how much stud the had #een told to do? &his ma #e #ecause advice had #een received from different sources at different times7 or possi#l #ecause the advice had #een received at induction which was a ver lon$ time a$o? . hours per wee!7 althou$h there are clusters at 1.

s 2 A +2 25B D +00B 50B D 20B 25B D 06B +B D 20B "1?"@ 6?%@ 1?6@ . 1?6@ $able Seven( =ercentage of students reporting their attendance levels for time period &he 4fallin$ off5 in attendance o#served informall # man mem#ers of staff is clearl o#served from this ta#le? Interestin$l 7 amon$ these students who have persisted throu$hout the first ear7 very low attendance is e+tremel rare? Anl one student reports that sFhe does not attend at all at an point7 and this is onl for one half'semester? Attendance at less than 2%@ of sessions is almost as rare7 and onl a tin minorit of students attend less than half of timeta#led sessions at an point? &here ma #e an element of self'selection amon$ students who are willin$ to ta!e the time to fill in a questionnaire and return it to the universit 7 #ut what emer$es from these fi$ures is that students who persist are li!el to #e $ood attenders? &he compara#le fi$ures for withdrawin$ students which would prove the lin! #etween attendance and persistence are not availa#le from this stud 7 #ut the earlier wor! in the School of Informatics showed a ver clear correlation #etween poor attendance and drop'out? Students who at an point attended less than 7%@ of timeta#led sessions were as!ed to indicate wh the had t picall #een a#sent? .s + A 5 Semester 2. .@ 3?2@ 1?6@ %3?2@ 2%?)@ 16?1@ 3?2@ )id not attend .?)@ I was too tired to attend K 1"?2@ 62 . 1ee. 1ee. 1ee. 77?4@ 17?7@ 3?2@ 1?6@ 66?1@ 2"?.62 lac! motivation to do an more? 9nsurprisin$l 7 there is a si$nificant association #etween the statement that one lac!s motivation and that one finds private stud #orin$? Anl a ver small num#er of students state that the usuall do the recommended amount of private stud ? Around two thirds of these state that the do so #ecause the en:o their su#:ect7 while :ust over half state that the felt that the needed to wor! hard to !eep up? *earl ".s 2 A +2 Semester 2.s + A 5 Semester +. .esponses to this question were as follows: I had lon$ $aps #etween classes K 6"?2@ 3ersonal or medical pro#lems K 1"?2@ I felt that I understood the su#:ect well enou$h K 42?3@ I found the sessions #orin$ K 42?3 I found the tutors unapproacha#le K 34?6@ I disli!ed a particular topic or module K 34?6@ I didn5t feel motivated to attend K 3. 1ee.@ state that the want to $ain $ood mar!s7 and self'esteem reasons seem ver important for this $roup: 7)@ state that the do not want to let themselves down? Ather reasons named # two or three students include 4m friends were all wor!in$ hard57 4I have made sacrifices to come to universit 57 4I do not want to let m tutors down5 and 4I did not want to let m famil down5? )(+() Attendance at timetabled sessions Students were as!ed to indicate their normal levels of attendance at timeta#led sessions in each semester of their first ear? &a#le Seven shows overall patterns of attendance: Semester +.

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I found it difficult to relate to other students K 1"?2@ 3art'time wor! commitments K 1"?2@ *o si$nificant associations #etween reasons for not attendin$ were found? Students who felt that the understood the su#:ect well enou$h alread were more li!el to state that the lac!ed motivation to $o to classes7 althou$h this association was not statisticall si$nificant? B far the most important reason for non'attendance at timeta#led sessions was 4lon$ $aps #etween classes5? &he messa$e a#out the importance of timeta#lin$ in determinin$ student e+periences and #ehaviours is clear? &imeta#le factors were reported as a reason for non' attendance # a ver hi$h num#er of students who later dropped out in the School of Informatics stud 7 and lon$ $aps were a ver frequent complaint? I found no relationship #etween attendance levels and course7 $ender or $enerational status? However7 there is a statisticall si$nificant relationship #etween attendance and t pe of accommodation? Students who live in 9** halls of residence are far more li!el to #e $ood attenders 061?"@2 or to have mi+ed attendance 02)?6@2 than to #e poor attenders 0"?%@2? &hose livin$ at home show lower levels of $ood attendance 0%%?6@2 and mi+ed attendance 022?2@27 #ut hi$her levels of poor attendance 022?2@2? )(+(2 =art-time wor!

Eust under half of the students in the surve 04"?2@2 stated that the had had a part'time :o# at some point durin$ term'time in their first ear? ;or the vast ma:orit 0".?"@27 this :o# had continued for the entire first ear7 and most of these students 072?7@ of wor!in$ students2 had started their :o#s at or #efore the ver #e$innin$ of the first semester? &he num#er of students with part'time :o#s seems low7 especiall when compared with the fi$ure presented in the accompan in$ report on student finance? &his is pro#a#l #ecause all of the students surve ed here were first' ears7 the $roup which is least li!el to ta!e part'time wor!? In the other stud 7 which loo!ed at the e+perience of students from all ears7 first ears still emer$ed as less li!el to have :o#s? &he avera$e wor!in$ wee! durin$ term'time was 14?4 hours 0standard deviation %27 althou$h variations were quite wide7 with the shortest reported wor!in$ wee! standin$ at three hours 01 student2 and the lon$est at 27 01 student2? -ost :o#s occupied #etween 1. and 2. hours each wee!? &he wor!in$ wee! in most part'time :o#s varied ver little? Anl three students reported that their hi$hest ever num#er of hours in a part'time :o# was different from their re$ular num#er of hours7 and in onl one case was this difference lar$e 0a student who normall wor!ed 2. hours #ut occasionall wor!ed 4.2? Students accept a surprisin$l small ran$e of !inds of wor!? Aver half of wor!in$ students 0%4?%@2 are in retail? 12?1@ wor! as waitin$ staff in #ars or clu#s7 and "?1@ have other hospitalit or waitin$ :o#s? (er small num#ers are emplo ed in clerical7 uns!illed manual or professional wor!? Students in the Business School were sli$htl more li!el to wor! than students in 6omputin$7 #ut this difference was not statisticall si$nificant? It did not relate to the nature of part'time wor! underta!en 0i?e? *BS students were not ta!in$ :o#s which were particularl relevant to their studies2?

63

64
6.@ of women wor!ed7 compared with 4%@ of men7 #ut the women who had :o#s wor!ed sli$htl shorter hours7 with an avera$e wor!in$ wee! of :ust over 12 hours as opposed to 16?%? &here was a si$nificant association #etween accommodation and part'time wor! status? Aver three'quarters of students who lived in at home had :o#s 077?)@27 compared to onl 14?3@ of those who lived in 9** halls of residence? Students who rented privatel were also more li!el to wor!? In man cases7 students who live at home will !eep a part'time :o# which the have held while the were at school or in which the wor!ed full'time #efore their studies #e$an? It appears that students livin$ in universit accommodation tend not7 as et7 to have found themselves requirin$ additional funds in order to support themselves? %)?%@ of second'$eneration students have :o#s7 as opposed to 34?)@ of first'$eneration students7 a correlation which on these num#ers :ust misses statistical si$nificance at the .?.% level? However7 there is a statisticall si$nificant association #etween parental occupation and part'time wor!? Anl 34?)@ of students with parents in professional or mana$erial occupations have :o#s7 compared with ).@ of those whose parents are in 4s!illed non' manual5 or 4s!illed manual5 occupations and 6"?2@ of parents in semi's!illed or uns!illed wor!? &hese difference ma emer$e #ecause of the level of financial support which is availa#le from parents in different occupations7 or #ecause of the influence of famil culture and advice7 or #oth? &he relationship #etween part'time wor! and attendance is a rather stran$e one? Students who had part'time :o#s were sli$htl #etter attenders than those who did not: %4?4@ fell into the 4$ood attendance5 cate$or 7 as opposed to 46?"@ of students without :o#s? However7 a sli$htl hi$her percenta$e also fell into the 4poor5 attendance cate$or 027?3@ as opposed to 21?"@2? &he 4mi+ed5 attendance cate$or accounted for 31?3@ of students without :o#s and 1)?2@ of those in part'time wor!? &hese correlations are not statisticall si$nificant7 #ut it is possi#le that the arise #ecause students with :o#s either achieve a hi$her than avera$e level of personal or$anisation in order to #alance wor! and stud 7 or fail to do so alto$ether? )(+(4 Aommuting and college days

Students in the School of Informatics surve frequentl stated that the len$th of their commute to colle$e was sometimes caused difficulties with their attendance? &he num#er of students livin$ in universit accommodation in this stud meant that the avera$e len$th of commute reported was relativel low7 at :ust over half an hour? &he ma+imum len$th reported # an student in this surve was 1?% hours? &he ma:orit of students who lived at home reported a commute of #etween half an hour and one hour? -ost of the students in the stud were required # their timeta#le to #e on campus for five wor!in$ da s in each wee!?

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Section 9our$ Entry and pro-ression 0$+ Entry decisions

Students were as!ed in this section to separate the reasons wh the decided to $o to universit at all from their reasons for choosin$ the 9niversit of *orthum#ria7 and their decision to ta!e the particular course on which the were stud in$? &he rationale here was partl to tease out the relationship #etween 4instrumental57 4self'esteem5 and 4su#:ect interest5 reasons7 which mi$ht #e assumed to pla a different role in each 4level5 of decision7 and also to identif the e+tent to which e+ternal factors 0e?$? the desire to leave home or to sta at home7 the reputation of *ewcastle as a cit alon$side the reputation of the universit itself2 influenced the choice of institution? In each section7 students were as!ed to tic! all of the reasons which applied to their choice7 and then to nominate one 4main reason5 if this was relevant to them? 2('(' Reasons for choosing to go to university

Students indicated their reasons for decidin$ to enter hi$her education as follows: I wanted to improve m $eneral :o# prospects K )%?"@ I wanted to achieve a de$ree K )%?"@ I want to stud a su#:ect that reall interests me K %3?)@ I en:o stud in$ and learnin$ K 37?%@ I wanted to train for a specific t pe of :o# K 2"?2@ - teachers advised me to $o to universit K 26?6@ - famil wanted me to $o to universit K 26?6@ All m friends were $oin$ to universit K 2.?3@ I didn5t want to $et a :o# ri$ht awa K 2.?.@ ;or 21?"@ of students7 no one reason had #een the most important? However7 for 34?3@7 the desire to improve one5s $eneral :o# prospects had #een paramount7 and for 1%?6@ the most important factor had #een su#:ect interest7 while 1.?"@ said that achievin$ a de$ree was their main motivation? 7?)@ said that the had #een most influenced # the desire to train for a specific !ind of :o#7 indicatin$ a ver clear $oal direction at a ver earl sta$e? Ather reasons which were named # small num#ers of students were famil influence and an en:o ment of stud in$ and learnin$ for their own sa!e? Althou$h # coincidence the same num#er of students stated that the wished to improve their $eneral :o# prospects and that the 4self'esteem5 reason of wantin$ to $ain a de$ree was important to them7 the relationship #etween these two items was not si$nificantl si$nificant? ;rom these fi$ures7 it appears that the main reasons for enterin$ H8 in the first place relate to future :o# prospects and to self'esteem? Su#:ect interest7 however7 is important for over half of the students on these courses7 and a $eneral 4academic orientation57 even from the start7 is present for more than one'third? &hese indicate a health #alance #etween the more instrumental 4future $oals5 and personal interests which will help students to en$a$e in the da 'to'da wor! needed to achieve these? &he future $oals of almost one'third of students on these vocational courses are alread clear? Sli$htl more 6omputin$ than *BS students stated that trainin$ for a specific t pe of :o# was important to them7 #ut the difference was not si$nificant? =hile parental and school encoura$ement was important to a num#er of students7 these were not the primar reason in more than a handful of cases7 which su$$ests that the levels of reactive entr amon$ these students at least are reasona#l low?

6%

eputation of the cit K 43?)@ .irst'$eneration students were si$nificantl more li!el than second $eneration students to state that the had chosen to enter hi$her education in order to stud a su#:ect which reall interests them7 with 6%@ of first'$eneration students namin$ this reason as opposed to 3"?1@ of second $eneration students? &his7 contradictin$ some views quoted in GS1 0432 su$$ests that students with no famil tradition of hi$her education are :ust as li!el if not more so to enter universit for academic as well as instrumental reasons? 3erhaps surprisin$l 7 parental aspiration is si$nificantl less frequentl a factor for these students than for second $eneration students? 47?)@ of second'$eneration students said that the fact that their famil wanted them to $o to universit had #een important in their decision to enter hi$her education7 #ut onl 1%@ of first'$eneration students mentioned this influence? It would appear from this that reactive entr is more of a dan$er for second' than for first' $eneration students? &he fact that a student names their famil 5s wishes as a reason for enterin$ H8 seems also to relate to their not decidin$ to name interest in the su#:ect as a reason: amon$ those who mention famil wishes onl 3%?%@ state that su#:ect interest was important? Af course7 students of all $enerations who are motivated # su#:ect interest ma have families who want them to attend universit and support their decision? However7 the are less li!el to feel that this influenced their decision? Interestin$l 7 correlations were found onl with student $eneration and not with the related varia#le of parental occupation? &he latter relates si$nificantl to the 4self esteem5 reason of wantin$ to achieve a de$ree? &his is hi$h throu$hout the surve 7 with around ).@ of students from professional or mana$erial and s!illed non'manual or manual homes? However7 1.?6@ I wanted to live at home K 34?4@ I wanted to leave home K 32?)@ ..ecommendation of a friend or relative K 2.ew differences emer$ed in the reasons e+pressed # men and women for decidin$ to enter hi$her education? Ane si$nificant difference was in the percenta$e who wanted to improve their $eneral :o# prospects? &his was hi$h for #oth se+es7 #ut while onl 7"@ of men stated that it was in important factor7 nearl all the women 0"6?7@2 named it? &his ma #e #ecause female students are aware 0formall or informall 2 of the considera#l lar$er earnin$s $ap #etween women who are $raduates and women without a de$ree? Student $eneration was si$nificantl associated with two reasons for enterin$ hi$her education in the first place? .?3@ All m friends were $oin$ to this universit K "?4@ 66 .@ of students from homes where the primar parental occupational cate$or is semi's!illed or uns!illed state that this is an important reason for them? (aluin$ a de$ree in itself is a powerful motivation7 #ut it seems more important for students who are aware of the difference which havin$ access to a different ran$e of emplo ment will ma!e to their lives? =here students a$ree that the wishes of their famil were important in their decision7 the are less li!el to a$ree that su#:ect interest pla ed a part 0this correlation is close #ut :ust misses statistical si$nificance2? It su$$ests that these students ma to some e+tent #e enterin$ universit in a 4reactive5 pattern? 2('(+ Reasons for choosing the University of Northumbria Students stated that the had chosen the 9niversit of *orthum#ria for the followin$ reasons: &he universit offered a course which I wanted to do K 6%?6@ .66 .eputation of a particular School or course K 43?)@ .eputation of the universit K 4.

?2@ &his course has a $ood reputation K 22?2@ A teacherFcareers adviser recommended this course K 2.?6@ Advice from famil or friends K 7?"@ 67 .?)@ I was attracted # the course title K 3.or 1%?4@7 the primar reason was the fact that this universit offered a course which appealed to them7 and for 13?)@ the opportunit to stud while livin$ at home was !e 0leavin$ home was the most important reason for onl 4?6@ of students2? &he reputation of the universit and of a particular school or course were the most important factors for "?2@ of students each? 6ourse availa#ilit in these two stron$ vocational areas seems to have #een the main factor for the ma:orit of students? Interestin$l 7 the reputation of particular courses or schools is somethin$ of which a lar$e minorit of students ta!e noticeC research on recruitment mi$ht e+amine precisel what students mean # 4reputation5 and precisel where the learn a#out this 0e?$? from careers teachers7 other students7 4hearsa 57 etc?2? Geavin$ home and livin$ at home seem to #e of a#out equal importance for different $roups of students? 8ncoura$in$l 7 4peer pressure5 seems to operate onl for a small num#er of students? .67 Anl one student stated that this was the onl universit which had offered them a place? 4.@ of women and onl 1.@2? &his could #e #ecause the former $roup have a lon$er famil tradition of hi$her education and students are aware of the 4whole universit e+perience57 and confident a#out movin$ awa in order to participate in this? It ma also #e the case that parents with professional or mana$erial occupations are in a #etter position of help their children with the $reater financial costs of leavin$ home? However7 6"?2@ of students from semi's!illed or uns!illed #ac!$rounds also state that the chose *orthum#ria partl #ecause the wanted to leave home? <o these students aspire to 4leave #ehind5 what the perceive as their life chances without education> Ar is movin$ awa part of the whole 4aspirational5 mindset which leads this $roup of students also to value the $ain of a de$ree so hi$hl > All of the students from lower social class #ac!$rounds who state that the chose the *orthum#ria in order to live awa from home are in part'time wor!? A$ain7 it is possi#le that the have chosen to ta!e a :o# in order to increase their financial independence from the parental home7 or that the simpl cannot finance livin$ in halls or rental accommodation unless the wor!7 or that the re$ard havin$ a part'time :o# as part of the student e+perience? 2('() Reasons for choice of degree programme Students indicate that the followin$ factors were influential in choosin$ their course: I am interested in this su#:ect K )2?%@ I want to $et a well'paid :o# K 6)?3@ I want to $et a particular t pe of :o# K %.eputation emer$es as more important for women than for men7 with a si$nificant correlation #etween $ender and the responses to #oth 4reputation of the universit 5 and 4reputation of the SchoolFcourse5? 64@ of women7 #ut onl 2%@ of men mention the former7 while 4.@ said that no one reason was most important in their choice of universit ? .?%@ of men mention the latter? However7 men and women $ive similar answers on all of the other topics7 includin$ whether or not the wish to live at home? &his latter item is also related to social class7 with hi$h correlations which :ust miss statistical si$nificance? 3erhaps not surprisin$l 7 students from professional or mana$erial #ac!$rounds are more li!el to want to leave home 072?2@2 than students from s!illed non'manual or s!illed manual #ac!$rounds 04.

or almost half the students 04"?2@27 no one reason was the most important? =here a primar reason was mentioned7 su#:ect interest emer$ed as the most popular 023?)@27 followed # the prospect of hi$h earnin$s 014?3@2? Ather reasons mentioned # a small minorit of students were course title7 desire to $et a particular !ind of :o#7 and the reputation of the course? &he most interestin$ factor in this case is the e+tent to which interest in the su#:ect emer$es as important in choosin$ pro$ramme? =hile su#:ect interest is a reason for enterin$ hi$her education onl for :ust over half of these students7 it directs pro$ramme choice for a ver hi$h num#er? &he statisticall si$nificant correlation #etween statin$ su#:ect interest as a reason for $oin$ to universit and as a reason for choice of pro$ramme is unsurprisin$? However7 6%@ of students who do not consider this factor important in decidin$ to $o to universit do #elieve that it is important in helpin$ them to select their course? Averall7 women are $uided # su#:ect interest more than are men? Almost all female students 0"6@2 stated that this was important to them as opposed to 73?3@ of men? &his difference does not operate when the decision to enter H8 in the first place is e+amined? Surprisin$l 7 students who state that the want a particular !ind of :o# are no more li!el to name su#:ect interest as a reason for either enterin$ universit or for choosin$ their particular course? And students who do name su#:ect interest as a reason either for enterin$ universit or choosin$ their course are :ust as li!el to name future earnin$s prospects as a reason for course choice as students who do not e+press these academic orientations? Hi$h pa is sli$htl more important amon$ students who enter H8 #ecause the 4en:o stud in$ and learnin$5 than amon$ those who do not7 althou$h this difference is not statisticall si$nificant? Students who felt famil influenced their decision to $o to universit are as li!el as those who did not to follow their own interests in su#:ect choice? However7 the are si$nificantl less li!el to choose their course #ecause the #elieve it will lead to a hi$hl 'paid :o#: onl %3?"@ of these students state that this is a factor7 while 76?1@ of those whose famil did not influence their universit entr decision are motivated # the prospect of hi$h earnin$s in choosin$ course? &his ma #e #ecause the former $roup are more reactive entrants whose focus on their future in general is wea!er? Ar it ma reflect a level of famil affluence which is not pic!ed up # an of the measures used here7 #ut which $ives the student confidence in the idea that the will #e a#le to $et well'paid wor! anyway? &he ar$ument that bac!ground is at the root of this correlation is supported # the si$nificant correlation #etween importance of future earnin$s in course choice and peer $roup influence on the H8 entr decision? Students who decided to $o to universit #ecause 4all their friends5 were doin$ so are less li!el 03)?%@2 to sa that future earnin$s $uided their course choice? Students for whom peer $roup did not influence universit entr do find future earnin$s important in course choice 076@2? Students who had #een advised to $o to universit # their teachers were si$nificantl more li!el to follow teachers5 advice in choosin$ their course 041?2@ as opposed to 13@ of students who felt that their teachers5 advice had not #een stron$ in their decision to enter H82? 6) .6) .

@ of those from s!illed7 semi's!illed or uns!illed occupational #ac!$rounds have? &here is a statisticall si$nificant relationship #etween accommodation t pe and consideration of withdrawal? 2%?"@ of students who live in their own or their parents5 home have considered leavin$7 as opposed to onl 4?)@ of students livin$ in universit accommodation? 42?"@ of those livin$ in private rented accommodation have also considered leavin$? Students were as!ed to indicate their reasons for sta in$ with their ori$inal course after all? 8ver availa#le option was named # at least some students7 #ut no sin$le option was named # more than 36@ of those who had considered leavin$ or transferrin$? .easons for sta in$ were as follows: I #e$an to en:o m course more K 36?4@ I $ot some support from m famil Ffriends K 36?4@ I couldn5t decide on a different course to ta!e K 27?3@ .6" 0$2 ersistence All of the students in this surve completed their first ear and intend to continue with their course? However7 2%@ state that at some point in the first ear the did seriousl consider droppin$ out of their course7 and 31?3@ considered transferrin$ to a different course? &hese fi$ures confirm the lin! #etween attendance and persistence? &here is a si$nificant relationship #etween attendance patterns and thin!in$ a#out leavin$C onl 1%?2@ of 4$ood5 attenders and 1)?)@ of students with 4mi+ed5 attendance have considered droppin$ out? B contrast7 %3?3@ of students whose attendance is poor have considered withdrawal? .ewer students whose parental occupational classification is 4professional or mana$erial5 considered droppin$ out or transferrin$7 and these fi$ures approach statistical si$nificance? Anl "@ of the children of professional or mana$erial parents have considered leavin$7 #ut around 4.career aims have not chan$ed K 22?7@ I $ot some support from the student services centre K 13?6@ I $ot some support from m tutors K 13?6@ I #e$an to en:o universit more K "?1@ *um#ers are so small that correlations #etween student characteristics or reasons for entr and reasons for sta in$ should #e treated with caution? *evertheless7 several correlations do emer$e? &hese could #e used in determinin$ wa s of tar$etin$ support to different $roups of students7 or at least of encoura$in$ different $roups to use this? -en are more li!el than women to sta with their course simpl #ecause the cannot decide on another oneC 46?2@ of men who have considered leavin$ state that this was a factor in their decision to sta 7 #ut no women mentioned this? A cluster emer$es around students who entered for reasons which mi$ht #e $rouped under 4academic orientation5? Students who name su#:ect interest as a reason to enter H8 are unli!el to state that the sta #ecause the 4start to en:o their course more5 0none of them select this option2? &his ma well #e #ecause the are en:o in$ the course already7 and had considered leavin$ for other reasons? &hese students are also the most li!el to see! support from the Student Services 6entreC 4"?"@ of those who considered leavin$ state that this helped them decide to sta 7 #ut none of the other students did? Students who do not have a part'time :o# are more li!el to find support from their tutors helpful 03.@2? 48n:o in$ the course more5 is found more often amon$ students who 4wanted to live at home5? However7 this $roup is si$nificantl less li!el to #e helped # support from famil F friends? &hose who wanted to leave home are si$nificantl less li!el to #e sta #ecause of en:o in$ the course more7 #ut more li!el to #enefit from Student Services support? 6" .@ vs? .

@ who #elieved that too much of them was #ein$ as!ed of them academicall ? *ot surprisin$l 7 :ud$ement of academic demand levels associates si$nificantl with feelin$s of ad:ustment to the academic demands of universit ? Here7 a contrast appears #etween students who a$ree that the have ad:usted well and students who stron$l a$ree that the have ad:usted well? &he former a$ree that the demands of the course are 4a#out ri$ht57 with 7)?1@ choosin$ this option7 1%?6@ su$$estin$ that demands are a little too hi$h7 and 6?3@ su$$estin$ that the are too eas ? However7 while students who stron$l a$ree that the have ad:usted well are mostl 06)?)@2 in a$reement that the level of demand is 4a#out ri$ht57 2%@ #elieve it was 4too eas 5? Amon$ those who neither a$reed nor disa$reed with the item a#out academic ad:ustment7 the ma:orit felt that academic demand levels were 4too hard5 0%3?)@2? Students who feel that the have ad:usted well to the academic demands of universit are also more li!el to feel that the can understand the rationale for the content of their course7 althou$h this relationship :ust misses statistical si$nificance? 7.?)@ 4a$reed5? Anl 3?2@ stated disa$reed? Aver three quarters of students7 therefore7 show a stron$ de$ree of academic confidence at the end of their first ear? 3erhaps this is not surprisin$7 $iven that the have all persisted at universit and completed their first ear? In response to the item 4It was eas to understand the rationale for the content of m course57 stron$ a$reement was indicated # "?4@ of students7 and a$reement # %3?1@? A#out a quarter state that the 4neither a$ree nor disa$ree57 and "?4@ disa$ree? 6ourse rationale seems to #e somethin$ which comes to students7 #ut which ma do so relativel slowl ? Students were also as!ed to indicate how the felt a#out the level of academic demands on their course? Ad:ustment is hi$h a$ain here7 with 7. expectations and attitudes Ad!ustment Students were as!ed to respond to items which measure their ad:ustment to the academic and social environment which the encountered at universit ? &he questions were desi$ned to measure aspects of ad:ustment which emer$e from the literature as #ein$ particularl important in student retention? &hese were academic demands7 social life7 time mana$ement and independent learnin$7 relations with lecturers and financial mana$ement? &he outcomes of this section are useful in two wa s: the can #e used in their own ri$ht to e+amine the academic ad:ustment of students7 and the can #e compared with other items in order to e+amine some of the patterns which ma determine that ad:ustment? &his latter will #e dealt with in later sectionsC here7 simple ad:ustment will #e discussed? Averall7 the outcomes are ver positive7 with students showin$ $ood overall ad:ustment # the end of their first ear? *o item emer$es as a particular area for concern at this universit 7 and in several areas the vast ma:orit of students are clearl ma!in$ a ver smooth transition? However7 in several cases a si$nificant minorit of students show a poor level of ad:ustment in relation to one particular aspect of student life? 4('(' Academic ad-ustment 2%?4@ of students 4stron$l a$reed5 with the statement 4I have ad:usted well to the academic demands of universit life57 and %. Section 9ive$ 5$+ Ad!ustment.7. .?)@ feelin$ that the level of academic demand is 4a#out ri$ht5 for them? 1%?4@ felt that these were 4too difficult57 and 3?1@ that the were 4far too difficult57 ma!in$ a total of :ust under 2.

@ of students who neither a$reed nor disa$ree with the 4$ood at e+plainin$5 item found the course rationale eas to understand? Students who feel that the lecturers are $ood at e+plainin$ thin$s are also more li!el to feel that the academic demands of their course are 4a#out ri$ht5 0this :ust misses statistical si$nificance2? &hese outcomes show that students5 feelin$s a#out their lecturers relate closel to their feelin$s a#out their studies7 #ut that #oth their satisfaction with the teachin$ the receive and the e+tent to which the feel comforta#le on a personal level with the tutors are important? .@7 as opposed to 41?7@ :ud$in$ that it is a#out ri$ht2? &he relationship #etween these items and the ones discussed in %:1:1 is also statisticall si$nificant? Students who feel that the lecturers are $ood at e+plainin$ thin$s are more li!el to #elieve that the understand the course rationale7 with 6)?2@ of those who stron$l a$reed or a$reed with the 4$ood at e+plainin$5 item also stron$l a$reein$ or a$reein$ with the 4rationale5 item? However7 onl %.etention measures which aim to #uild social as well as academic relations #etween staff and students are li!el to #e effective if this is the case? 71 .71 4('(+ Relations with lecturers Students were as!ed to indicate whether the found that 4in $eneral7 the lecturers on the course were $ood at e+plainin$ thin$s5? &here is a hi$h level of satisfaction once a$ain7 with 13?)@ stron$l a$reein$ and %%?4@ a$reein$? 1%?4@ neither a$reed nor disa$ree? =hen as!ed to state whether 4in $eneral7 lecturers on the course were approacha#le57 students respond in ver similar num#ers? 12?3@ stron$l a$ree7 and %2?2@ a$ree7 with 16?"@ neither a$reein$ nor disa$reein$? Satisfaction with one of these points is ver closel related to satisfaction with the other: ))?1@ of students who stron$l a$reed or a$reed with the statement 4in $eneral7 lecturers on the course were approacha#le5 also a$reed with 4in $eneral7 lecturers on the course were $ood at e+plainin$ thin$s5? Anl 2%@ of those who disa$reed with the 4approacha#ilit 5 item a$reed or stron$l a$reed with the 4$ood at e+plainin$5 itemC 41?7@ of those who disa$reed with the 4approacha#ilit 5 item also disa$reed with the 4$ood at e+plainin$5 item? &hese students are drawn from a small num#er of courses7 and therefore are pro#a#l encounterin$ a relativel limited num#er of staff? &he less satisfied students are #ein$ tau$ht # the same tutors as the more satisfied ones? &hese findin$s su$$est that the student5s perception of the lecturer is the crucial factor here7 #ecause the a#ilit to e+plain well and the qualit of approacha#ilit are not inherentl related to one another? Students seem to #e answerin$ on the #asis of their overall comfort level with lecturers? -ost importantl 7 the :ud$ement a#out 4academic demands5 has a si$nificant relationship with that relatin$ to 4approacha#ilit 5? 7)?6@ of students who feel that lecturers are approacha#le also :ud$e the level of academic demand to #e 4a#out ri$ht5? 72@ of those who neither a$reed nor disa$ree with the 4approacha#ilit 5 item also feel that academic demands are appropriate7 #ut are more li!el to :ud$e the course 4too eas 5 01)?2@ as opposed to "?%@27 while those who find lecturers unapproacha#le are far more li!el to :ud$e that the course is too difficult 0%.

our items related to these issues were presented? "?4@ of students said that the 4stron$l a$reed5 with the statement 4I find it eas to mana$e m own time at universit 57 and 73?4@ a$reed? 17?2@ neither a$reed nor disa$reed7 and "?2@ disa$ree? &his su$$ests a ver hi$h level of confidence in time mana$ement s!ills7 with nearl three'quarters feelin$ that this was an aspect of universit live the could handle well? However7 the nature of these s!ills is rather clear? In response to 4I wor!ed consistentl throu$h m first ear57 17?%@ of students stron$l a$reed7 su$$estin$ that a lar$e minorit are adamant a#out their commitment to the student role? &he percenta$e a$reein$ with this item7 however7 was rather lower than mi$ht have #een e+pected at 3.@ neither a$reed nor disa$reed7 while 1%?6@ disa$reed? &he vast ma:orit of students seemed satisfied with their wor!load? 73?)@ felt that it was 4a#out ri$ht5C around 1%?4@ felt that it was too heav 7 and 1.@ neither a$reed nor disa$reed7 while 2%@ disa$reed? 4%?%@ of students who neither a$reed nor disa$reed that the had found it eas to mana$e their own time also neither a$reed nor disa$reed that the had wor!ed consistentl 7 #ut 27?3@ stated that the #elieved the had not wor!ed consistentl ? 3oor time mana$ers were li!el to indicate that the had not wor!ed consistentl ? &his is interestin$ #ecause it would #e possi#le to ar$ue that man $ood time mana$ers could #e students who had not wor!ed consistentl 7 if the had mana$ed to or$anise their inconsistent wor! to their own advanta$e? However7 inconsistent wor!in$ seems to #e associated with poor time mana$ement for most of these students? It ma #e that the have learnt to name this association throu$h stud s!ills classes etc?7 or it ma #e that a minorit are $enuinel dissatisfied with this aspect of their own a#ilit ? Satisfaction with one5s independent wor!in$ s!ills was si$nificant related to #oth consistent wor!in$ patterns and satisfaction with time mana$ement s!ills? Ance a$ain7 a distinction emer$es here #etween students who stron$l a$ree in each case and those who simpl a$ree? /ood time mana$ement was si$nificantl associated with several other measures of ad:ustment7 includin$ ad:ustment to the academic demands of universit 7 $rasp of the rationale for course content7 and K perhaps surprisin$l K $ood social ad:ustment7 were correlations were particularl stron$? A hi$h assessment of independent wor!in$ s!ills was also si$nificantl related to satisfaction with ad:ustment to the academic demands of the course7 social ad:ustment7 and understandin$ of the rationale of the course? 6onfident independent wor!ers tended to find that their tutors 72 .?2@? Aver half of the students surve ed are non'committal a#out their ha#its7 or #elieve that the did not wor! consistentl ? 22?2@ neither a$reed nor disa$reed7 and 2%?4@ disa$ree7 with commenda#le honest at least? Students were also as!ed to assess whether the had #ecome $ood at wor!in$ independentl since arrivin$ at universit ? A$ain7 confidence levels were hi$h here? 1%?6@ stron$l a$reed7 and 4)?4@ a$reed7 indicatin$ that 64?1@ of all students were satisfied with their a#ilit to wor! on their own? A further 2.72 4('() $ime management and independent learning .?)@ that it was too li$ht? *o'one stated that it was 4much too heav 5 or 4much too li$ht5? Averall7 there was a si$nificant relationship #etween the answers to these questions7 with the e+ception of students5 evaluation of their wor!load? 66?7@ of students who stron$l a$reed that the were $ood at mana$in$ their own time also stron$l a$reed that the had wor!ed consistentl durin$ their first ear? Anl 16?7@ of students who simpl 4a$reed5 with this item 4stron$l a$reed5 that the had 4wor!ed consistentl 57 however? 42@ 4a$reed5 that the had wor!ed consistentl 7 and 2.

@ state that the academic demands were 4a#out ri$ht5? 3.@ #elieve that the were 4too difficult5 or 4far too difficult5? 8stimates of wor!load were si$nificantl related to onl two other ad:ustment items? 3erceptions of wor!load and of academic demands were closel related? )3?3@ of students who felt that their wor!load was 4a#out ri$ht5 felt the same a#out the level of academic demand? 6.73 were $ood at e+plainin$ thin$s7 althou$h this relationship did not achieve si$nificance? Students who stron$l a$reed that the had developed $ood independent wor!in$ s!ills were si$nificantl more li!el to find their tutors approacha#leC students who onl a$reed with this item7 however7 had lower levels of satisfaction on this item7 with 16?1@ neither a$reein$ nor disa$reein$ and 22?6@ disa$reein$? Students who stron$l a$reed that the had 4wor!ed consistentl 5 throu$hout the first ear were more li!el to stron$l a$ree that the had ad:usted well to the academic demands of the course? Students who neither a$reed nor disa$reed that the were consistent wor!ers were more li!el neither to a$ree nor to disa$ree with the item on academic ad:ustment? &he relationship #etween consistent wor! and a $rasp of the rationale for course content was ver stron$ 0:ust missin$ statistical si$nificance2? An une+pected relationship emer$ed #etween students5 assessment of their independent learnin$ s!ills and their satisfaction with the ph sical environment of universit ? &hose who :ud$ed themselves to #e either good or bad at independent learnin$ e+pressed a hi$her level of satisfaction with their ph sical environment than those who were non'committal a#out their independent learnin$ s!ills? Assessment of the level of academic demands is si$nificantl related only to independent wor!in$ s!ills7 and not to either consistent wor! ha#its or time mana$ement? 76?2@ of students who stron$l a$ree or a$ree with 4I have #ecome $ood at wor!in$ independentl 5 #elieve that the academic demands of their course were 4a#out ri$ht5? Surprisin$l 7 sli$htl more of these students :ud$e that the course was 4too difficult5 than 4too eas 5? Amon$ students who neither a$reed nor disa$ree with this item onl 66?7@ :ud$e that the demands were 4a#out ri$ht57 with equal num#ers :ud$in$ that the were too hi$h and too low? Amon$ students who #elieve the are poor independent wor!ers7 onl %.@ of those who :ud$ed that the wor!load was too heav felt that academic demands were too difficult7 and 71?4@ of those who felt that the wor!load was too li$ht also felt that the academic demands of the course were too eas ? &he other item was understandin$ of course rationale7 with students who found it difficult to see a clear framewor! #ein$ more li!el to perceive their wor!load as #ein$ too heav ? &his ma #e #ecause where students did not see a clear rationale the felt that the wor!load involved in #alancin$ all of the elements of their course was $reater? 4('(2 Social ad-ustment Students report hi$h levels of social ad:ustment? 31?7@ stron$l a$ree that the have ad:usted well to their social life at universit 7 and 4"?2@ a$ree with this item? 11?1@ neither a$ree nor disa$ree? Averall7 more than ).@ seem to #e satisfied with their social ad:ustment? Social ad:ustment is si$nificantl associated with academic ad:ustment? Students who a$ree stron$l that the have ad:usted well to their social life are more li!el to a$ree stron$l that the have ad:usted well to the academic demands of their course 04%@2 or to a$ree with this item 04%@2? Students who a$ree that the have ad:usted well to their social life stron$l a$ree less frequentl that the have ad:usted well to the academic demands of their course 016?1@27 and althou$h their levels of a$reement are quite hi$h 0%)?1@27 the also neither a$reed nor disa$ree to this item in quite hi$h num#ers as well 02%?)@2? 73 .

@2? &hese students also show hi$h levels of a$reement as opposed to choosin$ to neither a$reed nor disa$ree 0no students neither a$reed nor disa$ree7 as opposed to 23?3@ of students who neither a$reed nor disa$ree that the feel financial pressures7 and 3)?"@ who a$ree or stron$l a$ree with the financial pressures item2? &his ma relate to a raised stress level throu$hout the course for students who have mone worries> In addition7 students who feel financial pressure are more li!el to find that the academic demands of the course are 4too hard57 althou$h this item :ust misses statistical si$nificance? Amon$ students who stron$l a$ree that the worr a#out mone %3?3@ state that academic demands are 4a#out ri$ht5? &his rises to 76?2@ amon$ students who a$ree that the have financial worries7 and )4?6@ amon$ those who neither a$reed nor disa$ree? 76?2@ of students who disa$ree with the financial pressures item feel that academic demands are a#out ri$ht? Ance a$ain7 this ma relate to the distraction of financial worries7 at least for the first $roup? 74 .74 Ad:ustin$ well to one5s social life is also si$nificantl associated with #oth mana$in$ one5s own time well7 and #ecomin$ $ood at wor!in$ independentl ? However7 it is not associated with wor!in$ independentl ? &here is a close relationship #etween understandin$ the course rationale and social ad:ustment7 althou$h this falls :ust short of statistical si$nificance? &he interlin!in$ of social and academic e+periences of universit is demonstrated? 4('(4 %inancial pressures *ote: this topic is dealt with at $reater len$th in the accompan in$ report on 4students and mone 5? Aver half of the students who responded a$ree that the 4sometimes felt pressurised # financial worries5? 23?4@ stron$l a$ree with this item 0which is close to the proportion of students #elieved # several researchers to e+perience severe financial hardship2? 32?)@ a$ree7 and a further 2.ather more surprisin$ is the relationship #etween financial pressure and several of the academic ad:ustment measures? Students who feel that the are under financial pressure are si$nificantl less li!el to a$ree stron$l that their lecturers are approacha#le? In addition7 students who stron$l a$ree or a$ree that the sometimes feel pressured over mone are si$nificantl more li!el to disa$ree that their lecturers seem approacha#le7 or to answer that the neither a$reed nor disa$ree with this item? &he hi$hest level of a$reement with the statement that lecturers are approacha#le is found amon$ students who disa$ree that the sometimes feel pressurised # financial worries? &here is a si$nificant relationship #etween financial pressure and understandin$ the course rationale7 with student who feel less pressure #ein$ more li!el to stron$l a$ree with this item 026?7@ as opposed to under 1.?3@ neither a$reed nor disa$ree 0which seems a rather odd response to this item2? 17?2@ disa$ree7 while 6?3@ stron$l disa$ree7 ma!in$ the num#er who state that the do not suffer from financial pressures almost identical to the num#er who do? 3erception of financial pressure relates to a num#er of other ad:ustment factors? Students who feel that the have ad:usted well to their social life are si$nificantl less li!el to feel that the were pressurised # financial worries? In the a#sence of qualitative evidence a#out the social lives of individuals7 it is not possi#le to find out how this relationship operates? It ma #e that students who feel financial pressures are unable to en:o the !ind of social life which the would li!e #ecause of a lac! of mone 7 and therefore feel that the have ad:usted #adl ? Alternativel 7 the ma #e en$a$in$ in a livel and e+pensive social life #ut feelin$ dissatisfied with this #ecause of the financial impact which it has on their lives? <ifferent students ma offer this com#ination of responses for different reasons? Another possi#ilit is that the $eneral stress level caused # financial pressure leads to dissatisfaction with life in $eneral7 includin$ social life? .

?)@ found them 4a#out as e+pected57 #ut 32?3@ found them 4a #it harder57 and 12?3@ found them 4a #it easier5? (er small num#ers found them much harder or much easier? 8+pectations of course content were $enerall $ood7 with 61?%@ findin$ that the were 4quite accurate5 0althou$h onl 3?1@ found them 4ver accurate52? 3.@ had made a 4ver accurate5 estimation of this7 and a further %2?3@ were 4quite accurate57 while onl 26?2@ were 4quite mista!en5? 7% .?)@ had #een 4quite mista!en5? A$ain onl ver small num#ers had had 4ver accurate5 or 4ver mista!en5 e+pectations? 4(+(+ Support Students had reasona#l accurate e+pectations of the amount of academic support the would encounter at universit ? %3?%@ had $ot this 4a#out ri$ht5? 21?%@ had e+pected a little more than the encountered7 and 6?2@ e+pected a lot moreC 1)?%@ encountered more than the had e+pected? 8+pectations around non'academic support were more accurate? 63?1@ had estimated the amount which would #e availa#le reasona#l accuratel ? (er similar num#ers ma!e estimates which are a little too hi$h or a little too low 013?)@ and 16?"@ respectivel 27 and estimates which are much too hi$h and much too low 03?1@ in each case2? Increasin$l stron$ $uidance tutorin$ in secondar schools and 6th form colle$es ma lead to these patterns? Students had7 however7 rather over'estimated the amount of contact with individual academic staff? .7% 5$2 Expectations &he relationship #etween e+pectations and actual measures of ad:ustment and attitude will #e discussed #elow? &his section contains a simple description of students5 evaluations of their own levels of preparedness and the e+tent to which their e+pectations were met? Students were as!ed to report on their e+pectations of academic and social factors7 support7 the e+tent to which the felt well'prepared # their previous educational e+perience7 and how much the had en:o ed their course? 4(+(' Academic issues 9niversit wor!loads were a surprise to the ma:orit of students surve ed? Anl 43?1@ found them 4a#out as e+pected57 while 3.?)@ found them heavier and 26?2@ found them li$hter? 8+pectations a#out academic demands were sli$htl more accurate? %.?)@ felt that the were 4quite mista!en57 #ut onl 4?6@ were 4ver mista!en5? Students had a fairl realistic picture of academic staff7 with 63?1@ feelin$ that their e+pectations were 4quite accurate5 0a$ain the num#er reportin$ 4ver accurate5 e+pectations was small2? 24?6@ felt that their e+pectations of academic staff were 4quite mista!en57 and 7?7@ had 4ver mista!en5 e+pectations of academic staff? Incomin$ students had a reasona#le picture of the teachin$ methods the would encounterC %6?"@ felt their e+pectations had #een 4quite accurate57 and 3.ewer than half 044?6@2 had estimated this accuratel 7 27?7@ had e+pected more and 1%?4@ had e+pected much more? Eust 12?3@ had underestimated the amount of contact with individual staff mem#ers? Students seemed well'prepared for the e+tent to which the would need to #e independent learners at universit ? 2.

@ state that it was 4poor5? Eust 3?1@ feel that the have had a 4ver poor5 preparation from their previous studies? 4(+(4 1iscussion *ot surprisin$l 7 accurate e+pectations in different areas often turn out to #e si$nificantl related to one another? =here students find the wor!load harder than e+pected7 the are statisticall more li!el to find the academic demands harder as well? Anl 6..@ of students who find the wor!load harder than e+pected had 4quite accurate5 or 4ver accurate5 e+pectations a#out the need to #e an independent learner7 #ut 7)?6@ of those who had accurate e+pectations a#out wor!load had 4quite5 or 4ver 5 accurate e+pectations a#out the need to #e an independent learner? Students whose wor!load was lighter than e+pected have si$nificantl hi$her levels of accurac a#out the need to #e an independent learner7 indicatin$ that s!ill in wor!in$ on one5s own ma!es the transition to H8 stud ver smooth? Similarl 7 there is a si$nificant association #etween findin$ the wor!load a#out as e+pected or li$hter than e+pected and havin$ accurate e+pectations a#out the stud ha#its that will #e needed? Several 4clusters5 emer$e7 where students who have accurate e+pectations in one area are si$nificantl more li!el to carr this accurac into others? Ane of these is around academic staff: students whose $eneral e+pectations of academic staff are accurate are less li!el to #e surprised # the amount of academic support7 the amount of contact with staff7 the teachin$ methods used and the stud ha#its that the will require? Students whose e+pectations a#out teachin$ methods are accurate are li!el to have accurate e+pectations a#out the stud ha#its required7 includin$ the need to #e an independent learner7 and the li!el amount of contact with academic staff? Students with accurate e+pectations of course content were also li!el to have #een accurate a#out required stud ha#its and the need to #e an independent learner? 76 .12 indicate that school pupils have a widespread #elief that universit wor! is dull and 4:ust li!e more school57 so perhaps the results reported here are not surprisin$? =hen as!ed to assess the qualit of school or colle$e as a preparation for universit 7 a lar$e minorit of students appear to #e ver satisfied? 12?3@ feel that their previous institution was a 4ver $ood5 preparation for H87 and 32?3@ feel that it was 4$ood5? A rather less satisfied 32?3@ feel that it was 4a#out adequate57 and 2.76 4(+() Social expectations Students were as!ed how eas or difficult ma!in$ friends at universit had turned out to #e7 compared to their e+pectations? &his was the area in which their previous perceptions had #een least accurate? Eust 36?"@ found that ma!in$ friends was a#out as eas as the had e+pected #efore the arrived? 1)?%@ found it a #it harder7 and "?2@ found it much harder? B contrast7 24?6@ found that it was easier7 and 1.7 Archer et al 2..?)@ found that it was much easier? &he levels of social an+iet amon$ incomin$ students appear to #e quite hi$hC these results are in line with the findin$s of Andrew Shipton5s wor! at the 9niversit of *orthum#ria? 4(+(2 8eneral expectations Students had a ver accurate set of e+pectations relatin$ to the ph sical environment of the universit 7 with 67?7@ feelin$ that the had #een 4accurate5 and 12?3@ that the had #een 4ver accurate5? Eust 2.@ felt that the were mista!en? &he interest $enerated # their course seems to come as a pleasant surprise to a hi$h num#er of students? 46?2@ find that their studies are a#out as interestin$ as the had e+pected7 #ut 26?6@ find that their course is 4a #it more interestin$57 and 6?2@ find that it is 4much more interestin$5? Almost a third of students7 therefore7 find that their course is more interestin$ than the had anticipated? Several studies 0e?$? Geathwood and A56onnell 2..

77 &here is also evidence that students who have formed an accurate assessment of course content are particularl li!el to have considered other aspects of universit life as well? =hile the $enerall $ood levels of academic preparedness amon$ these students are not surprisin$7 the also turn out to have si$nificantl more accurate e+pectations a#out how eas it will #e to ma!e friends? &hese students are also si$nificantl more li!el to have accurate e+pectations a#out the ph sical environment of the universit ? Academic e+pectations relate to levels of interest? Students who encounter a wor!load hi$her than e+pected find their course 4much more #orin$5 in 2.ou$hl equal num#ers find it more interestin$ and less interestin$? &hese fi$ures su$$est that students are #est a#le to en$a$e with their su#:ects when the are well'prepared for the course7 and also hi$hli$ht the diversit of academic orientation amon$ students? Some students who find themselves wor!in$ harder7 in terms of hours and academic demand7 will actuall en-oy #ein$ stretched7 while others will use the term 4#orin$5 as a pro+ for 4difficult5 or 4time'demandin$5? Interestin$l 7 students who find that wor!load or academic demands are lower than the had anticipated tend not to #e #ored7 possi#l #ecause the have found wa s to channel their academic orientation and feed their interest in the su#:ect alon$side the requirements of their course? Students who are prepared for independent learnin$ seem to fit well into the academic culture of the universit 7 and can reall en$a$e well with their su#:ect? =here students are challen$ed # the nature rather than the content or amount of universit learnin$7 this challen$e is more li!el to #e ne$ative than positive? 77 .@ of cases7 #ut 4a little more interestin$5 in 3%@? Anl 3%@ find their interest is 4as e+pected5? =here students anticipated wor!load accuratel 7 46?4@ also made an accurate assessment of their level of interest7 with rou$hl equal num#ers over' and under'estimatin$ this? However7 amon$ students who estimated wor!load accurately7 62@ find levels of interest 4a#out as the e+pected5? 3.@ find it harder than e+pected7 #ut 33?3@ find it easier? Eust 26?7@ find that this proceeds as the e+pected? 6orrelations which are close7 #ut which :ust miss statistical si$nificance7 are also found #etween interest and e+pectations a#out academic support levels and academic demands? =here the academic demands are harder than e+pected7 more students find the course duller than the e+pected 036?4@27 althou$h :ust over a quarter also find it more interestin$? However7 where students had accurate e+pectations a#out academic demands their interest in the course is 4as e+pected5 for 4)?%@7 and hi$her for 42@? =here the academic demands are easier than anticipated7 66?7@ find the course as interestin$ as the had anticipated? .@ of these students find the course more interestin$ than e+pected7 and ver few are #ored? A statisticall si$nificant relationship is found #etween e+pectations of interest and students5 e+pectations a#out the need to #e independent learners? Here7 where e+pectations were 4ver accurate57 levels of interest are 4as e+pected5 for %3?)@ of students7 with the rest findin$ the course 4more interestin$5 than the had predicted? =here students had 4quite accurate5 e+pectations7 4)?%@ find the course as interestin$ as the had e+pected7 #ut around a third still find it more interestin$? Amon$ students whose e+pectations of the need for independent learnin$ s!ills were inaccurate7 41?2@ find the course a#out as interestin$ as the had e+pected7 and more than one third find it 4more #orin$5? &he relationship #etween e+pectations around wor!load and ma!in$ friends is interestin$? Both of these items deal with how students spend their time7 and which ma account for their si$nificant correlation? In $eneral7 students who find the wor!load heavier than the had e+pected will also find it harder to ma!e friends? Anl 4%@ find that ma!in$ friends is as the e+pected7 and :ust 1%@ find that it is easier? &hose who estimated the wor!load accuratel are the ones who find it easiest to ma!e friends7 with %3?6@ findin$ this easier than anticipated? 14?3@ find it harder7 and a small num#er7 32?1@7 find it harder? Students who encounter a wor!load which is li$hter have ver mi+ed e+periences of ma!in$ friends: 4.

?) re:ect the 4strate$ic5 approach to their studies7 and a further "?2@ 4stron$l disa$ree5? Students who appear to #e 4strate$ic5 on the #asis of this item7 and students who feel stron$l a#out their academic wor!7 seem to #e in rou$hl equal num#ers? &he presence of the latter $roup is encoura$in$C the former $roup7 however7 $ive cause for concern? 7) .7) 5$/ 4()(' Attitudes .nterest In response to the item 4In $eneral7 I found m course ver interestin$57 61?%@ of students a$reed and 1.our items were used here? 4I $et satisfaction from meetin$ intellectual challen$es and pushin$ m limits5 04intellectual satisfaction52 was intended to measure whether students were academicall oriented7 and whether the were interested in ta!in$ potential academic 4ris!s5? 4I am !een to learn a#out new aspects of m su#:ect and to e+plore new areas5 04new areas52was intended to measure the de$ree of academic orientation # e+aminin$ students5 intellectual curiosit ? 4I onl want to stud topics which I consider to #e relevant to m career5 04career relevance52 was intended to measure how far instrumentalit influenced stud #ehaviours7 and 4In $eneral I onl did the minimum of wor! which was required of me5 04minimum wor!52 was indicated to e+amine how man students were ta!in$ a strate$ic approach to their studies? An the 4intellectual satisfaction5 item7 27?7@ of students a$reed stron$l and 46?2@ a$reed? Almost a quarter of students7 therefore7 state that the are to some e+tent willin$ to #e academicall adventurous? A further 1)?%@ neither a$reed nor disa$reed with this item7 and :ust 7?7@ stated that the disa$reed7 impl in$ that this aspect of universit stud was not important to them? In response to 4new areas57 21?%@ a$reed stron$l 7 and 63?1@ a$reed? A$ain7 a ver hi$h level of academic orientation emer$es7 with over ).?)@ of students 4stron$l a$reed5? &his represents almost a third of students who were7 for the most part7 interested in their wor!? A further 23?1@ chose 4neither a$ree nor disa$ree57 and disa$reement was e+pressed # 13?)@ of students? &he source of interest was also investi$atedC students were as!ed to respond to the item 4In $eneral7 the lecturers stimulated m interest in m su#:ect5? 6?2@ 4stron$l a$reed5 with this time7 and 32?3@ 4a$reed5? Gecturers are re$arded as the source of interest # 3)?%@ of students7 therefore? &his is quite a low fi$ureC not surprisin$l 7 responses to this item are si$nificantl related to those offered in response to 4In $eneral7 the lecturers on m course were approacha#le5? Ance a$ain7 the lin! #etween social and academic issues emer$es? 4()(+ Study approaches .@ a$ree that their usual wor!in$ pattern is to do as little wor! as possi#le to $et # ? 1%?4@ are non'committal7 neither a$reein$ nor disa$reein$? However7 3.@ of students in a$reement with these items? 12?3@ neither a$ree nor disa$ree7 and a tin num#er disa$ree? However7 4career relevance5 also $ains relativel hi$h levels of a$reement? 12?3@ a$ree stron$l and 44?6@ a$ree7 indicatin$ that more than half of the students surve ed hold an instrumental view of their course? &his item could #e re$arded as conflictin$ with the previous one7 #ut it is possi#le that students mi$ht #e perfectl willin$ to learn new thin$s that are career relevant7 #ut not to ta!e a 4:ust in case5 approach to their studies? 1)?%@ neither a$ree nor disa$ree7 and 24?6@ re:ect this position alto$ether? Another contradiction emer$es around 4minimum wor!5? Here7 4?6@ stron$l a$ree7 and 4.

?)@ disa$reed? Averall en:o ment of the course is also hi$h7 despite some of the findin$s in the previous sections? 4Averall7 I have reall en:o ed m studies at *orthum#ria so far5 elicits a response of stron$ a$reement from 36?"@ of the students surve ed7 and of a$reement from a further 33?)@? 1)?%@ neither a$ree nor disa$ree7 and :ust over 1.@ of students ma #e re$arded as the hi$hl motivated $roup at the universit ? /ainin$ hi$h mar!s7 as opposed to :ust passin$7 emer$ed as e+tremel important? 72?3@ stron$l a$reed that the felt this7 and 23?1@ a$reed? Anl 4?6@ neither a$reed nor disa$reed? .@ disa$ree? &hese students appear to have had a hi$hl satisfactor first ear? 7" .eelin$s of #elon$in$ are stron$ amon$ these students? In response to 4I feel that I reall #elon$ at universit 57 21?%@ stron$l a$reed7 and 44?6@ a$reed? 23?1@ neither a$reed nor disa$reed7 and :ust 1.@ of students? .ntegration (er few students find it difficult to tal! to their famil and friends a#out universit ? In response to 4I find it eas to tal! a#out universit with m famil and friends57 32?3@ stron$l a$reed and 44?6@ a$reed7 while 13?)@ neither a$reed nor disa$reed? &al!in$ a#out universit with famil and friends emer$ed as a pro#lem for fewer than 1.7" 4()() 0otivation A direct question a#out students5 feelin$s of motivation was accompanied # items relatin$ to the motivational effects of hi$h mar!s7 feed#ac! from staff on their pro$ress7 and the 4future motivation5 of $ettin$ a rewardin$ :o# at the end of the course? .uture motivation is important to a $reat man students? &he item 4I often find m course #orin$ #ut will stic! with it #ecause I want a $ood :o#5 elicited stron$ a$reement from 1%?4@7 and a$reement from 4"?2@? *earl half of the students questioned7 therefore7 are focussed on their career aims a#ove immediate academic $oals for at least some of the time? 1%?4@ neither a$reed nor disa$reed with this item? 26?2@ disa$reed and "?2@ disa$reed stron$l C these students are presuma#l rarel #ored with their course7 irrespective of their future $oals? .inall 7 students5 #eliefs a#out the part pla ed # inherent a#ilit in academic success were measured7 as these have #een shown to relate to motivation? &he ma:orit of students report some pro#lems with motivation? In response to 4I often found it difficult to $et motivated to wor! on m course57 onl 6?2@ stron$l a$reed7 #ut 46?2@ a$reed? /iven that the question related to how the students felt often rather than sometimes7 this represents a low level of motivation? 27?7@ stated that the neither a$reed nor disa$reed7 which ma indicate that these are the students who sometimes rather than often lac!ed motivation7 or that the were unwillin$ to admit that the felt a lac! of motivation7 or that the are not ver sure precisel what is meant # motivation? 13?)@ of students disa$reed and 6?2@ of students stron$l disa$reed? &his 2.espondin$ to 4Inherent a#ilit is the #i$$est factor in academic success at universit 57 3)?%@ a$reed and 13?"@ disa$reed? &he lar$est response was neither a$reement nor disa$reement7 which su$$ests that man students do not have a ver stron$ opinion a#out this topic? 4()(2 .eed#ac! is also crucial? In response to 4I need to !now how well I5m doin$ in order to feel motivated to wor!57 43?1@ stron$l a$reed7 and 47?7@ a$reed? Anl 7?7@ neither a$reed nor disa$reed7 and :ust 1?%@ disa$reed alto$ether? &his represents a remar!a#l hi$h level of importance #ein$ attached to confirmation of pro$ress? .

tems used in defining .inall 7 the 4stud approaches5 section measured the e+tent to which the or$anised their wor! in a 4strate$ic5 wa ? Because of the hi$h num#er of correlations #etween factors in these different sections7 the will #e discussed to$ether in this section? . Section Six$ 5$+ 5('(' Study behaviours *ntroduction .equirin$ students to reflect on their stud ha#its at different points within a lar$e instrument has the methodolo$ical advanta$e of encoura$in$ a holistic view7 and also of teasin$ out an contradictions in student self'perceptions? =ith an questions which mi$ht invite a 4value :ud$ement57 there is alwa s a dan$er that su#:ects will over'report 4virtuous5 #ehaviour 0e?$? stud hours7 motivation7 en$a$ement with the course of stud 2 or attitudes which impl a hi$h level of a#ilit 0e?$? understandin$ of their su#:ect2? Some surve s have noted a tendenc amon$ students to prefer to attri#ute a lac! of satisfaction to features of the institution or its emplo ees than to their own input? &his mi$ht lead to low levels of a$reement in response to items relatin$ to teachin$ qualit or institutional provision? As the discussion a#ove su$$ests7 the responses to items in all of these areas seem to show a willin$ness to #e honest a#out low private stud hours and motivation alon$side a reasona#le level of satisfaction with lecturers and with the institution? &his does not necessaril mean that the reflect realit 7 #ut it is unli!el that ver lar$e distortions have occurred? ).study behaviours/ In this section7 the relationship #etween particular !inds of stud #ehaviour will #e e+amined? Ane findin$ to emer$e from the questionnaire data is the 4clusterin$5 of particular responses to items under this headin$? 6haracteristic approaches to stud emer$e7 and it is possi#le to #uild a picture of different $roups of students accordin$ to how the tac!le their academic wor!load? &hese approaches appear to relate to several of the factors dealt with in the questionnaire? <emo$raphic factors seem to pla a small partC reasons for appl in$ to universit 7 to *orthum#ria 9niversit 7 and to a selected course pla a rather lar$er one? Student e+pectations appear to #e related as well7 and perhaps not surprisin$l 7 students who have a similar set of attitudes to their stud tend to approach it in similar wa s? &he data are discussed in terms of o#served correlations within the quantitative questionnaire data? Gin!s cannot #e descri#ed as causative7 and where interpretations are placed on the data7 the are interpretations7 and no more? (er few students chose to offer prose responses where invited? However7 the fact that # coincidence7 the students interviewed fall fairl clearl into one of the t pes o#served throu$h the quantitative data su$$ests that the #road $roupin$s have some validit ? Items in several parts of the questionnaire relate to student stud #ehaviours? Students are as!ed to report the num#er of hours which the underta!e private stud 7 their patterns of attendance7 and their part'time wor! commitments? In the section on ad:ustment7 the were as!ed to assess their time'mana$ement and independent learnin$ s!ills and their wor!in$ patterns? .). .

.? &he data seem to show a $eneration at odds with the practices of hi$her education7 #ut it is also possi#le that part of the reason wh these students appear to wor! less hard than their predecessors is that surve s of this !ind are a ver recent innovation? Aral reports at a 2.@ attend over 7%@ of timeta#led sessions? &hin$s deteriorate as the academic ear pro$resses7 #ut onl towards the end of the second semester7 # which time the 4strate$ists5 ma well have effective strate$ies in place7 does attendance reach alarmin$l low levels7 with almost half of the students attendin$ less than 7%@ of sessions? 8ven so7 ver few students attend less than 2%@? &his 4selective5 attendance ma indicate the implementation of a strate$ 7 as assessments are due and the !nowled$e #ase for a module feels as if it is in place? &his $ood attendance record ma e+plain the apparent contradiction #etween the hi$h satisfaction and low private stud hours amon$ these students? &heir attendance means that the maintain a stron$ connection with the universit and with their su#:ect7 providin$ inte$ration and at least a minimal on$oin$ academic input? &he most common reason for non' attendance7 moreover7 is a practical rather than an academic one7 lon$ $aps #etween classes? &his ma not sa a $reat deal for motivational levels7 #ut it is onl indirectl related to the academic e+perience? " Students were not as!ed a#out 4crammin$57 or stud patterns around deadlines7 #ecause these relate more to assessment K which would merit a stud all of its own K than to the overall student e+perience? 1.@ of their classes? In the crucial first si+ wee!s7 over ".)1 5('(+ Student study behaviours &he overall picture of stud patterns offers a mi+ture of the encoura$in$ and the distur#in$? 3rivate stud would appear to #e one of the areas for concern? &utor advice over the num#er of hours students should #e spendin$ in private stud appears to #e widel i$noredC onl 17?)@ of respondents stated that the had re$ularl done the required amount? Students seem quite willin$ to admit that the rarel complied with tutors5 advice7 and are even open in $ivin$ answers which reveal a lac! of academic orientation7 with over half citin$ a lac! of motivation and over a third statin$ that the were simpl #ored? In addition7 the actual num#er of hours reported # students appears ver low indeed? It is dou#tful whether an school would advise students to spend the avera$e of :ust over ei$ht hours a wee! in private stud 7 or even the ten to fourteen hours reported # almost a quarter "? *evertheless7 all the students who returned the questionnaire have pro$ressed7 or e+pected to pro$ress7 to their second ear? It appears that the are doin$ enou$h stud to pass7 and in most cases to en:o their courses and find them interestin$? &hese students are neither failin$ nor dissatisfied K in fact7 their satisfaction was remar!a#l hi$h 1.% conference or$anised # the H8A indicated that in two other institutions7 ver similar responses to these were received7 and several of the tutors who were interviewed su$$ested that if their peer'$roups at universit had #een e+amined7 advice for private stud would have appeared similarl irrelevant to at least a lar$e minorit of students? /iven the diversit of student e+perience7 it ma #e that some of these students are successful strate$ists7 some are e+tremel efficient wor!ers7 and that some are simpl t pical late adolescents who have a $reat deal on their mind other than wor!in$ :ust hard enou$h to !eep their place in the e+citin$ new world which the are discoverin$? &hese students7 however7 are e+cellent attenders? Attendance onl falls off in the first semester for a tin num#er7 and hardl an attend under %. &his stud seems not to have suffered from the notorious pattern in which disproportionate num#ers of dissatisfied students return a questionnaire7 while satisfied ones assume the need not participate #ecause 4ever thin$5s fine5? &his ma #e due to the e+planator letter which accompanied the questionnaire? Alternativel 7 the effect did arise7 and actual levels of satisfaction are even hi$her than those reported? )1 .

?6 hours? However7 the lowest num#er of hours which the report is 2 0one student27 and there is a small cluster at % hours per wee!? &he hi$hest num#er of hours reported # an student is 2%? Students who stron$l disa$ree with the 4minimum wor!5 item all stud for 1.)2 Attendance and responses to the 4minimum wor!5 item are si$nificantl related7 with students who disa$ree reportin$ hi$her levels of attendance? Attendance improves with stren$th of a$reement 0a$ain this correlation is statisticall si$nificant27 and students who stron$l disa$ree with the 4minimum wor!5 item do not report levels of attendance #elow 7%@? Students $enerall feel that the mana$e their own time well7 althou$h onl "?2@ strongly a$ree? *earl three quarters7 however7 are moderatel satisfied with their time'mana$ement s!ills? Eust over two'thirds #elieve the are $ood independent learners7 and onl around 1%@ disa$ree that the have #ecome $ood at independent learnin$? &he response to the item 4I wor!ed consistentl throu$hout m first ear5 is surprisin$? &here is hi$her stron$ a$reement with this item than with either of the previous ones 017?%@27 and a further 3. hours per wee!7 althou$h it is possi#le that sFhe has included contact hours in the calculation? If this student5s return is e+cluded7 the avera$e for the 4stron$l disa$ree5 $roup is 13?6 hours7 #ut if it is included their avera$e rises to 1) hours per wee!? 11 It is possi#le that the do less than the minimum and disa$ree with the statement offered for that reason? &he use of the word 4onl 5 in the questionnaire item should have removed this possi#ilit ? )2 . hours? Students are ver evenl spread throu$h this ran$e7 with no o#serva#le clusters? &he ma:orit 0two thirds2 of students who disa$ree with the 4minimum wor!5 item report stud in$ for 1. hours per wee! or more? Ane reports stud in$ for 4.ew students repl that the 4neither a$ree nor disa$ree5 with this item? .?)@ who disa$ree7 and "?2@ who stron$l disa$ree? &his $roup ma #e considered as the hardest wor!in$ 11? It would #e unwise7 on this evidence7 to assume that strate$ic students are now the norm7 #ut also to maintain that the are rarel admitted? How do reported private stud hours relate to responses to the previous item> &here is a statisticall si$nificant relationship #etween reported hours of private stud and students5 own assessment of their wor!in$ ha#its as 4minimal5 or otherwise? However7 even amon$ students who stron$l disa$ree that the normall do the 4minimum57 reported hours seem rather low? Students who 4stron$l a$ree5 with the 4minimum wor!5 item have an avera$e private stud wee! of one hour? &hose who 4a$ree5 do more than four times that much7 avera$in$ around four and a half hours? &his pro#a#l represents enou$h time to complete re$ular homewor!s to a minimal standard? However7 the variation within this $roup is hu$e? &here is a cluster of students doin$ 37 4 or % hours7 #ut several report that the do no private stud at all in a normal wee!7 and one claims to do 1) hours? &his student is one who stated that hisFher tutors advised 1) hours a wee! of private stud 7 and so in these terms sFhe is quite literall doin$ the minimum amount officiall required? However7 sFhe is in fact wor!in$ unusuall hard when compared with hisFher peers? .or this $roup7 there is a$ain ver wide variation around the avera$e of )?3 hours7 ran$in$ from 2 to 2. hours per wee! or more7 and the avera$e for this $roup is 1.?2@ a$ree? However7 despite the concrete nature of the issue under assessment7 a hi$h num#er of students are am#ivalentC almost a quarter 4neither a$ree nor disa$ree5? 3ossi#l the do not remem#er the entire first ear in detail and do not want to commit to a particular answer7 or perhaps the recall a patch pattern of wor!7 with little private stud in some wee!s and hi$h levels when e+aminations or deadlines approach? /iven the low reported wor!in$ hours7 the 47?7@ who state that the did wor! consistentl ma not in fact #e doin$ ver much? &he presence of a minorit of strate$ic students is confirmed # the 44?6@ who a$ree with the statement 4In $eneral7 I onl did the minimum of wor! that was required of me5? &he are #alanced # 3.

.27 time pressure is what ou ma!e it 0see the note on 4time mana$ement5 and attendance7 p?%" a#ove2? &his does not mean that the students who mana$e to wor! hard at #oth their course and their :o# would not have a better learnin$ e+perience7 or stud for even lon$er7 if the did not have to ta!e paid wor!? 5$2 Study behaviours and entry decisions Students were as!ed to indicate their reasons for choosin$ to enter H87 the 9niversit of *orthum#ria7 and their particular course? &he responses to these items su$$ested that at all sta$es of the decision several different factors operate for most students? Academic orientation7 famil wishes7 career aims7 peer pressure7 personal factors 0desire to leave or sta at home7 self esteem2 and 4instrumental5 issues all pla a part7 and the relationship #etween factors is comple+? (er few statisticall si$nificant relationships #etween different factors emer$edC for e+ample7 students who state the stron$l 4academic5 reason 4I en:o stud in$ and learnin$5 are :ust as li!el as their peers to a$ree that the 4want to improve their $eneral :o# prospects12? Students were as!ed to indicate the 4most important reason5 for their decisions7 #ut so man chose the option 4no main reason5 that the responses here were of little use? &his ma mean that students are unclear in their own minds as to which of the numerous issues swa ed them most? In #oth the section on the decision to enter H87 and the section on the choice of a particular course7 students could choose to name 4su#:ect interest5 as a factor? Ane mi$ht e+pect that if a student tic!ed 4su#:ect interest5 in the first of these cate$ories7 the would tic! it in the other7 #ut this was not the caseC onl :ust over half named this as a factor which moved them to choose H87 #ut over )%@ said that it #ecame important once the were choosin$ their particular course? In other words7 for man students7 the initial decision is simpl to $o to universit ? Ance this has #een made7 the #e$in to decide what to stud ? &his emer$ed as a ver si$nificant factor in relation to stud #ehaviour? Students who a$ree or stron$l a$ree with the 4minimum wor!5 item are much less li!el to cite su#:ect interest as a factor in their decision to enter H8C 2)?6@ said that it was important7 compared to 73?1@ of students who disa$ree or stron$l disa$ree with the 4minimum wor!5 item? &his relationship is statisticall si$nificant? In addition7 students who cite su#:ect interest as a factor at the sta$e of choosin$ to $o to universit actuall wor! lon$er part'time stud hours7 avera$in$ almost " hours a wee! as opposed to :ust over 6 hours a wee!? A difference is seen #etween the levels 12 It is important7 and depressin$l rare in discussions of widenin$ participation7 to note that students are more li!el to stress the importance of :o# prospects if the come from a #ac!$round where the prospect of a dull7 4dead'end57 low status or #adl paid :o# is familiar? .irst'$eneration *orthum#ria students would pro#a#l mention :o# prospects more often than independent'school students at 6am#rid$e #ecause amon$ their famil and are people who hold :o#s which the themselves would not want? However7 this does not mean that sociall privile$ed students are 4not #othered5 a#out their :o# prospects and have a more purel academic focus? &he ma simpl assume that the will $et a 4$ood :o#5 #ecause IalmostJ ever one in their circle has one7 and it appears to #e a 4natural pro$ression5? Similarl 7 the self'esteem reason of wantin$ to 4$ain a de$ree5 will pro#a#l appear more often in the responses of first'$eneration or non'traditional students than those from students in whose milieu a de$ree is the norm? )3 .)3 &he few students who stron$l disa$ree with the 4minimum wor!5 item and who report low private stud hours state 4personal or medical pro#lems5 as the main reason wh the did not do the recommended amount of private stud ? 3rivate stud hours and part'time wor! status show no correlation? Some students with :o#s disa$ree stron$l with the 4minimum wor!5 item and report hi$h hours7 while others a$ree with it and report ver little stud time? 3recisel the same could #e said of students without part'time wor!? As with the students surve ed # =inn 2.

hours per wee!7 and over half disa$ree with the 4minimum wor! item57 while under a quarter a$ree? A$ain7 the report si$nificantl hi$her levels of consistent wor!in$ and hi$her private stud hours? &he are si$nificantl less li!el to have a part'time :o# than their peers7 with onl 34@ statin$ that the too! paid wor! as opposed to 6.)4 of a$reement for students who cite su#:ect interest as a reason for enterin$ their course and those who do not7 #ut it is relativel small and does not approach statistical si$nificance? &heir reasons for not compl in$ with advice on the num#er of private stud hours required are also different? &hese students are less li!el cite #oredom7 poor motivation or part'time wor! as important7 and are also less li!el to sa that the 4feel as if the are doin$ enou$h private stud 5? However7 the are si$nificantl more li!el to sa that the reduce their private stud time #ecause the feel that the 4understand the su#:ect well enou$h5? Students who name 4su#:ect interest5 as important in the H8 entr decision are also si$nificantl #etter attenders than those who do not? &he report si$nificantl hi$her levels of consistent wor! and hi$her satisfaction with their independent wor!in$ s!ills? It appears from these findin$s that students who ma!e the decision to enter H8 for this reason are more li!el to fit in with H8 culture and e+pectations? As discussed #elow7 these are not the onl advanta$es which the en:o ? Another 4academic orientation5 reason for enterin$ H8 is 4I en:o stud in$ and learnin$57 and this is cited # around a third of all students? A$ain7 there is a stron$ relationship #etween stud #ehaviours and this reason for entr ? &hese students have a hi$h avera$e private stud time7 over 1.?%@ who do not cite this reason for entr ? &his su$$ests that students in this $roup are often prepared to prioritise their studies over the possi#ilit of earnin$ mone ? As noted a#ove7 students who cite su#:ect interest as a reason for course choice #ut not for H8 entr have onl sli$htl hi$her levels of disa$reement with the 4minimum wor!5 item than students who do not cite su#:ect interest at an point? However7 where su#:ect interest is cited as a reason for course choice7 students still emer$e as feelin$ that the are #etter at time mana$ement7 independent wor! and consistent wor!in$? An interest in the su#:ect to #e studied seems to #e a stron$ predictor of wor!in$ ha#its which will stand the student in $ood stead on his or her course? Students who name the 4instrumental5 reason for H8 entr of 4improvin$ m $eneral :o# prospects5 do not show si$nificantl hi$her or lower levels of private stud than students who do not name this item? *amin$ the instrumental factor of wantin$ a well'paid :o# as a reason for selectin$ a particular course also shows no apparent relationship with stud #ehaviours? 46areer aims5 reasons7 such as the desire to prepare for a particular !ind of :o#7 has little effect: the onl si$nificant relationship found was amon$ students who re$ard their course as 4trainin$5 for a particular !ind of :o# when the decide to enter H8? &hese students do not report hi$her levels of private stud than those who do not7 #ut the do report more consistent wor!in$ patterns? It is possi#le that this reflects the stren$th of their career focus7 or that the clue to the connection lies in the use of the word 4trainin$57 su$$estin$ that the see their course as a !ind of apprenticeship? Ane factor which influences the choice to enter *orthum#ria 9niversit emer$es as important in relation to stud patterns? Amon$ students who state that the reputation of this particular universit was important to them7 si$nificantl hi$her levels of private stud and attendance are noted? &his item emer$es as important in several areas 0discussed #elow27 and it ma well #e that students whose commitment to the institution #e$ins #efore admission are willin$ to e+press that commitment in practical en$a$ement with their studies? *on'academic reasons for entr 7 such as the desire to live at or awa from home or 4self esteem57 do not appear to have an si$nificant relationship with stud #ehaviours? )4 .

@ a$ree or a$ree stron$l 7 and :ust 17?%@ disa$ree7 while almost half of the students for whom famil influence was not a factor disa$ree or stron$l disa$ree? &his confirms the vulnera#ilit of reactive entrants to poor stud #ehaviours? 5$/ 5()(' Ad!ustment and study behaviours Academic ad-ustment and study behaviours &he close relationship #etween overall ad:ustment and inte$ration and retention would su$$est that students who are $enerall well'ad:usted to H8 are li!el to #e those who adopt helpful stud #ehaviours7 and the outcomes of this stud #roadl confirm this? Students who report a hi$h level of academic ad:ustment7 on the measures descri#ed in 6:37 are more li!el than those who do not to disa$ree or stron$l disa$ree with the 4minimum wor!5 item7 althou$h this relationship does not quite reach statistical si$nificance? Students who a$ree or stron$l a$ree that the have #ecome $ood at mana$in$ their own time and that the wor! consistentl are7 however7 si$nificantl more li!el to show hi$h levels of attendance and to disa$ree or stron$l disa$ree with the 4minimum wor!5 item? &his ma #e #ecause these are more specific items than the $eneral 4academic ad:ustment5 measure? &here is also a statisticall si$nificant relationship #etween a$reein$ that it is eas to understand the rationale for course content and disa$reein$ with the 4minimum wor!5 answer? &his is a case in which $uessin$ at the direction of causalit would #e particularl ris! ? Students who wor! hard ma $ain a #etter $rasp of the su#:ect as a field7 rather than a series of topics? Alternativel 7 students whose academic #ac!$round7 stud s!ills andFor $eneral interests help them $ain an understandin$ of the course rationale ma feel motivated to put in lon$er hours? &he amount of wor! students #elieve that the do also relates to the way the assess their stud s!ills? Students who disa$ree with the 4minimum wor!5 item are statisticall more li!el to a$ree with the independent wor! item7 and stren$th of disa$reementFa$reement for these two items is also si$nificantl related? A similar relationship emer$es #etween responses to the 4minimum wor!5 item and the 4consistent wor!5 item? Students who feel comforta#le with universit level stud seem li!el to do more of it7 on the #asis of this evidence? Attendance patterns are also related to academic ad:ustment? &here is a si$nificant relationship #etween levels of reported attendance and responses to the 4academic ad:ustment5 item7 with "3?"@ of students who a$ree or stron$l a$ree that the have ad:usted well to the academic demands of the course5 attendin$ 7%@ or more of timeta#led sessions throu$hout the academic ear? Anl 7%@ of students whose attendance is mi+ed a$ree or stron$l a$ree? However7 in this second $roup7 the vast ma:orit fall into the 4a$ree5 rather than the 4stron$l a$ree5 cate$or for the 4academic ad:ustment5 item? .or $ood attenders7 responses are more evenl spread #etween 4a$ree5 and 4stron$l a$ree5? Amon$ poor attenders7 %7@ of students neither a$ree nor disa$ree with the 4academic ad:ustment5 item? Statisticall si$nificant relationships also emer$e #etween attendance patterns and responses to the items on personal time mana$ement7 consistent wor!in$7 and the development of independent learnin$ s!ills? It appears that academic ad:ustment7 for man students7 is an holistic qualit ? )% .)% Students who cite the 4reactive5 reason of 4famil influence5 are si$nificantl more li!el to a$ree with the 4minimum wor!5 item? Aver %.

or some students who wor! hard7 this ma #e partl motivated # a lac! of academic self'confidence 0see Section 12 #elow on the motivatin$ effect of 4fear of failure2? &hese students ma en:o their su#:ect and willin$l wor! hard7 #ut also feel that the need to do so #ecause the are 4not quite $ood enou$h5 to succeed? &his mi$ht also translate to a nervousness around tutors? Students who feel that the can $et # on the minimum ma #elieve this partl #ecause of a $enerall hi$h level of self' confidence7 which will help them to feel ease around academic staff? &he small num#er of pro$rammes from which students were drawn ma!es it unli!el that variations in academic staff practice lead to the discrepancies? )6 .)6 5()(+ Social ad-ustment Ane mi$ht e+pect that to find a correlation #etween hi$h social ad:ustment and helpful stud #ehaviours7 where students who have found a $ood #alance #etween their social and academic lives mana$e to #alance these activities well? Alternativel 7 it mi$ht #e the case that students who en:o hi$h levels of social ad:ustment are en:o in$ their social lives too much to put in lon$ hours of private stud 7 attend classes7 or focus on developin$ their stud s!ills? 3art of the pro#lem here is that two different students ma use different criteria to assess their level of social ad:ustment? A $ood #alance mi$ht #e the !e for one individual7 while another mi$ht :ud$e that havin$ 4a $ood time5 on a re$ular #asis7 even to the detriment of their studies7 is the ma:or factor? In fact7 a statisticall si$nificant relationship #etween $ood social ad:ustment and disa$reement with the 4minimum wor!5 item emer$ed? Students who report doin$ the minimum wor! required of them are also li!el to report that the felt poorer social ad:ustment at universit 7 while students who report that the do more than the minimum tend to report that the feel #etter ad:usted sociall ? &his ma indicate that the have mana$ed to inte$rate their social and academic hours7 and throu$h this their social and academic identities? If the have friends amon$ their course'mates then the are li!el to count class time as time which #uilds their social satisfaction? If their su#:ect of stud is part of the identit which the present in different social situations7 then this implies a level of confidence with their whole life at universit ? However7 responses to the item 4in $eneral7 the lecturers on m course were approacha#le5 were more comple+? Students who stron$l a$reed or stron$l disa$reed with the 4minimum wor!5 item were si$nificantl more li!el to state that the had found their lecturers approacha#le? It is not surprisin$ that students who #elieve themselves to #e ver hard' wor!in$ are confident in approachin$ their lecturers7 #ut one mi$ht e+pect students who freel admit their strate$ic approach to #e more diffident? In fact7 students who a$ree or stron$l a$ree with the minimum wor! item are more li!el neither to a$ree or disa$ree with the 4approacha#le lecturers5 itemC onl 3?4@ disa$ree 0i?e? indicate that the found the lecturers unapproacha#le2? &his compares with 26?"@ of students who stron$l disa$reed or disa$reed with the 4minimum wor!5 item7 and who find lecturers unapproacha#le? -ost of these students disa$ree rather than stron$l disa$ree with the 4minimum wor!5 item? &here are various possi#le e+planations here? .

@ of students who attend well statin$ that their e+pectations in this area were accurate7 compared to 62?%@ of those with mi+ed attendance and %.)7 5$0 Expectations and study behaviours Stud #ehaviour will almost certainl relate to students5 preparation for universit ? If students arrive with accurate e+pectations a#out the !inds of activities the will have to underta!e to succeed at universit 7 it should #e easier for them to fall into a routine which includes these? *o si$nificant relationship emer$es #etween e+pectations of the academic demands of the course and attendance patterns7 private stud hours or responses to the 4minimum wor!5 item? &he vast ma:orit 0)3@2 of students who stron$l disa$ree with the 4minimum wor!5 item state that their e+pectations of the academic demands of their course turned out to #e 4ver accurate5 or accurate? However7 this correlation is not statisticall si$nificant7 and no other stron$ patterns emer$e? 8+pectations of wor!load and actual hours of private stud or attendance do not appear to #e related? However7 students who disa$ree or stron$l disa$ree with the 4minimum wor!5 item tend report si$nificantl more accurate e+pectations of the sort of stud ha#it which will #e required at universit 7 and also of course content and the need to #e an independent learner? =hile the value of indicatin$ actual wor!loads can #e demonstrated on other $rounds7 it appears that fosterin$ accurate e+pectations of st les of wor! is also crucial? Gevels of attendance are si$nificantl related to e+pectations a#out course content7 with $ood attenders havin$ more accurate e+pectations than students with poor or mi+ed attendance? Similarl 7 e+pectations a#out stud ha#its are si$nificantl related to levels of attendance7 with over ".@ of poor attenders? )7 .

)) 5$5 Attitudes to university and study behaviours Students were as!ed to respond to items which related to their levels of interest in the course7 their attitudes to the 4value5 of stud in$ and academic orientation7 and their overall sense of 4#elon$in$5 and en:o ment at the end of their first ear? Ance a$ain7 a cluster of responses emer$ed which indicated that students disa$ree or stron$l disa$ree with the 4minimum wor!5 item and attend who re$ularl are si$nificantl more li!el to report attitudes towards their course which su$$est an academic orientation? Althou$h the responses to these items do not reach statistical si$nificance7 the are less li!el to state that the onl want to stud topics which the #elieve will #e relevant to their future careers? In addition7 the are less li!el to a$ree or stron$l a$ree with the statement 4I often find m course #orin$ #ut will stic! with it #ecause I want a $ood :o#5? Gon$er hours of private stud and attendance at classes7 therefore7 seem to #e more li!el amon$ students who actuall en:o their course than those who are en$a$in$ in these activities simpl to $et throu$h and en:o some future reward? &his is #ac!ed up # the statisticall si$nificant relationship which emer$es #etween a$reement or stron$ a$reement with the 4intellectual satisfaction5 item 04I $et satisfaction from meetin$ intellectual challen$es and pushin$ m limits52 and disa$reement or stron$ disa$reement with the Uminimum wor!U item? &his su$$ests that students who state that the wor! harder and who attend more re$ularl tend to #e less instrumental and to have a stron$er academic motivation? Interestin$l 7 instrumentalit at the point of entering H8 does not seem to #e related to poor stud ha#its? &he correlation onl emer$es once students are at universit ? 3erhaps unsurprisin$l 7 students who disa$ree or stron$l disa$ree with the Uminimum wor!U item report si$nificantl hi$her levels of interest in their course? Here7 stren$th of disa$reement with the Uminimum wor!U item relates to stren$th of a$reement with the interest item? All of the students who stron$l disa$ree state a$ree or stron$l a$ree that the have found their course ver interestin$7 with the ma:orit stron$l a$reein$C 7.@ of those who disa$ree with the Uminimum wor!U item a$ree or stron$l a$ree with the interest item7 #ut the ma:orit of these students fall into the a$ree cate$or ? As noted a#ove7 overall levels of interest amon$ the sample of students are hi$h? 8ven so7 onl 46?2@ of students who a$ree or stron$l a$ree with the Uminimum wor!U item a$ree or stron$l a$ree with the interest item? A$ain7 it is not possi#le to discover on the #asis of this data whether interest forms stud #ehaviours or vice versa? However7 the two are clearl related? Students who report a hi$h level of interest in the course are si$nificantl more li!el to disa$ree or stron$l disa$ree with the Uminimum wor!U item? Students who disa$ree or stron$l disa$ree with the Uminimum wor!U item are also si$nificantl more li!el to a$ree or stron$l a$ree with the 4#elon$in$5 item 04I feel that I reall #elon$ at universit 27 and with the 4en:o ment5 item 04Averall7 I have reall en:o ed m studies at the 9niversit of *orthum#ria52? Ance a$ain7 onl a small proportion of students 0if an 2 who commit themselves to hi$h levels of attendance and to a reasona#le amount of private stud appear to re$ard this as a chore? &his is e+tremel encoura$in$? )) .

)" Section Seven$ 2$+ Student expectations Expectations of academic demands &he students in this stud are drawn from a small num#er of academic pro$rammes7 #ut report a relativel hi$h diversit of e+perience? &o what e+tent can this #e attri#uted to their different e+pectations of universit 7 and to what e+tent mi$ht mana$in$ student e+pectations help to improve student e+periences once the arrive> Averall7 as noted a#ove7 student e+pectations help form the parts of the student e+perience over which the have control7 their stud #ehaviours? &he findin$s of this pro:ect su$$est that their assessment of less tan$i#le elements is also influenced # their preparation for universit ? &he findin$s reported a#ove indicate the $eneral level of preparation felt # students? Averall7 this was reasona#l $ood #ut the vast ma:orit of positive responses fell within the 4quite accurate5 rather than the 4ver accurate5 cate$or ? &here are definitel areas where students could receive more $uidance a#out what the will encounter in H8? =or!load7 academic demands7 teachin$ methods7 academic support and contact time with staff all emer$e as important? 8+pectations relatin$ to academic demands are si$nificantl related to academic ad:ustment? A$ain7 the direction of causalit is uncertain? It ma actually #e easier to ad:ust to academic demands if one has anticipated them accuratel ? Alternativel 7 students who #other to find out somethin$ a#out their course ma #e more li!el to ma!e the effort to ad:ust 0hard wor! and ad:ustment are also related2? Ar with hindsi$ht7 students who ad:ust well ma over'estimate their levels of preparation? =hatever the reason7 reports of accurate e+pectations are li!el to #e accompanied # $ood ad:ustment? Students who strongly a$ree with the 4ad:ustment5 item are more li!el to report that their e+pectations were 4ver accurate5 than 4quite accurate5? Students who a$ree with the ad:ustment item are more li!el to report 4quite accurate5 e+pectations? 6orrelations which :ust miss statistical si$nificance also emer$e #etween findin$ that academic demands are as e+pected or easier and a$reement with the ad:ustment items relatin$ to time mana$ement s!ills7 consistent wor!in$ ha#its and $rasp of the course rationale 0surprisin$l 7 responses to the 4independent wor!in$5 item are involved2? A$ain7 students whose e+pectations a#out academic demands were accurate and students who find the academic demands of their course easier than e+pected $ive similar responses? &hose who find that the demands are easier than e+pected show stron$er a$reement with these ad:ustment items? &he accurac of e+pectations and the content of a student5s preparation ma $ive them a 4head start5 in developin$ useful stud s!ills? Alternativel 7 it ma #e that students who find that the have estimated the demands accuratel or who actuall find universit wor! easier than the had e+pected $ain confidence from this? Such a #oost to their assurance will effectivel remove a level of an+iet from their ad:ustment to hi$her education7 and perhaps ma!e it easier to focus on the course? In addition7 as seen from the ver hi$h num#er of students who a$ree that !nowin$ 4how the are doin$5 is a motivatin$ factor7 feelin$ that one is doin$ well # comparison with one5s e+pectations will #uild student motivation? Another set of close #ut not statisticall si$nificant correlations emer$e #etween responses to the 4e+pectations of academic demands5 item and e+pectations of course content7 teachin$ methods and amount of academic support? Students with accurate e+pectations of academic demands7 or who found these easier than e+pected7 are more accurate throu$hout7 while students who found the academic demands of their course more difficult than e+pected are li!el to have had mista!en e+pectations in all of the latter areas? )" .

@ of these students a$ree or stron$l a$ree7 as opposed to two'thirds of students who found the academic demands harder than the had e+pected2? In addition7 the are sli$htl more li!el to a$ree or stron$l a$ree with the 4intellectual satisfaction5 item? . . 6ourse content7 teachin$ methods and the quantit of academic support are all fairl concrete issues which can #e researched throu$h open da s7 the use of prospectuses andFor discussion with people who have e+perience of hi$her education? &he are li!el to #e e+amined # students who ta!e some time to find out a#out courses for themselves and to choose a course on the #asis of a lot of information? =here students are pointed towards courses # teachers7 parents or advisers7 these practical matters ma not #e $iven a $reat deal of consideration? In the School of Informatics stud 7 students who had chosen their course on the #asis of advice of this sort stated that the tended to receive more $eneral advice alon$ the lines of 4this course will #e $reat for ou57 rather than 4 ou will do these thin$s if ou ta!e this course K would ou #e happ learnin$ thisFli!e this>5? A rather surprisin$ findin$ from the a#ove data is the positive e+periences amon$ students who find that the have overestimated the academic demands of their course7 and that it is actuall easier for them than the had e+pected? ..ather than findin$ that the course is 4more #orin$5 or 4much more #orin$5 than the had e+pected7 these students are li!el to find it more interestin$ than the had e+pected? 6onfidence ma a$ain #e the !e issue here? Students who e+perience low levels of an+iet a#out their academic wor! are more li!el to en$a$e with its content and find it interestin$? &hese students displa a different set of attitudes from those e+pressed # students who find that the course is more difficult than the had e+pected? &he are si$nificantl more li!el to disa$ree or stron$l disa$ree with the item 4I onl want to stud topics which I #elieve are relevant to m career57 and more li!el to state that the are 4!een to learn a#out new aspects of ItheirJ su#:ect and e+plore new areas5 01.@ disa$ree or stron$l disa$ree? &hese students7 #ased on their e+perience7 ma attri#ute their ease with their studies at least in part to their own efforts? *o relationship was found #etween e+pectations of academic demands and students5 assessment of the qualit of preparation for hi$her education offered # their school or colle$e? ".".esponses to one other item indicate that there ma #e a relationship #etween confidence7 wor!in$ ha#its and findin$ that the course is easier than e+pected? Students who encounter lower academic demands than the e+pected $o a$ainst the $eneral trend of a$reement with the item 4I #elieve that inherent a#ilit is the most important factor in success at universit 5? -ore than half of these students disa$ree or stron$l disa$ree with this item7 while amon$ students who found the academic demands of their course as the e+pected or harder than the e+pected7 onl 2.

"1 2$2 Expectations of 1or.load Students who anticipate the wor!load of their course accuratel are statisticall more li!el to :ud$e that the wor!load imposed on them in their first ear was 4a#out ri$ht5? &hose who find that it is li$hter than e+pected tend to a$ree with them7 #ut are more li!el than those who anticipated accuratel to state that the thou$ht it was 4too li$ht5? Students who find that the are required to do more wor! than the e+pected are also more li!el to :ud$e that the wor!load is 4too heav 5? *ot surprisin$l 7 :ud$ements a#out the level of wor!load relate less to what students are actuall required to do 0there are no correlations #etween wor!load :ud$ement and course2 and more to how actual demands relate to their e+pectations? Accurate e+pectations a#out academic demands are si$nificantl related to accurate e+pectations a#out wor!load? However7 ver few si$nificant correlations with other areas of e+pectation emer$e7 althou$h there are a handful of nonsi$nificant relationships? Students who find that the wor!load is li$hter than e+pected are more li!el to find that the rationale for course content was eas to understand7 and students who find that the wor!load is more difficult tan e+pected are more li!el to find it difficult? .indin$ the wor!load li$hter than e+pected relates to under'estimatin$ the amount of academic support which will #e availa#le7 and students who find the wor!load li$hter than e+pected are also more li!el to have had accurate e+pectations of the stud ha#its which would #e required at universit ? &his ma indicate that the stud more effectivel 7 rather than for less time? *on'si$nificant #ut re$ular correlations are also found #etween accurate e+pectations and over'estimations of wor!load and accurate e+pectations a#out course content and a#out the need to #e an independent learner? &hese effects are all smallC with a lar$er sample of students the mi$ht have reached si$nificance7 however? Gi!e students who over'estimated the academic demands of their course7 students who over' estimate wor!load are more li!el to show an academic orientation7 and to disa$ree with the statement that inherent a#ilit is the $reatest determinant of success at universit ? =or!load e+pectations once a$ain seem to relate to levels of interest? Students who under' estimated the wor!load which the would encounter have hi$h levels of a$reement with the item 4in $eneral7 I found m course ver interestin$5 0)1?3@27 and are more li!el to state that the stron$l a$ree? However7 students who find the wor!load heavier than e+pected are also more li!el than those who find the wor!load as the e+pected to a$ree or stron$l a$ree with the 4course interest5 item 073?7@2? B contrast7 onl 44@ of students who find wor!load as the e+pected a$ree or stron$l a$ree with this item? &he onl reall important findin$ here seems to #e the relationship #etween perception of wor!load and e+pectations of wor!load? &his should #e considered if student opinions re$ardin$ their wor!loads are sou$htC the information $athered ma #e more useful as an indication of what the were e+pectin$ than of what the are actuall #ein$ as!ed to do? "1 .

"2 2$/ #ther expectations =hen a ran$e of comparisons #etween e+pectations and e+perience are considered7 it #ecomes clear that these are stron$l related? -ana$in$ student e+pectations should7 therefore7 contri#ute si$nificantl to student ad:ustment? &he relativel hi$h levels of response statin$ that e+pectations were 4quite accurate5 rather than 4ver accurate5 su$$ests that while man students achieve some level of accurac 7 there is room for improvement in this area? 8+pectations a#out course content are si$nificantl related to responses to the 4course content rationale5 item? All of the students who stron$l a$ree with the statement 4It is eas to understand the rationale #ehind the content of m course5 report accurate or ver accurate e+pectations of course content? 67?7@ of those who a$ree with this item report accurate e+pectations7 compared with onl %)@ of those who neither a$ree nor disa$ree? Amon$ students who disa$ree or stron$l disa$ree with the 4course content rationale5 item7 71?4@ state that their e+pectations a#out course content were mista!en or ver mista!en? 8+pectations a#out academic staff and e+perience of staff approacha#ilit do not show an correlations? However7 students who estimate the amount of contact with individual staff accuratel are more li!el to a$ree or stron$l a$ree that staff are approacha#le? Students who neither a$ree nor disa$ree with the 4staff approacha#ilit 5 item tend to have had e+pectations which were too hi$h 0%4?%@2 or much too hi$h 0"?1@27 and amon$ students who disa$ree with the 4staff approacha#ilit 5 item 0i?e? who feel that staff are not approacha#le2 are li!el to have made an estimate of the amount of contact with staff which was much too hi$h? 4%?2@ fall into this cate$or 7 and 1)?2@ had e+pectations which were 4too hi$h5 a#out the amount of contact? &hese findin$s are statisticall si$nificant? 8+pectations of the amount of academic support also relate si$nificantl to responses to the 4staff approacha#ilit 5 item? Students who stron$l a$ree with this latter are li!el to have had accurate 062?%@2 e+pectations a#out the amount of academic support7 or to have e+pected less than the in fact encountered 037?%@2? Students who a$ree with this item are less often accurate 0%)?)@2C rou$hl similar num#ers over' and under'estimate levels of academic support? Students who neither a$ree nor disa$ree are accurate in 4%?%@ of cases7 with :ust over a third anticipatin$ more support than the found? Students who disa$ree with the 4staff approacha#ilit 5 item are more li!el to have over'estimated amounts of academic support? Students who find lecturers approacha#le also show si$nificantl more accurate e+pectations a#out the need to #e an independent learner? Students ma assess the e+tent to which their lecturers are 4approacha#le5 on the #asis of the amount of academic support which the find availa#le7 possi#l in response to individual attempts to source this? /eneral #eliefs a#out lecturers are irrelevant7 #ut academic interactions form students5 4social5 attitudes to their lecturers? -uch discussion of staffFstudent relations focuses on the e+tent to which tutors seem 4to care5 or 4to #e approacha#le5? It is helpful to learn that perceptions of this relate to academic interactions as well as 0more than>2 to the more pro#lematic factors of tutor 4personalities5 and apparent levels of 4reall carin$5 a#out their students? 8+pectations a#out levels of academic support are also si$nificantl related to students5 responses to the item 4In $eneral7 the lecturers on m course were $ood at e+plainin$ thin$s5? Students who assess their lecturers as $ood at e+plainin$ are more li!el to have had accurate e+pectations a#out the amount of academic support the will encounter? 8+pectations a#out academic staff are si$nificantl related to students5 responses to the 4lecturers are $ood at e+plainin$5 item7 #ut e+pectations a#out the amount of staff contact time are not? Here7 it "2 .

"3 seems that accessi#ilit is not an issue? &he e+tent to which students e+pect their learnin$ to #e supported forms their attitude to the support the $et? 8+pectations relatin$ to the a#ove factors also show correlations which do not quite reach statistical si$nificance with responses to the item 4In $eneral7 the lecturers stimulated m interest in the su#:ect5? 8+pectations a#out the need to #e an independent learner and ad:ustment to independent learnin$ practices are related? &here is a si$nificant correlation #etween responses to the relevant items7 with students who have accurate e+pectations a#out the need to #e an independent learner showin$ #etter ad:ustment in this area of stud s!ills? Students who have accurate e+pectations a#out academic support and levels of contact with academic staff are also more li!el to ad:ust well to independent learnin$? In addition7 accurate e+pectations around academic support and the need to #e an independent learner are si$nificantl related to $ood time mana$ement s!ills? Students were also as!ed to :ud$e whether the felt that students are e+pected to #ecome independent learners 4too quic!l 5 durin$ their first ear? Ance a$ain7 a statisticall si$nificant relationship was found #etween individual reported e+perience and attitudes to the $eneral question? Students who found that their e+pectations a#out the need to #e an independent learner had #een accurate were si$nificantl less li!el to a$ree 044?7@2 with the item 4students are e+pected to #ecome independent learners too quic!l 5 than students whose own e+pectations of the need to #e an independent learner turned out to have #een inaccurate 064?7@2? .esponses to this item were also related to $eneral e+pectations of stud ha#its7 academic staff and teachin$ methods? "3 .

@ of students who disa$ree or stron$l disa$ree with the Uoften lac! motivationU item are in the 4$ood attendance5 cate$or 7 and those who fall #elow 7%@ attendance at an point are li!el to cite 4personal or medical pro#lems5 as the reason for this? -otivation and stud #ehaviours are clearl ver closel related? 9nmotivated students7 therefore7 are at real ris! of failure due to their approach to their studies? 3$2 8otivation and satisfaction It is not possi#le to determine whether motivation leads to satisfaction with one5s course7 or whether satisfaction #uilds motivation? An the evidence of the literature surve 7 it is possi#le that the process wor!s #oth wa s? =hatever the direction of causalit 7 however7 a stron$ relationship #etween the two emer$es? It is reasona#le to su$$est that measures to #oost student motivation mi$ht well also #oost their satisfaction? A si$nificant relationship is found #etween responses to the Uoften lac! motivationU item and the item 4In $eneral7 I found m course ver interestin$5? All of the students who disa$ree or stron$l disa$ree with the Uoften lac! motivationU item a$ree or stron$l a$ree with the 4interest5 item? As noted a#ove7 overall levels of interest amon$ these students are ver hi$h7 #ut less motivated students also report a lower overall level of interest? Students who disa$ree or stron$l disa$ree with the 4interest5 item all a$ree or stron$l a$ree with the Uoften lac! motivationU item item? In addition7 motivated students are si$nificantl more li!el than others to find the course more interestin$ than the had e+pected? Eust over half 0%3?)@2 state that this is the case7 and almost all the rest find it a#out as interestin$ as the e+pected? (er few find it duller? Students who neither a$ree nor disa$ree with the Uoften lac! motivationU item often find the course more interestin$ than the had anticipated 047?6@27 #ut students who a$ree with the Uoften lac! motivationU item are considera#l more li!el to find it more #orin$ than the had e+pected? Almost a third state that this is the case7 while :ust 17?6@ state that the find it more interestin$? "4 ."4 Section Ei-ht$ 3$+ 8otivation Study behaviours and motivation &his section will not include an attempt to define student motivation? As the literature reviewed in 2:% demonstrates7 to do so would require considera#l more space and a rather different sort of primar data? However7 some of its manifestations in student attitudes and #ehaviours will #e discussed7 in order to #uild up a picture of the #ehaviours and attitudes of the 4motivated5 student? Students were as!ed at three points to indicate their level of 4motivation5? &he were offered 4low motivation5 as an option to e+plain poor attendance or low private stud 7 and the were as!ed to respond to the item 4I often found it difficult to $et motivated to wor! on m course5? Althou$h stron$ a$reement with this item was rare7 46?2@ a$reedC in total7 more than half the students surve ed feel that the often feel unmotivated? Anl 2.@ e+pressed disa$reement with this item? In practice7 no student who a$reed or stron$l a$reed with the $eneral item on motivation stated in the previous sections on attendance and private stud that a lac! of motivation affected their #ehaviours? In this summar 7 therefore7 I concentrate primaril on the $eneral item? &hat these related to motivation is demonstrated # the stron$ si$nificant relationship #etween responses to the Uminimum wor!U item and responses the Uoften lac! motivationU item? 9nmotivated students state that the are li!el to do onl the minimum amount of wor!7 and also report a lower avera$e num#er of private stud hours? Attendance is also si$nificantl related to motivation levelsC in fact7 over ".

or man unmotivated students7 4future motivation5 and instrumental aims are important? However7 these do not seem to translate into the da 'to'da motivation which would help students to attend and en$a$e in private stud on a re$ular #asis? *o si$nificant relationship emer$ed #etween responses to the Uoften lac! motivationU item and 4I onl want to stud topics which I #elieve to #e relevant to m career57 or with the $eneral academic orientation items? However7 students who report hi$her levels of motivation are sli$htl more li!el to disa$ree with the former and a$ree with the latter? &he vast ma:orit of students a$reeFstron$l a$ree with the item 4I need to !now how I am doin$ to feel motivated to wor!5? However7 stren$th of a$reement is si$nificantl related to responses to the Uoften lac! motivationU item? Students who stron$l disa$ree with the latter are less li!el than students who a$reeFstron$l a$ree or neither a$ree nor disa$ree to feel that updates on their pro$ress are important to their on$oin$ motivation? ."% As well as interest7 overall en-oyment relates si$nificantl to motivation? Here a$ain7 $eneral levels of en:o ment are hi$h? Amon$ students who state that the en:o ed their studies in the first ear7 3"?1@ a$reeFstron$l a$ree with the Uoften lac! motivationU item7 and onl 2)?3@ disa$ree or stron$l disa$ree? However7 this is #ecause the vast ma:orit of students a$ree with the en:o ment item? Students who disa$ree or stron$l disa$ree with the 4en:o ment5 item are much more li!el to report low motivation7 while students who strongly a$ree with the 4en:o ment5 item are more li!el to disa$ree or stron$l disa$ree with the Uoften lac! motivationU item? 3$/ Sources of motivation &here is a statisticall si$nificant relationship #etween responses to the $eneral 4motivation5 item and to the item 4I often find m course #orin$ #ut will stic! with it #ecause I want a $ood :o#5? Students who a$ree with the 4often lac! motivation5 item are si$nificantl more li!el to a$ree with the latter item7 as are students who neither a$ree nor disa$ree with the Uoften lac! motivationU item? .@ of other students? &hese hi$hl motivated students are sli$htl more li!el to a$ree with the statement than to disa$ree with it? &he most useful findin$ from this discussion ma relate to the confidence which these students #rin$ to their studiesC if the #elieve that the have the a#ilit to do well7 the will approach their wor! with lowered an+iet 7 and possi#l also more assurance to en$a$e in independent stud ? However7 the levels of a$reement are not reall hi$h enou$h to offer this as a #lan!et e+planation? 3erhaps the pattern of responses actuall relates more to the overall intellectual en$a$ement of these students? &he are prepared to ta!e a moment to thin! a#out a provocative statement towards which the ma not alread have formed a response7 and to come up with a positive conclusion one wa or the other? Students with a lower level of $eneral interest in a#stract questions 0relatin$ to lower academic orientation7 and hence lower en$a$ement with their universit studies2 prefer simpl to 4pla it safe5 intellectuall ? "% .or students who consider themselves motivated7 therefore7 formative feed#ac! would #e welcome #ut it does not seem to #e the onl or the primar source of their motivation? Students who disa$ree or stron$l disa$ree with the Uoften lac! motivationU item are si$nificantl more li!el to commit to an answer to the item 4inherent a#ilit is the most important factor in success at universit 5? &his item elicited a ver hi$h num#er of 4neither a$ree nor disa$ree5 responses? However7 onl 3.@ of students who report hi$h levels of motivation stated that the neither a$ree nor disa$ree7 compared with over %.

esponses to man of the ad:ustment measures discussed a#ove show a si$nificant relationship with responses to the motivation items? &here is a stron$ si$nificant relationship #etween motivation and academic ad:ustment7 with %."6 3$0 8otivation and ad!ustment .@ of students who stron$l a$ree with the 4academic ad:ustment5 item a$reein$Fstron$l a$reein$ with the Uoften lac! motivationU item 0all of the students who disa$ree or stron$l disa$ree with the Uoften lac! motivationU item a$ree or stron$l a$ree with the 4academic ad:ustment5 item2? *one of the students who neither a$ree nor disa$ree or disa$ree with the 4academic ad:ustment5 item disa$ree or stron$l disa$ree with the Uoften lac! motivationU item? )4?6@ of students who disa$ree or stron$l disa$ree with the Uoften lac! motivationU item report that the find the academic demands of their course 4a#out ri$ht57 and the rest report that the are 4too eas 5? *one find the demands 4too hard5? 2"?4@ of students who a$ree or stron$l a$ree with the Uoften lac! motivationU item7 however7 find the academic demands of their course 4too difficult57 and none find them 4too eas 5 0althou$h almost two'thirds find them 4a#out ri$ht52? 8+cessive challen$e does not seem to motivate studentsC appropriate challen$e7 however7 does? Hi$hl motivated students are si$nificantl more li!el to report that the have developed $ood time'mana$ement and independent wor!in$ s!ills7 althou$h a fair num#er of students who a$ree or stron$l a$ree with the Uoften lac! motivationU item also claim to have acquired these? A si$nificant correlation emer$es #etween $raspin$ course rationale and motivation7 and also #etween motivation and consistent wor!in$ ha#its? &he latter is particularl stron$7 with "2?3@ of students who disa$ree or stron$l disa$ree with the Uoften lac! motivationU item a$reein$ or stron$l a$reein$ with the 4consistent wor!5 item7 and onl 21?2@ of students who a$ree or stron$l a$ree with the Uoften lac! motivationU item a$reein$ that the wor! consistentl ? -otivation seems to #e related to $ood overall ad:ustment to #oth the a#stract and the practical aspects of life in hi$her education? Ane interestin$ factor in all of the a#ove relationships is the position of the students who neither a$ree nor disa$ree with the Uoften lac! motivationU item? In $eneral7 their level of a$reement with the ad:ustment item lies fairl evenl #etween that of the 4motivated5 and the 4unmotivated5 students 0these cate$ories #ased on their response to the Uoften lac! motivationU item2? It does appear that students who neither a$ree nor disa$ree with the Uoften lac! motivationU item are actuall am#ivalent a#out their motivational levels7 #ecause the report #ehaviour and ad:ustment levels which are 4worse5 than those of hi$hl motivated students #ut 4#etter5 than those of students who admit openl to a lac! of motivation? &his $roup mi$ht well have a$reed stron$l with an item worded alon$ the lines of 4I sometimes lac! motivationL5 or 4I sometimes feel quite motivatedL5? &he academic ad:ustment levels of hi$hl motivated students are not surprisin$? A sli$htl more comple+ picture emer$es when responses to the Uoften lac! motivationU item are compared with responses to the 4social ad:ustment5 item? 3oor social ad:ustment and low motivation are si$nificantl related7 and "2?3@ of students who disa$ree or stron$l disa$ree with the Uoften lac! motivationU item a$reeFstron$l a$ree with the 4social ad:ustment5 item? However7 students who report hi$h levels of social ad:ustment are also more li!el to report low motivation when it comes to their studies? &his ma reflect the two possi#le !inds of social ad:ustment discussed a#ove? .or some students7 a $ood #alance #etween wor! and stud constitutes 4$ood ad:ustment57 while for others a thorou$h en:o ment7 or hi$her prioritisation7 of social life ma $o with low commitment to academic wor!? "6 .

?%@ disa$ree or stron$l disa$ree with the Uoften lac! motivationU item2? Amon$ students who do not a$ree with the 49niversit of *orthum#ria reputation5 item7 dou#le the num#er report low motivation as report hi$h motivation? Institutional commitment at this ver earl sta$e seems important in formin$ motivation? Ane further correlation emer$es7 althou$h a$ain this does not reach statistical si$nificance? Students who state that the entered universit #ecause the wished to 4train for a particular !ind of :o#5 show sli$htl lower motivation whether this is stated as #ein$ important at the H8 entr decision or at the point of course choice? *one of the 4instrumental5 reasons for universit entr related to low motivation7 unless it is accompanied # a lac! of su#:ect interest at the point of H8 entr ? In addition7 the 4non' academic5 reasons for H8 entr 0a wish to leave home or sta at home7 the reputation of the cit 2 are not related to responses to the Uoften lac! motivationU item unless the are accompanied # a lac! of su#:ect interest at the point of H8 entr ? "7 ."7 3$5 8otivation and entry decisions <o the reasons which motivate students to enter hi$her education in the first place relate in an wa to their feelin$s of motivation once the are at universit > &he data e+amined here su$$ests that several si$nificant relationships e+ist7 and that the !ind of en$a$ement achieved # an institution with students prior to their entr decision could ma!e an important difference to their motivation once the are at universit ? As #efore7 # far the most important relationship is #etween su#:ect interest as a motivation to enter H8 0as opposed to a particular course once the H8 entr decision has #een ta!en2 and this particular varia#le relatin$ to #ehaviour once at universit ? Students who a$ree that the decided to $o to universit in the first place #ecause of interest in a particular su#:ect show si$nificantl hi$her levels of disa$reementFstron$ disa$reement with the Uoften lac! motivationU item 034@ as opposed to 3?4@2? Almost all of the students who disa$ree or stron$l disa$ree with the Uoften lac! motivationU item state that this was an important factor in their decision to $o to universit 7 as opposed to %1@ of students who neither a$ree nor disa$ree or a$reeFstron$l a$ree with the Uoften lac! motivationU item? &here is some relationship #etween response to the Uoften lac! motivationU item and an e+pression of su#:ect interest at the point of course choice7 #ut this is not si$nificant? All of the hi$hl motivated students7 not surprisin$l 7 state that su#:ect interest motivated their course choice? However7 #ecause such a hi$h num#er of students a$ree with 4su#:ect interest5 at the point of course choice7 a num#er of students in this cate$or also report lower motivation? 9niversit reputation7 which emer$ed as important in relation to stud #ehaviours7 is also si$nificantl related to motivation? Students who a$ree that the reputation of the 9niversit of *orthum#ria was important in their decision a#out where to stud show a hi$her level of motivation 03%@ disa$ree or stron$l disa$ree with the Uoften lac! motivationU item2 than students who did not find this factor important 0onl 1.

@ of women a$reeFstron$l a$ree with the item 4in $eneral7 the lecturers on m course were $ood at e+plainin$ thin$s5 as opposed to 7%@ of men? =omen also tend to worr more than do men a#out financial difficulties 06)@ a$ree or stron$l a$ree with the item 4I sometimes felt pressurised # financial worries57 as opposed to 4)@ of menC onl 12@ of women disa$reed7 as opposed to 3.") Section Nine$ )emo-raphic factors 6$+ Sex A surprisin$ num#er of se+ differences emer$ed from the data? =hile man of these do not relate directl to the cate$ories discussed a#ove7 the will undou#tedl #e relevant to the student e+perience7 and pro#a#l also to underl in$ patterns of satisfaction and withdrawal? <iscussin$ $ender can #e difficult at a time when man people #elieve that inequalities have lar$el #een addressed7 and when a popular science discourse of 4inherent differences5 is fashiona#le? However7 this is precisel when it is important for staff to #e aware of su#tle contrasts which ma shape e+periences and inform classroom #ehaviours? A $reat man of the o#served se+ differences can #e $rouped under the headin$ of 4confidence57 with male students e+pressin$ hi$her levels than women? &he e+tent to which women5s answers revealed hi$her levels of uncertaint was remar!a#le? Some of this affect is certainl due to the presence of computin$ students in the sampleC I6& is notorious for male domination and consequent insecurit amon$ some female students? However7 the students surve ed have all overcome at least some of the $ender #ias surroundin$ their su#:ect7 and successfull completed a first ear at universit ? -oreover7 lar$e differences did not emer$e #etween the women on the Informatics courses and those stud in$ in *BS? &he effects o#served7 therefore7 ma #e widespread amon$ female students across the universit ? It should #e made ver clear at this sta$e are not meant in any way to su$$est that the 9niversit of *orthum#ria is in an wa failin$ its female students? A similar ran$e of responses would pro#a#l #e found in a surve of si+th formers7 or of first ear students at an institutionC the pro#lems which underlie them are widel 'reco$nised social trends7 and not the wor!in$s of this particular universit or of an one department within it? A universit which addresses these difficulties7 however7 is in a position to 4$et ahead of the $ame5 on $ender issues7 and to help its women students to do the same? In appl in$ to universit 7 women students seem at least tacitl aware that the earnin$s differential #etween $raduates and non'$raduates is still disproportionatel $reater for women than for men? Eo# prospects7 important to #oth se+es7 are named as a reason for H8 entr # nearl all the women7 #ut :ust over three'quarters of men? =omen who do not do the required amount of private stud are si$nificantl less li!el than men to state that this is #ecause the feel confident in their understandin$ of the course? Eust 1)?)@ of women students who do not compl with their tutors5 advice state this reason7 as opposed to 44?4@ of non'compl in$ men? Averall7 however7 it is social rather than academic confidence which women lac!? =hen indicatin$ reasons for not attendin$ classes7 far more women state that the find relations with other students hard 04%?%@ of poorFmi+ed attenders who are female7 as opposed to %?"@ of those who are male27 or that the do not attend #ecause the find their tutors unapproacha#le 0)1?)@ of poorFmi+ed attenders who are female7 as opposed to 11?)@ of those who are male2? =omen are si$nificantl more li!el to find lecturers less approacha#le in general: 36@ disa$ree or stron$l disa$ree with the item 4in $eneral7 the lecturers on m course were approacha#le5 as opposed to 7?%@ of men? &he also show lower levels of satisfaction with the teachin$: 6.@ of men2? And althou$h women report similar levels of social ad:ustment to men7 the are more li!el to find that ") .

.@ of men2? &his ma relate to their hi$h level of realistic e+pectations re$ardin$ these? &he have si$nificantl more realistic e+pectations than men a#out the need to #e an independent learner7 and report #etter ad:ustment to independent wor!in$ patterns 0)4@ feel that the have ad:usted well7 as opposed to %3?)@ of men7 and onl 4@ feel that the have not ad:usted7 as opposed to 23?1@ of men2? A noticea#le7 #ut non' si$nificant correlation is found #etween responses to the 4academic orientation5 items7 with 1.@ of women a$reein$ or stron$l a$reein$ with these as opposed to 7%@ of men? =omen also show sli$htl lower levels of a$reement with the Uminimum wor!U item7 and hi$her levels of a$reement with the 4interest5 item? <espite their lac! of confidence7 women show rather hi$her satisfaction than men when interest in their su#:ect is e+amined? &he are si$nificantl more li!el to find their course more interestin$ than the had e+pected: 44@ state that this is the case7 as opposed to :ust 17?%@ of men? &his ma well #e #ecause of women5s hi$her an+iet prior to entr ? =omen also e+press hi$her levels of interest overall7 with :ust over three quarters a$reein$ or a$reein$ stron$l with the $eneral 4interest5 item7 as opposed to :ust over half of the men7 and onl 4@ disa$reein$ with this7 as opposed to one quarter of the men? &heir lac! of confidence ma have somethin$ to do with their #eliefs a#out a#ilit ? *o women at all disa$ree with the 4inherent a#ilit 5 item7 and 44@ a$ree? 3%@ of men a$ree7 #ut 22?%@ disa$ree? If women lac! confidence in the first place7 it ma prove ver difficult to help them acquire it? "" ."" ma!in$ friends is harder than the had e+pected? 44@ state that this is the case7 as opposed to 17?%@ of men7 althou$h rather more encoura$in$l 7 men are more li!el to find that ma!in$ friends is a#out as eas as the had e+pected7 and around a third of #oth men and women find that it is easier? Althou$h around the same num#er of men and women find the course harder than e+pected7 2%@ of men and no women find it easier 064@ of women and 42?%@ of men find it a#out as e+pected2? A facile response to this mi$ht #e to su$$est that this relates to differences in a#ilit C a wiser one would point to the lower levels of confidence amon$ women7 and su$$est that the are considera#l more li!el to e+pect their course to #e difficult than are men7 and to underestimate their a#ilit to handle it? Oet female students show hi$her levels of ad:ustment in several cate$ories? Averall7 women are more li!el to a$ree that the have ad:usted well to the academic demands of their course 0)4@ as opposed to :ust over %.

irst'$eneration students with older si#lin$s are si$nificantl less li!el than second $eneration students with older si#lin$s to state that those si#lin$s themselves have entered H8? Anl 22?"@ of first'$eneration students with older si#lin$s state that the went to universit 7 compared to )%?7@ of second'$eneration students with older si#lin$s? It appears that for man families where neither parents is a $raduate7 $oin$ on to tertiar education is not a 4natural pro$ression5 for all of the children 0no such correlation is found with parental occupation2? &his ma $o some wa towards e+plainin$ the sli$htl hi$her levels of academic orientation and su#:ect interest amon$ first'$eneration students 14? &here are also clear differences #etween the stud #ehaviours of students who state that their older si#lin$s went to universit and students who state that their older si#lin$s did not? &he former $roup are si$nificantl more li!el to a$ree or stron$l a$ree with the 4low motivation5 and 4minimum wor!5 items7 to #e non'committal a#out their time'mana$ement s!ills and to disa$ree with the 4consistent wor!5 item? .1. . 6$2 (eneration Averall7 first'$eneration students 0those with two non'$raduate parents 132 provide responses to a handful of questionnaire items which indicate sli$htl hi$her academic orientation? &he important 4su#:ect interest at H8 entr 5 item was found si$nificantl more often amon$ first $eneration 06%@2 than second $eneration students 03"?1@2? ..@27 althou$h this is not statisticall si$nificant? =hen $enerational classification is #ro!en down7 students with $raduate fathers turn out to show si$nificantl hi$her levels of a$reement or stron$ a$reement with the Uminimum wor!U item? Ane third a$ree or stron$l a$ree7 as opposed to onl :ust over a third of students with non'$raduate fathers? In addition7 3)?3@ of the children of non'$raduate fathers disa$ree or stron$l disa$ree with the Uminimum wor!U item as opposed to )?3@ of the children of $raduate fathers? .irst $eneration students were also sli$htl more li!el to name this factor at the point of course choice 0)7?2@ as opposed to 73?"@27 althou$h in the latter case the difference was not statisticall si$nificant? Second $eneration students are si$nificantl more li!el than first'$eneration students to state that the wishes of their famil were important in their decision to enter H8? %.@ of second' $eneration students7 as opposed to 1%@ of first'$eneration students7 a$ree with the item 4m famil wanted me to $o to universit 5? &his does not necessaril mean that first $eneration students do not have families who want them to $o to universit 7 or who support their decision to do so? It could #e that the are less li!el to feel that their famil 5s wishes have prevailed in their eventual decision? Second $eneration students appear to #e in $reater dan$er of 4reactive entr 5 to H8? Another si$nificant correlation su$$ests that first'$eneration students are less li!el to have entered 4reactivel 5? .irst $eneration students show sli$htl hi$her levels of disa$reement or stron$ disa$reement with the Uminimum wor!U item 046?3@ as opposed to 3.irst $eneration students report #etter levels of ad:ustment to independent stud 7 #ut sli$htl worse time'mana$ement s!ills 0neither of these quite reaches statistical si$nificance2? 13 Students were as!ed to indicate the $raduate status and occupation of #oth parents7 and the overwhelmin$ ma:orit did respond for #oth their father and their mother? It is unli!el that all of the 4couples5 descri#ed # students in their responses to the questionnaire are still livin$ to$ether in the parental home7 and students were not required to specif whether the referred to a step'parent or a #iolo$ical parent? It is assumed that in most cases the will have referred to the latter7 #ut some ma have chosen to refer to the one who has #een a $reater presence in their life? /iven the nature of the research7 this is not a pro#lem? 14 Students whose older si#lin$s did $o to universit are more li!el to state that famil wishes were important in their decision to $o to universit than those whose older si#lin$s did not7 althou$h this correlation is not statisticall si$nificant? 1..

1.?"@ of second $eneration students7 and 31?7@ disa$ree7 as opposed to )?7@ of their second $eneration peers? It is possi#le that here7 students are respondin$ to the qualit of preparation which the have received from all sources as opposed to :ust from their schools or colle$es? <espite some of the views e+pressed a#out the unsuita#ilit for hi$her education of 4non' traditional5 students 0GS17 4327 the first'$eneration students surve ed here appear to #e :ust as li!el to succeed in H8 as their second'$eneration peers? In relation to some of the factors which are #e ond their control the are sli$htl wea!er7 #ut the ma!e up for this with hi$her levels of academic orientation in other areas? &he ver positive attitudes found towards non' traditional students amon$ the academic staff interviewed seem to #e #orne out # this evidence? It is possi#le that this pattern of responses from first' and second'$eneration students is characteristic of a presti$ious post'1""2 institution? A new universit which is perceived as a 4$ood5 one ma well attract the more academicall oriented of the first'$eneration students alon$ with some of the less academicall oriented of the second $eneration? *on'traditional students who are nervous a#out appl in$ to an 4old5 universit such as *ewcastle7 for academic or 0more li!el 2 social reasons7 ma well choose an institution which the perceive as #ein$ 4friendlier5 and more welcomin$ to 4people li!e them57 while still offerin$ hi$h standards and a reco$nisa#le hi$her education e+perience in terms of thin$s li!e tutor contact7 research profile7 ran$e of courses and teachin$ methods? Second'$eneration students whose famil want them to $o to universit ma #e encoura$ed to appl to a new universit with a hi$h reputation in a cit where there is a stron$ 4student life5 1%? It would #e interestin$ to e+amine data from similar institutions7 in particular those which are located in the same cit as a presti$ious 4old universit 5 and where other near# 4new universities5 have lower reputations amon$ potential applicants 0whether these are deserved or not2? 1% A tutor descri#ed a conversation with one of her middle'class second $eneration students? Accordin$ to this student7 his parents would tell their friends that their son was 4at universit in *ewcastle5 rather than 4at *orthum#ria 9niversit 5? In his opinion7 this was #ecause the were em#arrassed that he had chosen a post'1""2 institution 0in his case7 #ecause the 9niversit of *orthum#ria offered the course which most closel fitted his interests2 rather than a pre'1""2 one? 1.1 .irst $eneration students report less accurac in anticipatin$ the academic demands of the course7 with 31?7@ 0as opposed to no second $eneration students2 findin$ it harder than e+pected? &he are also less accurate in estimatin$ wor!load? Another noticea#le #ut non'si$nificant correlation #etween the :ud$ement of lecturers5 4approacha#ilit 5 emer$es7 with 26?)@ first $eneration students disa$reein$ with the 4approacha#le lecturers5 item as opposed to 4?3@ of second $eneration? Anl ver sli$htl more second $eneration students a$ree or stron$l a$ree with this itemC the difference is in the num#er who neither a$ree nor disa$ree? -ost importantl 7 first $eneration students are less li!el to feel that school or colle$e has prepared them well for universit ? Eust 34?1@ a$ree with this item7 as opposed to 6.1 However7 second $eneration students do show the e+pected advanta$e when it comes to accurac of e+pectations 0presuma#l $leaned from their $raduate parents2? .

1.@ of children from s!illed manual or non'manual homes wor!7 as do 6"?2@ of children from semi's!illed and uns!illed homes? &his ma relate to level of financial support which is availa#le from parents7 or to the de#t aversion of children with lower social class #ac!$rounds andFor lower famil incomes 0see the accompan in$ surve on students and mone for a discussion of class and attitudes to de#t2? Some non'si$nificant correlations emer$e #etween stated reasons for non'attendance and for low private stud hours? &he children of professionalFhi$her mana$erial and lower mana$erial homes report that low motivation and #oredom are important factors for themC these are rarel stated # the children of lower social class #ac!$rounds? &his ma arise #ecause the influence of famil wishes is also related to socio'occupational class of the parental home? As one would e+pect7 the importance of famil wishes rises as class 4falls5? &his relationship is consistent #ut does not reach statistical si$nificanceC however7 it is reasona#le to conclude that reactive entr ma #e a $reater dan$er for the children of parents with a hi$her socio' occupational classification? In addition7 students from semi's!illed or uns!illed #ac!$rounds are si$nificantl more li!el to a$ree that an en:o ment of stud in$ and learnin$ was important in their decision to $o to universit ? 7%@ of students from this class name this item7 #ut it is selected # less than half of the students from an other occupational #ac!$round? 1.2 6$/ Social class based on occupation &here is a si$nificant relationship #etween the social class #ased on occupation of students5 parents and student $eneration? &his is not at all surprisin$7 #ecause occupation is often dependent on educational attainment? A few relationships #etween questionnaire responses and social class of the parental home do emer$e7 #ut for the most part these are not si$nificant? Ane which does achieve statistical si$nificance is the num#er of hours of private stud time reported? Because student num#ers are relativel small7 the relia#ilit of these fi$ures is not a#solute? However7 students with famil #ac!$rounds which are 4professional or hi$her mana$erial57 semi's!illed or uns!illedFroutine do report hi$her hours of private stud than students from 4lower mana$erialFassociate professsional57 4s!illed non'manual5 or 4s!illed manual5 #ac!$rounds? &he latter $roups report stud times #etween :ust under si+ and :ust under seven hours each wee!7 while the former report #etween ei$ht and ten hours as an avera$e stud time? &he lon$est hours are reported # children of professional #ac!$rounds 0around nine and three quarter hours2 followed # children from semi's!illed #ac!$rounds? &he shortest hours are found amon$ students from s!illed manual #ac!$rounds? &here is a si$nificant relationship #etween part'time wor! status and socio'occupational class of parents? 34?)@ of children from professionalFhi$her mana$erial homes have part'time :o#s7 #ut ).2 .

3 6$0 Entry :ualifications So few students state that the hold an qualification other than A'levels as their main entr requirement that it is difficult to attach much wei$ht to findin$s #ased on this item? However7 there is some support for the view that students who hold vocational qualifications rather than traditional A'levels have a less stron$ academic orientation? *one of the students who hold (68 or <iploma qualifications state that the compl with their tutors5 instructions for private stud time 0this effect :ust reaches statistical si$nificance2? In addition7 these students have a sli$htl lower avera$e private'stud period in each wee!? &here is some evidence from other studies that students with vocational qualifications $enerall show poorer stud ha#its7 and national statistics on retention show considera#l hi$her rates of withdrawal amon$ these student than those with A'levels? In the School of Informatics stud 7 there was a clear correlation #etween withdrawal and previous vocational qualifications? &his ma #e #ecause more of the assessment for these courses is done throu$h closel supported coursewor! rather than independent wor! towards e+aminations or dissertations? &he latter will help students to develop stud s!ills and ha#its which are useful in H87 and students who have acquired at least some of these prior to entr are at a distinct advanta$e? -ore vocationall qualified students will #e enterin$ universit in the ne+t few ears? It would #e easier to support them if their previous academic e+perience7 and the wa s in which it contrasts from that of traditionall 'qualified entrants7 is closel e+amined? 1.3 .1.

@ of students who live at home2? &hese fi$ures are hardl surprisin$7 especiall when the location of the #ul! of *orthum#ria5s accommodation is considered? &he ma:orit of students who live in Halls will have a five' minute wal! #etween their #edroom and their lectures7 and where there is a $ap #etween timeta#led sessions7 even if this is as short as one hour7 the can easil $o home? B contrast7 students who live at home ma find that the have nowhere to $o #etween sessions? Ane e+traordinar findin$ in the School of Informatics pro:ect was that some students who live up to an hour awa from the campus will attempt to $o to and from home if there are $aps #etween their classes durin$ the da ? It was simpl accepted # some students that $oin$ home is 4what ou do57 even if this meant that the spent more time travellin$ than the actuall did at home? Students who did $o home #etween classes were prone to sta there7 and miss later classes? &hese students are less li!el to name 4part'time wor!5 as a reason either for missin$ classes or for cuttin$ down on private stud time? As the are statisticall less li!el to have :o#s7 this is precisel what would #e e+pected? &he are no more li!el than students who live at home to state that their social life $ets in the wa of either private stud or attendance? Students who live in Halls of .esidence show an even lower rate of reported compliance with tutors5 advice a#out private stud time 0onl 11?1@ compl 7 as opposed to 26?3@ of those who live at home2? However7 the avera$e private stud time is almost identical for the two $roups7 and their responses to the minimum wor! item are ver similar? &hese students ma show a sli$htl lower level of academic orientation7 #ut this is #alanced # the advanta$es of livin$ in an environment where ever one is a student7 and where simpl $ettin$ to the sites of their academic activities7 such as timeta#led sessions and the li#rar 7 is ver eas ? 1.4 6$5 Accommodation &his is the demo$raphic factor which shows the stron$est correlation with student #ehaviours7 ad:ustment and attitudes? &he #etter levels of retention7 inte$ration and satisfaction found # man researchers amon$ students who live in universit accommodation have #een descri#ed a#ove? (er similar patterns are found here? In the followin$ discussion7 I have concentrated on students who live at home 0$iven the a$e of the ma:orit of this sample7 this will usuall #e the parental home2 and students who live in 9niversit of *orthum#ria Halls of .@ of students who live in Halls and sometimes miss classes name this item7 as opposed to ".esidence report si$nificantl #etter levels of attendance than students who live at home? Amon$ these students7 61?"@ report $ood levels throu$hout the ear as opposed to %%?6@ of students who live at homeC fewer students livin$ in Halls fall into the 4poor attendance5 cate$or ? =hen the are as!ed a#out the reasons wh the sometimes fail to attend all their classes7 the are si$nificantl less li!el to name lon$ $aps #etween classes as a reason 0onl 4.esidence? &his accounts for the vast ma:orit of those surve edC the num#ers livin$ in other t pes of accommodation are too small to produce meanin$ful statistics? ?(4(' Study behaviours and accommodation Students who live in Halls of .1.4 .

@ of students who live in halls? Accommodation and academic ad:ustment7 therefore7 seem to #e closel related? &he practical advanta$es of livin$ more or less on campus ma account for this? Ane mi$ht e+pect that social ad:ustment would also #e hi$her for students livin$ in universit accommodation? However7 responses on the 4social ad:ustment5 item are similar amon$ the two $roups? Because such a hi$h proportion of 9niversit of *orthum#ria students live at home7 it ma #e relativel eas for them to develop a social life on this #asis? It is harder7 thou$h7 to inte$rate livin$ at home with the academic aspects of #ein$ a student? Students in halls also have si$nificantl hi$her levels of response to a num#er of the items which provide an itemised picture of academic inte$ration? &he tend to find it easier to understand the rationale for the content of their course 076?2@ as opposed to %"?3@ of students livin$ at home27 and are more confident a#out their adaptation to independent learnin$ s!ills? &he are more li!el to state that the find their lecturers to #e $ood at e+plainin$ thin$s7 and the are also more li!el to find their lecturers approacha#le? 1.@ of students livin$ in halls2? In addition7 :ust 1)?%@ of students fall into the 4stron$l a$ree5 cate$or for this item7 compared with %.% ?(4(+ Entry and expectations Students who live in 9niversit of *orthum#ria accommodation are si$nificantl more li!el to state that the decided to enter universit #ecause the wanted to stud a su#:ect which interested them 066?7@ state this7 as opposed to %%?6@ of students livin$ at home27 and that the wanted 4train for a specific t pe of :o#5 0%2?4@ as opposed to 14?)@ of students livin$ at home2? However7 students who live at home are more li!el to state that su#:ect interest is important for them at the point of course choice 0"2?3@ as opposed to 76?2@ of students livin$ in halls2? *ot surprisin$l 7 students livin$ in Halls are considera#l more li!el to cite the reputation of the universit or the cit as reasons for their decision to appl to the 9niversit of *orthum#ria? Students who live at home are si$nificantl more li!el to find that the wor!load at universit is heavier than the had e+pected 04)?1@ as opposed to "?%@ of students livin$ in halls2? 6onsidera#l fewer find the wor!load to #e as the e+pected or li$hter than the had e+pected? In addition7 the are more li!el to find that the academic demands of the course are harder than the had anticipated #efore the arrived at universit ? Similar num#ers find it harder than e+pected to ma!e friends at universit 7 #ut a hi$her proportion of students livin$ in halls 042?"@2 than students livin$ at home 02%?"@2 find it easier to ma!e friends than the had e+pected? Students livin$ at home are si$nificantl less li!el to have #een accurate in their e+pectations of the amount of academic support which will #e availa#leC their responses are evenl split #etween statin$ that the over' and under'estimated this7 and onl a#out a third were correct? B contrast7 more than )..% .esidence? &heir responses to the $eneral 4academic ad:ustment5 item show lower levels of overall a$reement 074?1@7 as opposed to 1.1.@ of students livin$ in halls were accurate? Students livin$ in halls were si$nificantl more li!el to have accurate e+pectations a#out the stud ha#its the would need 0".?%@ as opposed to 66?7@ of students who lived at home2? ?(4() Ad-ustment and attitudes Students who live at home $enerall show lower levels of ad:ustment than students livin$ in Halls of .

6 Students who at home and those who live in halls of residence have similar patterns of response to the 4low motivation5 and 4minimum wor!5 items? However7 those who live in halls are sli$htl more li!el to stron$l a$ree rather than simpl a$ree with the item 4I want to $ain hi$h mar!s at universit 5 0)1@ as opposed to 66?7@ of students who live at home27 and also to stron$l a$ree rather than a$ree with the item 4I am !een to learn a#out new aspects of m su#:ect and e+plore new ideas5 02)?6@ stron$l a$ree as opposed to 1)?%@ of students livin$ at home2? Althou$h the ma:orit of students a$ree or stron$l a$ree with the statement 4I find it eas to tal! a#out universit with m famil and friends57 there is a si$nificant correlation #etween responses to this item and accommodation? Students who live in halls of residence are li!el to a$ree stron$l 5 0%2?4@27 #ut students who live at home are more li!el simpl to a$ree 0with onl 1)?%@ a$reein$ stron$l 2? &his ma reflect easier access to friends who are sharin$ the same e+perience at the same timeC students who live at home ma not #e surrounded # people who have e+perience of hi$her education7 or the ma simpl find it harder to access people of their own a$e whenever the want to discuss their universit e+perience? Averall7 more students livin$ in halls a$ree that the have en:o ed their studies so far? &he difference #etween $roups does not quite reach statistical si$nificance7 #ut it is mar!ed? "2?%@ of students livin$ in halls a$ree or stron$l a$ree that the have 4reall en:o ed their studies5C none disa$ree? B contrast7 %"?3@ of students livin$ at home a$ree or stron$l a$ree with this item? 22?2@ neither a$ree nor disa$ree7 and 1)?%@ disa$ree or stron$l disa$ree? Note on Section Nine: because the vast majority of students who responded fell into one age category. it has not been possible to examine variation by age 1.1.6 .

7 .?3@ of the rest who stron$l a$ree and 72?4@ who a$ree 0this latter correlation is not7 however7 statisticall si$nificant2? &his $roup report hi$her levels of social ad:ustment 0this correlation :ust misses statistical si$nificance27 and are si$nificantl more li!el to find the ph sical environment of the universit pleasant7 to find lecturers approacha#le7 and to find ma!in$ friends easier than the e+pected? 1.7 Section "en$ +0$+ Expressed reasons for entry and student characteristics Academic reasons &he discussion so far has su$$ested that students who enter H8 for what mi$ht #e descri#ed as 4academic5 reasons show the most appropriate stud #ehaviours for universit 7 ad:ust #etter to their wor! as students7 and in various other wa s appear to $et more out of their H8 e+perience in the first ear? In this section7 I shall loo! at the wa s in which aspects of conduct and e+perience relate to responses offered in the section of hi$her education entr ? &he item which showed the most distinctive set of responses7 man of which have alread #een discussed in the previous sections7 was 4I wanted to stud a su#:ect that interests me5 in the section on the decision to $o to universit in the first place? As noted a#ove7 far more students cite su#:ect interest as a reason for selectin$ their course than for $oin$ to universit ? Students who name this reason at the later sta$e7 i?e? once the have alread decided that H8 is for them7 ma have a lower interest in and commitment to their particular course7 as well as less of the en$a$ement which will help them to develop helpful stud #ehaviours on a da 'to' da #asis? =hen the responses from these students in a variet of cate$ories were considered7 the emer$ed as a ver distinctive $roup? It appears that a student who enters universit #ecause the en:o a particular su#:ect is li!el to find him or herself at an advanta$e in a num#er of wa s? &he stud #ehaviours of these students are mar!edl different from those of students who do not a$ree with this item at the point of H8 choice? &he are si$nificantl #etter attenders7 with 6%?7@ reportin$ attendance at over 7%@ of timeta#led sessions throu$hout the academic ear7 as opposed to 34?%@ of students who do not a$ree with this item? Anl 17?1@ report poor attendance7 as opposed to 34?%@ of students who do not cite this reason for entr to H8? &he are also more li!el to disa$ree or stron$l disa$ree with the 4minimum wor! item5 0%4?3@ as opposed to 24?1@ of students without this item at H8 entr 2? However7 their reported private stud hours are not si$nificantl lon$er? &he are also si$nificantl more li!el to a$ree or stron$l a$ree with the items relatin$ to 4consistent wor!5 and 4independent wor!57 su$$estin$ that the adapt easil to the stud s!ills required for universit ? In addition7 the are much less li!el to a$ree with the 4low motivation5 item? 34?3@ disa$ree7 as opposed to 3?4@ of students who do not cite su#:ect interest at H8 entr ? And the are si$nificantl less li!el to a$ree that the often find their course #orin$ #ut will stic! with it #ecause the want a $ood :o#: :ust over one third a$ree or stron$l a$ree with this statement7 as opposed to almost two thirds of other students7 while over half disa$ree or stron$l disa$ree7 compared with :ust 17?2@ of other students? &he appear to #e more academicall oriented as well? &he are si$nificantl more li!el to a$ree with the 4intellectual satisfaction5 item? A total of )%?7@ a$ree or a$ree stron$l with this7 and 4.@ stron$l a$ree? B contrast7 6%?%@ of the rest a$ree or a$ree stron$l 7 #ut onl 13?)@ a$ree stron$l ? &he are also more li!el to stron$l a$ree that the are !een to learn a#out new aspects of their su#:ect and e+plore new ideasC 31?4@ stron$l a$ree and %7?1@ a$ree7 as opposed to 1.1.

1.) .inall 7 this $roup e+press si$nificantl hi$her levels of overall satisfaction? &he report hi$h levels of interest in the course and are more li!el to find the course more interestin$ than the had e+pected 077?1@ report that this is the case7 as opposed to 44?)@ of students who do not cite su#:ect interest at the point of H8 entr 2? &he are also si$nificantl more li!el to state that the stron$l a$ree with the statement 4overall7 I have reall en:o ed m studies5C %4?3@ stron$l a$ree7 and 2%?7@ a$ree7 as opposed to 17?2@ and 44?)@ of other students? &he are also si$nificantl more li!el to feel that the reall #elon$ at universit ? 2)?6@ stron$l a$ree with the relevant item7 and 4)?6@ a$ree7 as opposed to 13?)@ and 41?4@ of other students? &he responses relatin$ to su#:ect interest at the point of course choice show some interestin$ contrasts with these? Af course7 the ma:orit 063@2 of students who cite su#:ect interest at H8 entr also cite it at the point of course choice? Althou$h students who cite su#:ect interest at the point of course choice show man similarities in their response patterns to those who cite it at H8 entr 7 some differences emer$e #etween those who cite it at #oth points and those who cite it at the point of course choice only? Averall7 these students have hi$her levels of a$reement than students who do not cite su#:ect interest at any point with items such as 4time mana$ement57 4consistent wor!57 4intellectual satisfaction5 and 4!een to e+plore new ideas5? However7 their levels are still lower than those of students who name su#:ect interest at #oth of these points? &he latter are also more li!el to 4a$ree stron$l 5 on these items? Students who name su#:ect interest #oth at H8 entr and at course choice have #etter attendance7 and si$nificantl hi$her levels of a$reement with the 4independent wor!5 item? In addition7 the are much more li!el to disa$ree stron$l or disa$ree with the 4minimum wor!57 4low motivation5 and 4I often find m course #orin$ #ut will stic! at it #ecause I want a $ood :o#5 than students who name su#:ect interest at course choice onl ? &he indicate hi$her levels of overall interest7 and also of #elon$in$? Academic orientation is much stron$er for students who are interested in their su#:ect #efore the arrive? Students who state that an en:o ment of stud in$ and learnin$ was important in their decision to $o universit 7 not surprisin$l 7 show a num#er of stud #ehaviours which indicate hi$h academic orientation? &he are $ood attenders and have si$nificantl hi$her levels of disa$reement with the 4minimum wor!5 item than students who do not name these reasons for H8 entr ? In addition7 the are si$nificantl more li!el to a$ree with the 4consistent wor!5 item? &he have si$nificantl hi$her levels of a$reement and stron$ a$reement with the item 4!een to learn a#out new aspectsL5C "1?7@ a$ree or stron$l a$ree7 41?7@ stron$l a$reein$7 as opposed to )2?%@7 onl 1.) .@ a$reein$7 amon$ students who do not name this reason for H8 entr ? &he also have hi$h levels of a$reement with the 4intellectual satisfaction5C once a$ain %.@ stron$l a$ree7 as opposed to 1%@ of students who do not name this entr reason? &his $roup report si$nificantl hi$her levels of en:o ment of their studies7 and also of 4#elon$in$5 at universit ? &he vast ma:orit of students in the surve a$reed with the item 4I want to achieve a de$ree57 and therefore it is quite difficult to identif an stron$ correlations with this? It does appear that students who do not state this reason tend to #e rather less interested in their course? Students who cite it tend to #e the ones who strongly a$ree7 rather than :ust a$ree7 with the item concernin$ hi$h mar!s as a motivatin$ factor? &he are also more li!el to state that the a$ree7 rather than neither a$ree nor disa$ree7 with the 4intellectual challen$e5 item7 and to find the course more interestin$ than the had e+pected? However7 the also tend to over'estimate the amount of contact which the will have with academic staff? It does appear that achievement and self'esteem pla a part in the motivation of students who name this item at entr ? 1.

" .1." +0$2 &areer reasons Students could state that their H8 entr decision was made #ecause the 4wanted to train for a particular !ind of :o#5 andFor 4wanted to improve their $eneral :o# prospects5? &he latter was selected # the vast ma:orit of students7 and ver few interestin$ correlations emer$ed? &he few students who did not name this item were si$nificantl more li!el to #elieve that inherent a#ilit was the ma:or factor in success at universit 7 and also less concerned a#out $ainin$ hi$h mar!s? However7 students who stated that the wanted to train for a specific :o# showed a set of characteristics which su$$ested a sli$htl lower academic orientation amon$ these students? Althou$h the followin$ results did not reach statistical si$nificance7 the indicate a stron$ 4:o# focus5 in approaches to da 'to'da wor!: these students are sli$htl more li!el to a$ree with the statement 4I onl want to stud topics which I #elieve to #e relevant to m career5 and 4I often find m course #orin$ #ut will stic! with it #ecause I want a $ood :o#5? &hese do not translate into poor stud #ehaviours? &hese students are mostl $ood attenders7 and their levels of a$reement with the 4low motivation5 and 4minimum wor!5 items are not hi$her than their peers? &heir e+pectations of course difficult are si$nificantl less accurate7 with :ust 47?4@ statin$ that academic demands were a#out as the e+pected 0compared with 77?)@ of other students2? A similar proportion finds academic demands easier and more difficult? Students who choose their course #ecause the want a particular !ind of :o# are si$nificantl less li!el than students who do not name this reason to find the course more interestin$ than e+pected? &he tend to feel well'prepared # their previous educational e+perience7 and this ma relate to their si$nificantl hi$her levels of a$reement with the 4time mana$ement5 item? &he are also si$nificantl more li!el to estimate accuratel the amount of contact with staff? However7 no other clear correlations emer$ed? As su$$ested a#ove7 most students will enter H8 with some !ind of a$enda relatin$ to their career7 whether this is ac!nowled$ed or not? Its ac!nowled$ement will pro#a#l have more to do with the social situation of the student? &he overall lac! of si$nificant correlations with this $roup of entr reasons is not ver surprisin$? Ane specificall 4instrumental5 reason was included? Students could state that the chose their particular course #ecause the wanted to $et a 4well'paid :o#5 as opposed to a specific t pe of :o#? Students who cite this reason are si$nificantl more li!el to a$ree that the onl want to stud topics which are relevant to their career7 and si$nificantl less li!el to a$ree with the 4I am !een to stud new topicsL5? However7 their stud #ehaviours do not differ to an $reat e+tent from those of other students? 6oncern re$ardin$ students who enter for instrumental reasons is more relevant in relation to their #ehaviour re$ardin$ withdrawal 0see Section 112? If the persist at universit 7 the ma have some pro#lematic a$endas around course content? However7 if this factor appears alon$side other reasons for $oin$ to universit it is unli!el to create man difficulties? Ance a$ain7 it is more li!el to enter the discourse of students at post'1""2 institutions and of non' traditional students #ecause the are simpl more aware of the realit and prevalence of poorl paid :o#s? &he 6am#rid$e students who enter law or #usiness mi$ht not #e aware that 4wantin$ a well'paid :o#5 is important to their choice of course or H8I7 #ut man of them would pro#a#l not #e content at the prospect of a standard pu#lic'sector or non'$raduate salar after leavin$ universit ? 1.

@ of these students find their course more interestin$ than e+pected 0compared with 21@ of students who do not name this entr reason2? &he appear to have a clear idea a#out the academic demands of the course7 and also the wor!load7 showin$ hi$her levels of accurac than students who do not name this reason? =here their e+pectations are inaccurate the tend to find the realit easier rather than harder than the had anticipated? &he also have accurate e+pectations a#out universit stud ha#its? It is possi#le that the hi$h motivation and accurate e+pectations found amon$ this $roup ma result from a level of commitment to the institution which is in place #efore the student arrives7 and which ensure that sFhe ma!es a real effort to research their course prior to application? &he are also more li!el to value a place at an institution which the respect? 4&he reputation of a particular school or course5 was mentioned # ver few student at the point of H8 entr 7 and no si$nificant correlations were found? Students who mentioned course reputation at the point of course choice7 however7 show hi$h levels of en:o ment7 and are much less li!el to a$ree with the item 4I often found m course #orin$ #ut will stic! with it #ecause I want to $et a $ood :o#5? In fact7 man of these students find the course 4much more interestin$5 than the had e+pected prior to entr ? Students who state that the chose the 9niversit of *orthum#ria #ecause it offered 4a course which I wanted to do5 show si$nificantl hi$her levels of accurac in their estimation of wor!load7 academic staff contact and ph sical environment? &his pro#a#l reflects research on the part of the student? Students who choose the 9niversit of *orthum#ria #ecause of the reputation of the cit of *ewcastle are sli$htl 0#ut not si$nificantl 2 less li!el to find that lecturers stimulate their interest in their su#:ect7 and also to wor! consistentl throu$hout the first ear? &he are si$nificantl more li!el than students who do not name this item to a$ree or stron$l a$ree that the sometimes felt pressurised # financial worries7 possi#l #ecause the spend more mone en:o in$ the social life offered # the cit ? Averall7 however7 responses to this latter item were encoura$in$? Anl two students named it as their most important reason for choosin$ the 9niversit of *orthum#ria7 and none named it as their onl reason7 su$$estin$ that this 4characteristic5 of the strate$ic student is more or less a#sent from this $roup7 at least? Amon$ students for whom the reputation of *ewcastle was important7 there did not appear to #e a cluster of characteristics indicatin$ poor stud ha#its7 low academic orientation or a particularl pro#lematic lac! of motivation? &his ma alla some worries a#out the lure of the 4part cit 57 and the student characteristics which this ma foster16? 16 &here are other reasons7 of course7 #esides the much pu#licised ni$htlife wh *ewcastle could attract students? A recent article in $he 8uardian drew attention to the hi$h num#er of new I& firms in the *orth'8ast7 for e+ample7 and at least some students to whom I spo!e chose to come here #ecause of the opportunit to ta!e part in outdoor pursuits in the *orthum#rian countr side? Ance a$ain7 it is important not to over'estimate the dan$er of attractin$ students for e+ternal reasons of this !ind? A close questionin$ of A+#rid$e students would pro#a#l uncover a ver hi$h num#er of non'academic and instrumental reasons for their choice of institution? 11.11. . +0$/ Reputation Students who decide to come to the 9niversit of *orthum#ria #ecause of the reputation of the institution show a cluster of characteristics which indicate $ood preparation? &he are more li!el to disa$ree or stron$l disa$ree with the 4minimum wor!5 item7 and si$nificantl more li!el to state that the have en:o ed their studies overall? %.

@ a$ree and %3?)@ disa$ree7 compared to 64@ of other students who a$ree and 16@ who disa$ree? &his su$$ests a hi$h level of academic orientation? Similarl 7 these students are si$nificantl more li!el to stron$l a$ree or a$ree with the 4intellectual satisfaction5 item7 and to disa$ree or stron$l disa$ree with the 4I often find m course #orin$ #ut will stic! with it #ecause I want a $ood :o#5? However7 the are si$nificantl more li!el to a$ree or stron$l a$ree with the 4minimum wor!5 item? &he appear enthusiastic a#out their role of students7 #ut to feel that the are not #ac!in$ this up with stud ha#its? It is possi#le that students who are influenced # their teachers are in $eneral inclined to feel positive towards the educational s stem7 and its values7 as a whole? &his would account for the attitudes discussed in the latter para$raph7 #ut not for the contrast #etween the responses from students who feel this influence at different sta$es in the entr decision? Students who state that famil influence was important in their decision to come to universit have si$nificantl hi$her levels of a$reement with the 4minimum wor!5 item7 and si$nificantl lower levels of disa$reement? &his su$$ests that the are in fact amon$ the 4reactive5 entrants whose motivation to $o to universit does not 4carr them throu$h5 to useful stud ha#its? Averall7 their levels of academic orientation are quite similar to avera$es for the $roup? However7 their overall assessment of their academic inte$ration is si$nificantl lower? &his is surprisin$7 #ecause their e+pectations of the academic demands of the course are si$nificantl more accurate than those for students who do not name this itemC this ma relate to the hi$h num#er of second'$eneration students who select this item? &he have responses which are sli$htl lower 0this correlation :ust misses statistical si$nificance2 to the items relatin$ to intellectual satisfaction and time mana$ement? 6oncern a#out reactive entr is reinforced # the results of this surve ? 6orrelations with the desire to leave home or live at home were ver minor and for the most part non'si$nificant? =here the do arise7 the have #een discussed alread in the section on accommodation? Students who wanted to leave home are si$nificantl more li!el to have estimated the wor!load correctl ? However7 the are si$nificantl more li!el than students who live at home to state that the feel that school or colle$e provided a poor preparation for H8? &his ma #e #ecause the transition to independent livin$ has #een relativel sudden for these students? 111 .111 +0$0 9amily and school$ .reactive< entry reasons influence5 has #een discussed &he relationship #etween student $eneration and 4famil elsewhere? Students whose decision to enter H8 was ta!en partl on the advice of their schoolteachers show a #i$$er ran$e of response to the item 4I onl want to stud topics which I #elieve to #e relevant to m career5? 41?2@ a$ree or stron$l a$ree7 as opposed to 63?)@ of students who did not name this itemC however7 3%?%@ disa$ree or stron$l disa$ree7 as opposed to 1"?1@ of students who do not name this item? &he are also sli$htl less li!el to a$ree with the item 4I want to learn a#out new topicsL5? However7 the ma:orit do still a$ree or stron$l a$ree with this item? Students whose course choice was influenced # their teachers show a surprisin$ mi+ture of responses? &he are si$nificantl less li!el to a$ree or stron$l a$ree7 and more li!el to disa$ree7 with the 4career relevance5 item mentioned a#ove: 3.

@2 than second $eneration 017?4@2 students consider droppin$ out7 and a similar pattern appears for transferC this is considered # 3%@ of first $eneration and 26?1@ of second $eneration students? However7 these correlations are not statisticall si$nificant? 3arental occupation does relate si$nificantl to this issue? Eust "?1@ of the children of professionalFmana$erial homes consider leavin$7 compared with 4..emainin$ at home requires less effort7 and droppin$ out ma well #e easier tooC the student who does pro#a#l has somewhere to live7 and an accessi#le $roup of famil and friends amon$ whom to find support? &he ma also have an advanta$e in findin$ wor! as an alternative to stud ? Students who decide to leave home ma #e more inclined to research their course carefull 7 with this $reater commitment in mind? In addition to this7 the various practical factors7 discussed a#ove7 which ma!e it easier for students livin$ in halls to #ecome inte$rated and to develop appropriate stud #ehaviour ma also sustain their persistence at universit ? Helpin$ students who live at home to share the !ind of e+perience offered # halls of residence should improve #oth their retention and their satisfaction? 112 .?%@2 do consider leavin$? -en are more li!el to consider transferrin$: 3%?"@ thin! a#out chan$in$ to a different course7 as opposed to 24?"@ of women? &his ma relate to the previous findin$s in that women show a hi$her level of academic en$a$ement #ut lower levels of social confidence7 while men are more sociall confident #ut possi#l less committed to their courses? -ore first $eneration 03.@ of children of s!illed non'manual or manual emplo ees and 3)?%@ of those from semi' or uns!illed #ac!$rounds? Similarl 7 onl 1)?2@ of students from professional or mana$erial homes consider transferrin$7 compared with 33?3@ of those from s!illed #ac!$rounds and %3?)@ of students whose parents are in semi' or uns!illed wor!? &his ma relate to cultural factors7 #ut $iven some of the interview feed#ac! it is also possi#le that financial hardship is influential here? &he most consistent and si$nificant correlation amon$ the demo$raphic factors is with t pe of accommodation? Eust 4?)@ of students who live in halls of residence consider leavin$7 and 14?3@ consider transferrin$ to a different course? 2%?"@ of students who live at home7 however7 consider droppin$ out7 and 2"?6@ consider transferrin$ courses? Ance more accommodation emer$es as crucial? Aston and Be!hradnia 02.%7 % K 62 speculate that students who come from the immediate $eo$raphical area around a universit ma well have a lower commitment to their course than do students who have made the decision to move awa from home? .112 Section Eleven$ ++$+ 4ho considers leavin-= )emo-raphic factors and 1ithdra1al In this stud 7 none of the mature'a$e students questioned stated that the had considered droppin$ out of their course or transferrin$? &he num#ers included were7 as noted a#ove7 ver small7 #ut this is an encoura$in$ findin$? Also positive7 $iven the o#servations on confidence made a#ove7 is the lac! of a statisticall si$nificant $ender difference7 althou$h a hi$her proportion 032@2 of women than men 02.

113 ++$2 Entry decisions and 1ithdra1al &here are some correlations #etween factors which informed the decision to withdraw from universit and students5 responses to the questions a#out withdrawal and transfer? 3otentiall 7 these findin$s could #e inte$rated into recruitment activities so that students can #e helped to reconsider decisions which mi$ht not #e helpful7 or to consider aspects of their entr choices to which the ma not previousl have $iven much thou$ht? &here is a correlation 0which :ust misses statistical si$nificance2 #etween su#:ect interest at the point of decidin$ to enter H8 and not considerin$ withdrawal in the first ear? 17?1@ of students who state that this was a factor in their initial desire to $o to universit state that the thou$ht of leavin$7 #ut 34?%@ of students who did not have thou$ht a#out withdrawin$ at some point? In this case7 an a#sence of su#:ect interest at the point of course choice is si$nificantl associated with dan$er of withdrawal? 23?1@ of students who chose their course on the #asis of interest state that the considered leavin$7 #ut 63?6@ of the small num#er of students who apparentl did not have done so? &his comes as ver little surpriseC who would not thin! a#out leavin$ a course in which the were #asicall not interested> 6hoice of a particular course in order to $et a specific t pe of :o#7 however7 is si$nificantl associated with persistence? Eust 12?%@ of the students who chose their course #ecause of a specific career aim consider withdrawal7 compared to 3%?%@ of students who did not? 6lear7 focussed career $oals 0which are almost certainl founded in interest2 are important in retainin$ students? Also close #ut not si$nificant is the correlation #etween entr to H8 to improve $eneral :o# prospects and persistence? 21?)@ of students who name this factor consider leavin$7 #ut 44?4@ of those who do not have thou$ht a#out it? .eputation of one sort or another seems to stren$then student commitment7 and lessen the dan$er of leavin$C course and su#:ect reputation as factors for an entr decision are si$nificantl associated with persistence? 1.?7@ of students who chose to come to the 9niversit of *orthum#ria #ecause of the reputation of the institution state that the considered withdrawal7 compared to 36?1@ of those who did not? &he reasons of commitment and value attached to a place on the course which aided their stud #ehaviours and ad:ustment ma well contri#ute to this pattern? *one of the students who state that the chose their course on the #asis of its reputation state that the contemplated leavin$? B contrast7 choosin$ a course on the #asis of its title7 however7 is si$nificantl associated with withdrawal? Amon$ students who state that the chose their course 4#ecause the were attracted # the title57 47?4@ considered a#andonin$ it7 compared with 22?7@ of other students? &his ma #e #ecause the chose the course solely or largely on the #asis of the title and did not do sufficient research into its content? &his mi$ht #e ta!en as a warnin$ a$ainst the trend towards 4se+ 5 course titles in hi$her education7 or at least a$ainst concentratin$ too heavil on titles in universit mar!etin$? Simpl havin$ some instrumental motivation for enterin$ universit is not associated with withdrawal? However7 prioritisin$ such a reason relates to contemplation of leavin$ to an e+tent which almost achieves statistical si$nificance? &he correlation with considerin$ course transfer is statisticall si$nificant? Students who state that one of their reasons for choosin$ their course is their desire for a well' paid :o# are no more li!el to consider departin$ than those to whom this factor is Iapparentl J unimportant? However7 %%?6@ of students who state that this is their main reason 113 .

or a student who li!es their su#:ect7 values academic pro$ress and feels that sFhe has an investment in the social life of their course7 it is worth overcomin$ the inconvenience of havin$ to find somewhere to $o for an hour #etween classes7 waitin$ for dela ed pu#lic transport or attendin$ colle$e with a minor cold? However7 if the student does not particularl li!e their course or their social life around the course and nothin$ is $oin$ to happen to them if the don5t attend7 an of these can turn into a valid reason for not turnin$ up? After a short period7 #ein$ 4#ehind5 with wor! #ecomes a reason in itself not to attend? Attendance monitorin$ provides a valua#le contact point with students7 and the opportunit which it offers for catchin$ pro#lems of an sort 0personal7 medical7 motivational7 academic2 #efore the have had time to turn into crises? =ith effective follow'up and referral on where necessar 7 formal attendance monitorin$ can ensure that the institution connects quic!l with most of the pro#lems which its students ma encounter7 and which ma threaten their persistence? -onitorin$ attendance is also #eneficial for students whose attendance is $ood? If the are stru$$lin$ throu$h their difficulties in order to $et to classes7 the ma feel that staff appreciate this effort7 and #e encoura$ed to come forward to see! support? And it sends a messa$e to the hi$hl motivated students who ta!e $ood attendance 4as read5 that this is valued # the institution? Some follow'up ma have to #e unconventional 0e?$? ne$otiatin$ approved a#sences for students with particular financial or famil needs2? =hat is crucial is the opportunit to open a dialo$ue? 114 .114 have thou$ht a#out leavin$7 and 77?)@ have thou$ht of transferrin$ to another course? =here students have named one reason as the 4main one5 for their choice of course7 onl respondents to 4I want to $et a well'paid :o#5 and the ver popular 4I was interested in this su#:ect5 have considered withdrawal or transfer 0:ust 13?3@ of students who chose their course #ecause of su#:ect interest have done so K these are the same students in each case2? ++$/ Study behaviours and 1ithdra1al 3racticall ever aspect of stud #ehaviour relates si$nificantl to students5 responses to the question a#out their consideration of leavin$ or transferrin$? /iven the close association #etween attendance and withdrawal7 it will come as no surprise that :ust 1%?2@ of $ood attenders have thou$ht a#out leavin$7 compared to 1)?)@ of students with mi+ed attendance and %3?3@ of students whose attendance has #een poor? Students who have considered withdrawin$ have a lower avera$e num#er of private stud hours each wee! 0around five and a half as opposed to around ei$ht and a half27 and are also more li!el to a$ree or stron$l a$ree with the Uminimum wor!U item? &he direction of causalit here cannot #e conclusivel esta#lished? Attendance ma fall off if a student is e+periencin$ specific academic or personal difficultiesC in this case poor attendance is a s mptom of pro#lems which ma lead to withdrawal7 rather than the cause of the withdrawal? However7 it will #ecome an additional pro#lem in this sort of situation as the student5s inte$ration is dama$ed and sFhe falls #ehind in hisFher studies7 so that as well as sortin$ out the other issues sFhe will have to catch up with the wor! which has #een missed7 and do so quic!l enou$h to ma!e the most of the ne+t part of a course where learnin$ is cumulative? Students who lac! inte$ration andFor academic orientation7 however7 ma stop attendin$ almost # accident7 when lon$ $aps #etween classes7 minor pro#lems or simple lac! of motivation mean that it is easier and easier not to $o? .

espondin$ 4 es5 to the item 4I considered droppin$ out of m course5 relates si$nificantl to respondin$ 4neither a$ree nor disa$ree57 4disa$ree5 or 4stron$l disa$ree5 to the item on academic ad:ustment? *one of the students who thou$ht of leavin$ stron$l a$reed that the had ad:usted well to the academic demands of their course? Eust over one'third a$ree7 and half state that the neither a$ree nor disa$ree? 3oor social ad:ustment is also si$nificantl related to consideration of withdrawal? "3?6@ of students who have not considered droppin$ out a$ree or stron$l a$ree with the 4social ad:ustment5 item7 compared to 43?)@ of students who have? Eust over a third of these students neither a$ree nor disa$ree with this item? A response of 4 es5 to the item a#out considerin$ droppin$ out is also si$nificantl associated with disa$reement or stron$ disa$reement in response to several of the more specific ad:ustment items? Students who have considered leavin$ are si$nificantl more li!el to disa$ree or stron$l disa$ree with the items on time mana$ement7 consistent wor!7 independent wor!in$ s!ills and findin$ lecturers approacha#le? &he are also si$nificantl less li!el than students who have not considered leavin$ to a$ree or stron$l a$ree with the 4lecturers stimulated m interest in the su#:ect5 item? .esponses to #oth the 4withdrawin$5 and 4transferrin$5 items are si$nificantl related to responses to the item 4I often find m course #orin$ #ut will stic! with it #ecause I want a $ood :o#5? In the latter case7 this ma reflect dissatisfaction simpl with the courseC in the former7 either the course or the whole situation of #ein$ at universit ma #e the pro#lem for individual students? A$reein$ with the 4withdrawal5 item #ut not the 4transfer5 item is si$nificantl related to the overall level of en:o ment reported? <isa$reement or stron$ disa$reement with the 11% .@ a$reein$ or stron$l a$reein$ with the 4low motivation5 item? &he responses to various 4ad:ustment5 items from students who consider leavin$ indicate that their inte$ration into academic life is poor overall? .11% ++$0 Attitudes. experiences and 1ithdra1al A lac! of motivation is si$nificantl associated with thin!in$ of leavin$ universit ? Almost all 0)1?3@2 of the students who consider droppin$ out a$ree or stron$l a$ree with the 4low motivation5 item7 and none disa$ree or stron$l disa$ree? Students who consider transferrin$ also report si$nificantl lower levels of motivation7 with 7.esponses from students who considered transferrin$ are not si$nificantl related to the latter item7 or to the items on social ad:ustment7 time mana$ement7 independent wor! or consistent wor!? In other words7 these students appear to feel that the have quite adequate stud s!ills to succeed at universit ? However7 considerin$ transfer is si$nificantl related to neither a$reein$ nor disa$reein$ with the academic ad:ustment item7 and also disa$reement or stron$ disa$reement with the 4lecturer approacha#ilit 5 item? =hen student attitudes are considered7 a small num#er of correlations emer$e? 6onsiderin$ withdrawal is si$nificantl associated with disa$reement or stron$ disa$reement in response to the item 4I am !een to learn a#out new aspects of m su#:ectL57 and also stron$l #ut not si$nificantl associated with disa$reement or stron$ disa$reement with the 4intellectual satisfaction5 item? &hese patterns seem to reflect disillusionment #oth with academic activities in a particular su#:ect7 and with universit stud in $eneral? Students who consider transferrin$ have similar responses to the 4I am !een to learn a#out new aspects of m su#:ectL5 item? However7 the appear not to #e disillusioned with academic activit as a wholeC their responses to the 4intellectual satisfaction5 item are more similar to those of students who have never considered a#andonin$ their course than to those who consider leavin$? .

@ a$ree? A much lar$er percenta$e neither a$ree nor disa$ree 02%@7 as opposed to )?3@2? Amon$ students who considered transferrin$7 responses in the 4neither a$ree nor disa$ree5 and disa$reeFstron$l disa$ree cate$ories are similar to those of other students7 #ut far more a$ree rather than stron$l a$ree? Ance a$ain7 the association #etween academic and social inte$ration emer$es as crucial? 116 .116 4en:o ment5 item is associated with considerin$ leavin$7 #ut responses from students who consider transfer are similar to those from students who have #een happ to sta with their initial course choice? However7 two items relatin$ to inte$ration are si$nificantl related to #oth of the items on persistence7 in sli$htl different wa s? A$reement with the 4withdrawal5 item is si$nificantl related to a noncommittal response or disa$reement with the item 4I feel that I reall #elon$ at universit 5? 37?%@ of students who considered leavin$ 0#ut sta ed2 a$ree or stron$l a$ree with this7 compared to 77?1@ of students who never considered leavin$C 37?%@ of those who considered leavin$ state that the neither a$ree nor disa$ree 0compared with 16?7@2 and 2%@ disa$ree 0compared with :ust 6?3@2? &his su$$ests that these students in $eneral feel am#ivalent a#out their universit course? Students who thou$ht a#out transferrin$ 0#ut did not2 show similar levels of 4neither a$ree nor disa$ree5 and 4disa$ree5 responses to those who have not considered an other course? However7 the are much more li!el to a$ree than to stron$l a$ree with this item? Eust 1.@ stron$l a$ree 0compared with 27?3@ of students who did not consider transfer27 and 6.@ a$ree 0compared with 36?6@ of students who did not consider transfer2? &here is also a difference #etween responses to the item 4I find it eas to tal! to m friends and famil a#out universit 5? Here7 as noted a#ove7 the vast ma:orit of students fall into the 4a$ree5 or 4stron$l a$ree5 cate$or ? Ance a$ain7 thou$h7 responses are si$nificantl associated with responses to the 4withdrawal5 item? Amon$ students who have not considered withdrawal7 41?7@ stron$l a$ree and 43?)@ a$ree with the 4tal!in$ to friendsFfamil 5 item? However7 onl 6?3@ of students who considered withdrawal stron$l a$ree7 and %.

117 Section "1elve$ +2$+ Student intervie1s (eneral characteristics of student intervie1ees &he response to the request for student interviewees was disappointin$? .elativel few students a$reed to #e interviewed7 and of those who did a num#er $ave invalid telephone num#ers or did not respond to requests? In the end7 si+ interviews were carried out7 three in person and three # telephone? Students who requested a telephone interview all as!ed for this to #e made to a mo#ile phone rather than a land'line? &hree of these students lived at home 0in two cases the parental home7 in one independent of famil 27 and three lived in 9niversit of *orthum#ria halls of residence? .our were stud in$ in the School of Informatics and two in *BS7 and all #ut one were male? Althou$h ver few mature'a$e students returned the questionnaire7 two of the students who were interviewed were over 247 and cate$orised themselves as mature'a$e students? &hree had part'time :o#s? &wo of the students with part'time wor! lived at home7 the other in a 9niversit of *orthum#ria hall of residence7 and all were wor!in$ an avera$e of 1% hours per wee!? In the interviews7 students were not as!ed to identif their $eneration or to discuss 4social class5? However7 in four cases the self'identified voluntaril as #oth first'$eneration and wor!in$'class 0in each case the did so while discussin$ student finance2? An request to students to ta!e part in this sort of e+ercise will inevita#l ris! some ris! of self'selection? Eust as those students who return questionnaires often tend to #e the least satisfied7 those who will happil $ive up half an hour of their time to tal! to a mem#er of universit staff tend to #e those who feel more positive towards the institution? =hile the 4dissatisfaction5 effect does not seem to have #een stron$ in relation to the questionnaire7 all si+ of the students interviewed appeared to #e hi$hl satisfied students who had en:o ed their courses? &he also were all academicall successful7 havin$ passed into their second ear with no referrals? &he were not as!ed to disclose their actual mar!s7 #ut in the course of the interviews several mentioned theseC all fell into the upper second or first'class #ands? &his $roup of students provide a ver valua#le opportunit to see 4what went ri$ht5 for individuals who are hi$hl satisfied with their first ear and have achieved academic success? &his is the sort of e+perience which a successful retention pro$ramme should attempt to e+tend to all students? In fact7 the 4$ood e+perience5 which these students had had was remar!a#l similar in each case7 and related closel to their stud #ehaviours and attitudes to their courses? &herefore7 it can #e re$arded as offerin$ a helpful 4template5 for a successful student lifest le? Ane of the ver positive outcomes from the interviews was the real enthusiasm with which all of the students tal!ed a#out their e+perience of universit in $eneral and their course in particular? At several points their positive tone #ecame emotional7 even :o ful7 when the reflected on their first ear? &he topics which most frequentl elicited this sort of response can #e re$arded loosel as relatin$ to t pes of student 4transformation5? Ane was the opportunit to learn new thin$s and #ecome $ood at thin$s which the student had previousl not encountered7 or had thou$ht sFhe was #ad at7 and the other was the opportunit to immerse oneself in the new social milieu of universit ? &hese students at least are revellin$ in the wa s universit can chan$e themC none felt that sFhe was #ein$ as!ed to #ecome 4a different person5? 117 .

11) +2$2 reparation and transition '+(+(' Aourse choice All of the students interviewed had ta!en a $reat deal of trou#le over choosin$ their course7 and preparin$ for universit in $eneral? &his almost certainl accounts for at least some of their hi$h levels of satisfaction? *one had #een content to ta!e the advice of their teachers7 colle$e tutors or careers advisers without doin$ some further research on their own initiative? All #ut one of the students had attended a 9niversit of *orthum#ria open da 7 either $eneral or related to their specific pro$ramme? &he feed#ac! on open da s was ver positive7 with students stressin$ the importance of 4$ettin$ a feel for the place5? &he student who had not #een to an open da stated that some thin$s would have #een much easier if sFhe had #een a#le to do so7 and noted that sFhe felt 4lost5 in the ph sical environment of the universit and the cit in the first few wee!s? As well as 4o#vious5 aspects of the usefulness of open da s7 the students drew attention to the helpfulness of havin$ the chance to see what lecture theatres7 computer rooms and tutors5 offices actuall loo! li!e? Ane pointed out that the teachin$ spaces are often the thin$s which are most different from an where the have #een #efore7 and that havin$ an idea of the scale7 dVcor etc? of these made the first few da s less intimidatin$? &he two mature'a$e students had used the Access /uidance 6entre to ta!e 4taster5 courses in order to test out whether their initial decisions a#out which su#:ect to stud had #een ri$ht for them? Both were enthusiastic a#out the provision offered? Ane student found that hisFher instincts had #een correct7 and applied for the course which sFhe had first considered? &he other realised that the course for which sFhe had intended to appl did not fit hisFher interests and career aims as closel as sFhe had thou$ht? SFhe was a#le to select a different course instead? In #oth cases these students found that as well as a clear idea of course content7 the Access /uidance 6entre courses had helped them to ad:ust to universit teachin$ methods and stud s!ills? &wo of the 4 oun$5 students had friends who had previousl ta!en the courses on which the themselves were now enrolled7 and who had provided invalua#le help7 tellin$ them precisel what the would stud 7 and pointin$ them towards aspects of the school'universit transition which mi$ht #e challen$in$? Hearin$ a#out these matters from a friend had 4helped a lot5C one student stated that 4 ou $ot the strai$ht stor 5? SFhe had found the com#ination of honest and reassurance from someone who had 4done it and survived5 ver helpful? Ane student had received e+ceptionall $ood preparation and $uidance at si+th'form colle$e7 where pupils who planned to $o on to hi$her education had #een offered special classes at the end of the academic ear in which the were set 4universit st le5 assi$nments which were mar!ed # teachers as if the were #ein$ assessed as part of an H8 course? &he teachers also e+plained in detail some of the differences #etween universit and school teachin$ methods and stud s!ills? &his student found that these classes helped enormousl with the first few wee!s at colle$e7 and reported that hisFher transition had #een ver comforta#le? SFhe was aware that some of hisFher peers had #een 4shoc!ed5 # the difference #etween universit and their previous education? All of the oun$ students had read prospectuses ver carefull indeed? Ane descri#ed readin$ in detail the materials offered # different institutions7 comparin$ the ran$e of modules on different pro$rammes7 and thin!in$ a#out 4what the would reall include5? Another e+plained that sFhe had 4thou$ht ver hard5 a#out what the #rief module descriptions actuall mean7 and a third stated that sFhe had #een put off certain other institutions #ecause course descriptions were 4too va$ue5 and did not include module lists or short accounts of module content? 11) .

11" '+(+(+ Bhat came as a surpriseC Academic factors &he short answer to this question is 4not ver much5? &he previous section e+plains wh course content did not surprise an of the students to a $reat e+tent? In a few cases the depth of technical content surprised students7 who had not realised from the module descriptions :ust how much mathematical7 technical or statistical material the would have to cope with? =here this was mentioned7 students descri#ed a ran$e of initial responses? &wo of them stated that the had initiall felt demotivated #ecause the felt that the would not do particularl well in units where the were required to show a hi$h level of technical or mathematical proficienc C another stated that a unit of this sort was 4a shoc!7 #ut not a #ad one57 #ecause it offered the opportunit to learn somethin$ new and develop pro#lem'solvin$ s!ills? &he other students came to a similar conclusion7 #ut in each of their cases the factor which made the difference was a particularl helpful tutor who had encoura$ed them to overcome their initial worr ? In one case this had #een in response to the student5s poor attendanceC when the tutor spo!e to himFher7 this conversation was used as an opportunit for reassurance? In all cases the students reported wor!in$ rather harder on units which surprised them in this wa 7 and in all cases the stated that the had eventuall en:o ed these units as much as or more than the ones the had e+pected to find eas or interestin$? In one case a student had chosen second ear options in the area which had initiall appeared most surprisin$ and challen$in$? &hese students were as!ed whether the o#:ected to havin$ to learn thin$s which the had not e+pected to encounter7 or whose relevance to their careers the did not immediatel reco$nise? In all cases7 their attitude was that the had come to universit to find out new thin$s7 and that even where the could not see the immediate use of a module7 in the words of one student the 4:ust $ot on with it5? Ane student recalled #ein$ unsure of the practical use of a module at first7 #ut realisin$ its purpose after 4loo!in$ at all m course to$ether5 and findin$ out more a#out careers in hisFher field? &wo students said that the first ear had proved less difficult than the had e+pected overall? Ane of them stated that 4well7 it5s universit 7 isn5t it K ou e+pect it to #e reall difficult when ou come here5? &he other student in this situation attri#uted the apparent 4easiness5 of this course to hisFher own assiduous efforts to prepare? *either had found themselves #ored? &he had either chosen to concentrate hard on those modules which did seem more difficult7 or to find out more a#out topics which interested them particularl stron$l ? Ane attri#uted the une+pected 4easiness5 of the first ear course to the qualit of the teachin$ which sFhe encountered7 statin$ that 4I had reall $ood tutors who e+plained thin$s clearl and didn5t use :ar$on5? All of these students said that the academic induction the had received had #een ver useful in ma!in$ the transition to universit ? Ane student descri#ed the induction pro$ramme and first few wee!s5 lectures as 4a $ood wa of startin$ and adaptin$ to how to learn at universit 5? Another felt that the teachin$ at the #e$innin$ of the course had #een $ood #ecause 4with the su#:ect ou haven5t $ot an choice #ut to #e thrown in at the deep end5? Ane student mentioned in particular some classesFsessions in which students had #een encoura$ed to 4reflect on our own e+perience5 of learnin$ and on what had #een learnt so far? &wo students said that the valued the formation of friendships with other students on their courses7 #ecause this offered a 4soundin$ #oard5 for course discussion7 solvin$ pro#lems and for e+plorin$ ideas? 11" .

12. '+(+() Bhat came as a surpriseC Non-academic factors =hile students felt well'prepared for the academic side of their universit lives7 some of the non'academic aspects proved more pro#lematic? &wo 0#oth livin$ awa from home2 drew attention to the sheer siHe of the campus and of *ewcastle: 4it5s a massive place and it can #e intimidatin$57 in the word of one? &he other said that sFhe needed a #etter map than the one provided? However7 another student said that somethin$ which sFhe reall li!ed a#out universit was the siHe? &he diversit of universit and of students was mentioned # two students as somethin$ which had surprised them and which the li!ed ver much #ecause it was interestin$ and 4prepares ou for livin$ in a ver diverse societ 5? &he lac! of a stron$ 4clu#s and societies5 culture was mentioned # two students? =hile all the oun$ students and one mature'a$e student 0the other did not mention the 9nion at all2 felt the Student 9nion was 4ver $ood5 as a social centre7 these two students had e+pected to find more societies7 and more active ones? &he were #oth friendl with students from *ewcastle 9niversit 7 and compared their e+perience of this aspect of student life with theirs? &wo students were surprised that their Schools did not offer formalised opportunities to socialise with other students from their courses? Ane stated that students from hisFher ear had #e$un to or$anise course'#ased social events themselves 0with encoura$ement and support from staff27 and said that this would have #een ver useful indeed when the were freshers? &he e+perience of students at other universities was noted as a model here? Another student said that a coffee part for students on hisFher course had #een a ver $ood event #ecause it was informal7 quiet enou$h to hold conversations7 and academic staff and turned up and chatted? &wo students 0one livin$ at home and one in halls2 said that the freedom the encountered at universit came as a surprise? &he student who lived in halls said that it was odd 4#ein$ on our own and havin$ our own space5 at universit 7 #ut that once ou $ot used to this it was en:o a#le? &he student who lived at home had #een used to havin$ a more ri$id schedule 4outside5 the house7 and also7 of course7 to havin$ more re$imentation in how to or$anise stud time? In neither case was freedom considered # the student as essentiall pro#lematicC overcomin$ the pro#lematic aspects was re$arded as quite en:o a#le? Another student spo!e of the 4independence5 offered # universit as an entirel positive characteristic? Ane of the mature'a$e students said that the immaturit of some of the oun$ students was rather a shoc! after several ears in the wor!force? '+(+(2 $ransition All of the students interviewed had #een thorou$hl loo!in$ forward to #oth the academic and the social life at universit ? Ane said that sFhe viewed the academic opportunit as 4a chance to reall $et into somethin$5? Another said that after #ein$ 4at school and si+th form with the same people for seven ears IsFheJ wanted the diversit L I was reall loo!in$ forward to itL it5s $reat that ou have to $et to !now people from all over the place5? &he sin$le most helpful factor in the transition to universit stud was support from tutors? All of the students interviewed stated that for the most part the had received hi$hl satisfactor teachin$ and in addition had felt a#le to approach individual mem#ers of staff for help? Anl two students had used Student Services in relation to specific difficulties: in #oth cases the had found this provision e+tremel accessi#le and ver helpful? 12. .

121 '+(+(4 %inancial reality <iscussion of finance was the onl area in which the $enerall positive tone of these interviews was lost? I had not planned to raise this issue7 #ecause it is dealt with in the accompan in$ report7 #ut in fact four of the si+ students tal!ed a#out it at len$th7 and one of the others mentioned it? It was raised7 in each case7 in response to the question a#out which aspects of universit came as 4an unpleasant surprise5? As the discussion a#ove su$$ests7 ver little in the academic and social lives of these students was #oth une+pected and unwelcome7 #ut their e+periences around mone were almost all ne$ative? Ane student drew attention to the differences #etween 4livin$ at home with our parents when a :o#5s for poc!et mone 5 and hisFher situation at universit 7 where the :o# essentiall paid for hall fees and 4essentials5? Another stated that sFhe had #een alri$ht for mone #ecause sFhe had 4#een sensi#le57 #ut stated that sFhe had friends who had 4stru$$led5 financiall 7 some of whom had decided to leave universit ? &wo others attri#uted their lac! of a financial 4crisis5 to their own or$anisation and plannin$ aheadC a$ain7 it had #een difficult at times and had #een a source of stress? Eust one student in this $roup stated that #ud$etin$ for himFherself had #een a ma:or pro#lem? SFhe did not have a part'time :o#7 and had found livin$ on the loan to #e more difficult than e+pected? In the end7 thin$s had appeared 4critical5 and the student had approached hisFher father for small loan as well as #ein$ helped out # hisFher 4mates5 0one other student mentioned that sFhe had lent mone to a friend2? &wo difficulties with finance emer$ed? &he first is a simple lac! of information #efore arrival? =hile most of these students had a $eneral idea that the would #e hard up7 the phrase 4the realit of it5 recurred in several interviews? &his 4realit 5 involves seein$ one5s #an! #alance dwindle7 havin$ to ma!e hard choices #etween items7 #ein$ faced with an occasional unforeseen #ill andFor cuttin$ #ac! on 4inessentials5? *one of these7 in itself7 is necessaril a 4hardship7 #ut the are not necessaril part of the e+perience of a teena$er comin$ from a home where financial crisis had #een avoided7 even if life was not lu+urious? Students ma also have e+perienced what one interviewee in the School of Informatics descri#ed as the 4ra##it in the headlamps5 e+perience? He had #een well aware of what a student #ud$et would loo! li!e7 and how it would relate to his loans and $rants7 #ut e+plained with considera#le em#arrassment that there is all the emotional difference in the world #etween a theoretical !nowled$e of this and 4when it5s real mone 5? In particular7 the lac! of clear advice and specific advice on #ud$etin$ seems to cause difficulties? &he transition from livin$ with parents to havin$ to pa one5s own wa and or$anise one5s own mone is mentioned # students either as a hurdle which the personall have over come or as somethin$ which for them 0or their less or$anised friends2 precipitated a ma:or crisis? A student who mana$ed this well descri#ed ver specific help from hisFher Inon' $raduateJ mother on how to or$anise a #ud$et which includes terml 7 monthl and wee!l items? &he student who had had to #orrow informall stated that it was the pro#lem of or$anisin$ finance on different scales which made thin$s ver hard? HisFher strate$ in future would #e 4to set a tar$etL of how much I need and wor! ever thin$ out from there5? All of the students with part'time :o#s said that these were essential for them to pa their wa in #asics such as rent7 #ills and food supplies? *one of them re$arded their part'time :o# as a source of mone primaril for a social life or 4e+tras5? As noted a#ove7 four of these students self'identified as 4wor!in$ class57 and all of them were aware that there were man #etter'of students whose parents paid for a $reat deal7 and who could sustain a much hi$her standard of lifest le? Students whose parents were pa in$ for a few items e+pressed $uilt over this? 121 .

122 All four of the students who self'identified as comin$ from wor!in$'class homes stated that the would not have come to universit if the had anticipated the levels of de#t which will #ecome normal under the 2.6 arran$ements #een in place? Ane stated that even as thin$s stood7 sFhe 4nearl didn5t come5 #ecause of the levels of de#t involvedC this student stated that sFhe was mana$in$ hisFher lifest le ver carefull so as to minimise de#t? Another stated that 4if I5d !nown what the mone would have #een li!e I5d definitel have thou$ht a$ain75 and another said that the hardest part of the decision to come to universit had #een over the mone ? In this student5s case7 the decision to $o when sFhe did was made partl on the #asis of the introduction of hi$her tuition fees to #e pa a#le # students? &he student who pro#a#l demonstrated the hi$hest level of academic orientation in hisFher interview was adamant a#out hisFher views on the impact which 2..6 fundin$ arran$ements? *one of them was willin$ to consider these as a form of 4$raduate ta+5? =hat concerned them was not the relativel hi$h earnin$s threshold for repa ment7 or the siHe of the repa ments themselvesC it was the fact that 4 ou5d have that much de#t5 in the first place? .our students stated that their decision to $o to universit mi$ht or would have #een different had the 2.6 fundin$ arran$ement would have had on hisFher entr decision: I wouldn5t have $one if I5d had to pa those fees? &hat amount of de#t is impossi#le? Oou !now ou5re $oin$ to #e in de#t after universit 7 #utL I :ust couldn5t put m self in that !ind of de#t? 122 ...

123 +2$/ Experience of university '+()(' Study behaviours &he students interviewed all descri#ed e+tremel helpful stud #ehaviours? All #ut one were e+cellent attenders7 and stated that the onl missed classes if the were ill or had a ver pressin$ commitment elsewhere? &he student whose attendance had fallen #eneath 7%@ stated that sFhe had now 4mended hisFher wa s57 #ut that the difficult for himFher had actuall #een livin$ too close to the campus 0in a hall of residence2? It was eas to feel that sFhe was 4at universit 5 when at home7 and 4sheer laHiness5 led to himFher missin$ some classes? =hen as!ed what made them attend timeta#led sessions so re$ularl 7 a variet of answers emer$ed? All students stated that most of their lectures were interestin$ and well'presented7 and that the actuall en:o ed them? Ane student said that sFhe went #ecause 4I want to $et m mone 5s worth7 and I do $et it7 too K the lectures are $ood5? Another reason was wantin$ to !eep up with the course7 understand materials7 and have a foundation on which to #uild new !nowled$e? Several students mentioned that the li!ed the relationship #etween lectures and classes in which the $ot a chance to learn somethin$ in a lecture7 then appl it in a seminar or tutorial? Another stated that the pace of lectures was $enerall $ood7 and meant that ou 4could see the e+planation for thin$s5? Several stated that it5s not missin$ sessions for trivial reasons #ecause of the time which is needed to catch up? A rather une+pected reason which emer$ed was 4well7 I haven5t reall $ot an thin$ else to do5? However7 this student did $o on to e+plain that sFhe found lectures and seminars interestin$? Ane student stated a stron$ preference for lectures over seminars #ecause of the opportunit which the offered for independent learnin$7 and also #ecause the meant that hisFher commitment to learnin$ was not dama$ed # 4strate$ic5 students? I love lecturesL a lot of the time I don5t li!e seminars #ecause when people don5t #other it5s li!e ou5re at school a$ain? I alwa s prepare for seminars and contri#ute7 and I $et reall anno ed when people don5t #other? And I don5t li!e it when the tutor pic!s people out to spea! in a seminarL I don5t li!e it at our a$e? If ou $o to a lecture ou can ta!e the notes ou need7 ta!e what5s of most help for ou? I li!e wor!in$ individuall L I don5t reall li!e $roup wor! #ecause ou $et put in with some students who can5t #e #otheredL However7 most stated that the li!ed seminars? Ane valued 4new wa s of learnin$ thin$s7 in practicals and so forth57 and found this particularl rewardin$? &wo had found the e+planations offered in response to questions from a small $roup especiall helpful? &wo students mentioned 4active teachin$5 as somethin$ the valued ver hi$hl ? In all cases7 the most important aspect of a seminar7 class or tutorial was re$arded as interaction# Ane student contrasted some 4e+cellent5 seminars with one in which 4the tutor :ust hands out e+ercises and leaves after five minutes57 which sFhe felt was 4pointless5? &hese students7 even the poor attender7 had e+emplar patterns of private stud ? &hree said that the had developed these via their previous educational #ac!$round7 via particularl helpful schoolFsi+th form teachers or Access course tutors? &he others were not reall sure where their s stems had come from7 #ut said that the had evolved them simpl # trial and error7 and findin$ out what would help? Ane stated that sFhe had wor!ed out alon$ with friends 0some of them doin$ other courses2 that this was a helpful wa to stud ? /ood ha#its included readin$ throu$h lecture notes and t pin$ or writin$ these up on a re$ular #asis? All the students emplo ed some variation on this s stem7 and used the notes to prepare for seminars and for the ne+t wee!5s lecture7 as well as for revision around 123 .

our students mentioned the use of email as a wa of communicatin$ with tutors? &he had all had $ood feed#ac! on their electronic communications with staff7 who had offered prompt and helpful feed#ac!? Ane student said that 4it5s not ver personal7 #utL the sorted it all out reall easil 5? &wo said that their seminar tutors had provided friendl and encoura$in$ emails7 with ver $ood specific $uidance on academic points? =hen as!ed a#out their stud ha#its as compared to official $uidelines for private stud time7 these students were aware that the were doin$ more than their peers7 #ut felt that the were 124 .124 assessments and e+aminations? &here are man advanta$es to this? Students noted that it was helpful to have a 4complete record5 of their module7 #ut that it was particularl important that this was written 4in their own words57 #ecause of the wa this helped them to understand and recall the materials? Ane student spo!e with satisfaction of 4findin$ m own st le57 and two made the point that if ou wrote up the notes ourself 4 ou !now that ou5ve reall understood it5? In addition7 wor!in$ in this wa provides a constant reassurance that one is !eepin$ up with the course7 ma!in$ pro$ress7 learnin$ new thin$s and developin$ stud s!ills? 4It ma!es ou feel reall or$anised57 in the words of one intervieweeC accordin$ to another7 it 4cuts down our an+iet levels5? All of the students stressed the fact that their stud ha#its had #een consistent throu$hout the ear7 and that there was no point !nowin$ a#out $ood stud s!ills unless ou 4$et into the ha#it and stic! with it? Several were dispara$in$ a#out their peers whose stud ha#its were wea!7 and two e+pressed anno ance that some students seem to do ver little and still pass? &hese students all !ept up with recommended readin$ as a matter of course7 and a$ain7 most of them stated that this was somethin$ the en:o ed? &he also appreciated the offer # tutors of 4additional readin$5 0alon$ the lines of 4if ou5re interested in this topic7 ou could $o off and read +52? Several mentioned that the !new students who did not #other to read7 ma!in$ comments such as 4how do the e+pect to understand the su#:ect properl 57 and 4what5s the point of comin$ to universit if ou can5t #e #othered>5? &he were aware of 4strate$ic student5 #ehaviours7 #ut were either scornful of these7 or anno ed at these students5 presence? Several students mentioned the use of I6& on their courses? &he Blac!#oard s stem received mi+ed comments? Its ne$ative points were unrelia#ilit of access and the fact that some lecturers seem to do little more than 4:ust put the slides up5 0althou$h one student who had had some health pro#lems found this invalua#le as it meant that most of the materials missed could #e downloaded in one session7 rather than o#tained # 4$oin$ round all the tutors52? =here this Blac!#oard had #een used ima$inativel 7 students found it ver helpful? &wo drew attention to the wa in which some tutors had provided 4e+tra5 information a#out topics covered in timeta#led sessions? &his include lin!s to e+ternal we#sites and readin$ lists7 which 4meanL ou can reall $et into a topic5? Another student had found that the 4Assi$nment .ASs5 offered # some tutors 4wor!ed reall wellL ou don5t !now what questions ou5re allowed to as! a#out an assi$nment and most people want to !now the same thin$s an wa 5? &hree students mentioned that the had found the 4communties5 facilit on Blac!#oard e+tremel valua#le? Ane pointed out that this meant ou $ot around the pro#lem of not !nowin$ where tutors were7 or whom to as! a#out a particular issue7 while another said that the opportunit to share questions and opinions was ver helpful? &wo students said that the li!ed this facilit #ecause it meant the could avoid 4soundin$ stupid in classL anon mous postin$ on Blac!#oard is #rilliantL ou don5t feel li!e an idiot5? &his lac! of confidence a#out contri#utin$ is interestin$ #ecause it came from a student whose chance 0on the #asis of stud ha#its7 results7 academic orientation etc2 of soundin$ 4li!e an idiot5 would appear to #e miniscule in the first place? .

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a#out at the level recommended # staff7 and7 more importantl 7 that the were doin$ 4enou$h5 private stud to satisf their own standards? Ane put it thus: 4I thin! I wor! prett hard7 actuall 7 compared with some people7 #ut I wouldn5t #e comforta#le doin$ less5? Several spo!e of 4#ud$etin$5 their stud time so that the could devote more wor! to modules which the found difficultC as noted a#ove7 the sense of reward when this paid off was considera#le? '+()(+ Academic staff &hese students had almost overwhelmin$l positive impressions of the ma:orit of academic staff? Ane or two had encountered less s mpathetic tutors who stood out as #ein$ 4different5 from the norm? &utors were descri#ed as 4eas to understand57 4reall approacha#leL I haven5t found an one unhelpful57 4a reall friendl #unch7 even the ones I don5t !now properl 57 4not condescendin$L not li!e I was worried the would #e57 4$reatL the 5re #othered a#out the su#:ect5? *one of these students stated that it was important to them that tutors 4reall cared5 a#out them? =hat the valued was clear7 readil availa#le academic support which did not ma!e them feel foolish or patronised? ;or the most part7 this was precisel what the had had? Several were aware of the pressure on staff time due to hi$h staff'student ratios? &his was noted as the #i$$est chan$e from school # several students? Ane student stated that 4 ou don5t reall $et to !now the tutors that well I#ecauseJ often it5s a different person each timeL ou don5t need to !now the lecturers too well7 thou$h5? However7 two students had thorou$hl appreciated the chance to discuss aspects of their su#:ect with lecturers in an 4informal chat5 outside lectures7 simpl #ecause the happened to #ump into the tutor7 who initiated conversation? &hese interactions had clearl made an impression on the students? &wo students had received specific support from a $uidance tutor7 and #oth had found this invalua#le? In fact7 #oth of these students stated that the $uidance tutor was 4the main reason I didn5t drop out5? Another student stated that sFhe would have li!ed to $et to !now hisFher $uidance tutor #etter7 #ut that an opportunit had not arisen as sFhe had not had an particular pro#lems with which the $uidance tutor had to $et involved? &hree students e+pressed a desire to !now more a#out staff research interests and specialisms? Ane su$$ested that students should #e told more a#out these at the #e$innin$ of the ear7 and that as well as a 4practical5 list of staff names7 roles and contact details the would li!e to have a #rief description of people5s professional and academic #ac!$rounds7 research and pu#lications? &his can #e seen as a desire on the part of students to :oin an 4academic communit 5 which includes #oth them and their lecturers? It is hard to ima$ine that a move of this sort would #e an thin$ #ut popular with academics? '+()() Social experiences All of these students reported that the had en:o ed their social life durin$ the first ear of universit ? &he were all adamant that the did not fit the stereot pe of a student who $oes out drin!in$ ever ni$ht and ne$lects hisFher wor!7 althou$h several were clear that the 5d had 4a reall $ood time5 and mentioned that universit had #een 4fun5 so far? All three students who lived in halls of residence said that these had pla ed a $reat part in their social satisfaction? &he opportunit to live within a student communit was one essential factor? In addition7 two students stated that the had li!ed the diversit of students in their

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halls7 and the opportunit to ma!e friends with students from other parts of the 9D and international students? Ane student said that sFhe li!ed the social opportunities offered # hisFher course #ecause 4 ou !now ou5ve $ot somethin$ in common with other people on the courseL it5s not li!e school7 most of them want to #e here5? Another stated that sFhe had en:o ed the chance to meet 4serious people5 throu$h the course7 and a third said that a 4reall $ood5 part of the universit e+perience had #een 4$ettin$ to !now the people in m ear5? A student who lived at home felt that sFhe had encountered some pro#lems #ecause of the presence within the universit of a num#er of old friends from school? SFhe stated that this had proved somethin$ of a 4#arrier5 at first when sFhe tried to ma!e new friends? &his student also spo!e warml of the diversit sFhe had encountered? Several students mentioned the importance of ma!in$ friends with students from a variet of Schools within the universit 7 #oth from the social and the academic point of view? &wo students said that the li!ed tal!in$ to students from different schools a#out 4different su#:ects5? &hree of these students had #ecome involved in informal 4stud $roups5 with #oth in the same School and across the universit ? &hese had clearl #een ver maintainin$ #oth $ood stud ha#its and morale? Ane of the students who had students from other courses spo!e of en:o in$ the sense that part of hisFher derived from hisFher su#:ect? their friends7 important in wor!ed with identit was

Students were aware of the importance of social inte$ration in universit persistence? &wo mentioned that the !new of students who had left #ecause of a lac! of social inte$ration7 and one said that without the communit sFhe had :oined in a hall of residence7 sFhe 4would not #e here now5? ;or this individual: L it5s reassurin$ #ecause ever one5s scared7 and ou force each other to ma!e friendsL it5s :ust !nowin$ people are in the e+act same position as ou that helps? I5m still sharin$ with people from m halls now #ecause of that communit ? &he cit of *ewcastle was also praised # all three students who had moved here to enter H8? Surprisin$l 7 the ni$htlife was not mentioned at all7 althou$h two students stated that the li!ed the 4Sua side57 which ma have #een a pro+ for this? &he *orthum#rian countr side was mentioned # two students7 as were the museums and art $alleries? Sport was also important to these students7 althou$h the /reat *orth ,un $ot more mentions than *9;6?

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+2$0 Student attitudes

'+(2(' 0otivation *ot surprisin$l 7 these students reported e+tremel hi$h levels of motivation? ;ive seemed surprised at #ein$ as!ed whether the ever felt unmotivated7 and the other student recalled a lac! of motivation onl as somethin$ sFhe had felt in the first semester? In hisFher case7 this had #een entirel lin!ed to a lac! of confidence around two particular modules? SFhe had sou$ht help from a $uidance tutor and the seminar tutor for one of these7 and as hisFher assurance rose7 so did hisFher motivation? Another mentioned that at the #e$innin$7 4worr 5 was a demotivator7 #ut that interest in the course and initial success had helped himFher overcome this: 4thin!in$ ou can5t do it is the pro#lem5? All were aware that some of their peers are often unmotivated7 #ut seemed una#le to empathise with this to an de$ree? Ane e+pressed anno ance at students who 4:ust $o on to universit #ecause the can5t thin! of an thin$ else to do and then the don5tL ma!e an use of it5? A$ain7 this can #e seen as the response of a hard'wor!in$ student to hisFher 4strate$ic5 peers 0social class ma also have pla ed a part in this response from a first'$eneration student who felt that universit offered an important opportunit which should not #e squandered2? Several were aware that 4$oin$ out5 $ets in the wa of wor! for a lot of students7 #ut althou$h the en:o ed their social lifes their focus on their academic and career $oals meant that $ivin$ this up sometimes was not difficult? =hen as!ed a#out the sources of their motivation7 a remar!a#l uniform set of responses were $iven? &he most common7 mentioned # all students7 were 4en:o ment5 and 4interest5? &hese students have other a$endas7 #ut en$a$in$ with their su#:ect is not a chore for them #ecause the actuall li!e it? All of them also mentioned 4self esteem5 reasons7 such as 4feelin$ that I reall understand thin$s57 4personal satisfaction57 4doin$ #etter than I did last time57 and 4doin$ #etter than I thin! I can5? Ane student mentioned the satisfaction from 4wor!in$ hard at thin$s I don/t en:o 5 and $ettin$ on top of thin$s which are definitel difficult? Hi$h mar!s were mentioned as a motivatin$ factor # most of these students? However7 one also said that the occasional low mar! was also a motivator7 #ecause it fostered a determination to do #etter ne+t time? ;or several students7 learnin$ 4new5 techniques or topics was motivatin$7 and one mentioned that meetin$ deadlines and !eepin$ to a schedule was satisf in$? ;ear of failure was also mentioned # three students7 and three stated that tutors were a motivatin$ factor7 either #ecause the inspired interest or #ecause the were 4nice5 and the students did not want to let them down? 6areer $oals were mentioned alon$side these here'and'now motivators # three students? Ane student stated that sFhe wor!ed hard #ecause sFhe 4wants to $et a :o# which I want to $et up and $o to ever mornin$5 on leavin$ universit ? Similar sentiments were e+pressed # the others7 who wanted 4interestin$5 and 4rewardin$5 :o#s? =hile these will pro#a#l offer $ood salaries7 mone was not mentioned # an of these students? ;uture motivation is important to at least some of them7 #ut it is accompanied # a ver clear set of motivations relatin$ to their current tas!s?

127

12) '+(2(+ Bhat is university forC Students were as!ed what the #elieved the purpose of a universit to #e? A$ain7 the responses to this item were remar!a#l uniform? All of the students stressed a mi+ture of career and vocational purposes7 academic or intellectual ones7 and social ones? &he first cate$or included items such as 4help people $et #etter :o#s57 4encoura$e people5s career aspirations57 4help people prepare for wor!57 4let people !now what sort of :o#s are out there5? &he second was worded more diversel 0perhaps #ecause it is more a#stract7 and less often discussed2? Items included 4let people stud thin$s that the en:o and that the 5re happ with57 4help people to understand thin$s57 4help people to fulfil their potential57 4help people stud and thin! a#out su#:ects57 4catch people5s interest5? .inall 7 social s!ills were mentioned # almost all the students involved? &hree actuall used the phrase 4the student e+perience57 which was seen as a mi+ture of opportunities to meet new people and to develop one5s own independence in a supported environment? Another was more formal7 statin$ that students had the chance to 4develop social and interpersonal s!ills57 and one stated that 4it5s a chance to learn to #e independent and to meet lots of different people5? *o student saw universit as nothin$ other than a source of :o# trainin$7 and no student saw it as a source of purel intellectual pursuits? In addition7 these hi$hl academicall oriented students viewed the social aspects of universit and the opportunities which it offers for personal development as #ein$ :ust as important as the academic and vocational elements? &heir construction of a universit was ver similar7 in fact7 to that descri#ed # the academic staff? =hat stood out most stron$l 7 however7 was that none of them seemed surprised at #ein$ as!ed this question? All of them7 at some point7 had thou$ht a#out what universit actuall is for and wh the were there? As one student remar!ed rather sadl 7 4I don5t thin! a lot of students have thou$ht a#out this sort of thin$?5 '+(2() Responsibilities &he students were as!ed what the #elieved to #e the responsi#ilities of a universit towards its students and vice versa? &hese students felt that their e+perience at the 9niversit of *orthum#ria so far $ave a $ood e+ample of a universit which is fulfillin$ its responsi#ilities? &he had a fairl simple definition of theseC provide e+cellent teachin$ and #e availa#le to help students with specific academic difficulties or questions where necessar ? Ane student said 4Eust stic! to what ou5re doin$C it5s wor!in$57 while another stated 4I5ve had a reall $ood e+perience7 it was a#out as $ood as I could hope5? &he students who had #een supported # their $uidance tutors andFor Student Services mentioned pastoral care 0a$ain citin$ the help the had received as 4what ou should $et52? &he other students did not mention this without promptin$7 #ut when as!ed a#out pastoral support the all a$reed that it was important? 8mplo a#ilit was not mentioned specificall 7 despite the fact that this was part of the definition of 4what a universit does5 for all the students? &his was pro#a#l #ecause the felt that this was adequatel covered # the teachin$ the received7 includin$ classroom wor! and assessments 0see #elow on 4future $oals52? 12) .

our referred to a more $eneral 4#roadenin$ of horiHons57 reflectin$ a discourse where universit education is equated with opportunit ? A$ain7 none mentioned salar as an important criteria for their desired :o#? =hen as!ed what the meant # a 4$ood :o#5 or 4a decent :o#57 the responded that it would #e one that the 4en:o ed57 that 4was interestin$57 that 4stretched them5 or that 4was useful5? Several students had had a clear idea of what the wanted to do on $raduation when the first arrived7 #ut had since decided not to ma!e a decision a#out their career until later on in the course7 #ecause 12" .12" Similarl 7 the did not discuss social life7 perhaps #ecause this had come to all of them fairl easil and the did not thin! of it as somethin$ that a universit mi$ht have to facilitate for its students? All of these students had $iven #oth their course choice and their decision to $ain a 4universit e+perience5 ver serious thou$ht7 and had clearl made an effort #oth to $et the most out of the course and to #uild a $ood social life around this? &hree students mentioned or$anisational factors and timeta#les? &wo stated that the had had a ver $ood e+perience of these7 #ut that some of their friends had found the timeta#le pro#lematic7 #ecause of lon$ $aps #etween classes and the need to #alance five da s a wee! in colle$e with part'time wor!? &he li#rar had proved 4difficult5 for one student7 and another stated that sFhe was happ with the facilities encountered7 #ut that students who were pa in$ fees mi$ht e+pect 4#etter facilities andL ma #e a few more lecture hours too5? A less satisfied K andFor more strate$ic K $roup of students mi$ht have provided ver different answers to this question? &he answers of these students to the question a#out student responsi#ilities is in !eepin$ with their proactive views and their disli!e of the 4strate$ic5 approach o#served amon$ a minorit of their peers? &heir view of student responsi#ilit was once a$ain ver simple: 4turn up and put the wor! in57 as one interviewee put it? &he did not feel that universities should do an thin$ different once students are pa in$ fees? &wo students stated stron$l that students whose parents were pa in$ for them had a particular responsi#ilit not to let their families down or 4ma!e e+cuses5? &he were mostl aware that some students pro#a#l would arrive with the view 4I5ve paid so I should $et a de$ree57 and this was once a$ain considered as foolish and immature? Ane student stated that 4if students have paid their own fees the have a responsi#ilit to themselvesL the should wor! hard if the are pa in$7 otherwise it5s pointless5? &hese students found the analo$ #etween students and 4customers5 interestin$ to consider7 #ut most re:ected it as flawed? &wo stated ver firml that the #elieve students are not customers #ecause the relationship is entirel different? Another said that sFhe could see that aspects of the relationship could #e viewed that wa 7 #ut that students must alwa s #e students first? Ane student misunderstood the question7 respondin$ that the universit was providin$ e+cellent 4customer service57 #ut went on to question the usefulness of the term in this conte+t7 sa in$ that it was 4not a $ood description at all5 of the role of the student? Interestin$l 7 two interviewees independentl stated that the preferred the analo$ of an 4apprentice5? Ane of these students said that sFhe had done so #ecause it captured the sort of 4mutual respect5 and openness to learnin$ new thin$s which had #een valua#le in hisFher first ear e+perience 0this was a mature'a$e student who had wor!place e+perience prior to arrivin$ at universit 2? '+(2(2 %uture goals &he future $oals of all these students related closel to their idea of what a universit was all a#out? All referred to enhanced emplo ment prospects7 and to more $eneric or personal s!ills as well? .

one of the effects of universit had #een to 4open their e es5 a#out the ran$e of wor! which is availa#le? Ane student said that sFhe had #een surprised at how much sFhe had en:o ed new materials durin$ the course7 and stated that it would #e 4sill 5 to #e too narrow'minded a#out careers after :ust one ear? &hese students had a clear $rasp of the $eneric s!ills which the wanted? 6onfidence was mentioned # four students as ver important? &wo mentioned or$anisational s!ills7 and four mentioned writin$ andFor presentation s!ills? /eneral stud and learnin$ s!ills were mentioned # three students7 who were clearl aware of 4lifelon$ learnin$5 and 63<? &wo of the 4 oun$5 students mentioned 4independence5 and 4$rowin$ up5 as thin$s which the wanted to do throu$h universit 7 and one student7 as mentioned a#ove7 mentioned livin$ in a diverse societ ? Several students specificall mentioned #roader 4academic5 or intellectual $oals as well? &hree stated that the wanted 4a reall $ood understandin$ of Im fieldJ57 and one felt that this was an important reason for ta!in$ a de$ree course in the su#:ect rather than :ust 4wor!in$ our wa up5? Ane referred to $eneral intellectual development 04learnin$ a#out ideas527 and the theme of 4potential5 recurred in several interviews? &hese students7 with their stron$ vocational $oals and academic orientations7 offer a useful picture of student 4#est practice5 which can #e used in developin$ wor! around the student e+perience? =hile sharin$ staff #est practice has a lon$ pedi$ree7 the e+plicit e+tension of this strate$ to students is less developed? However7 it is clearl happenin$ informall throu$h small stud $roups and student social networ!s? &he universit mi$ht #enefit from tappin$ into and supportin$ these? 13.13. .

8 institutions? *ine had #een wor!in$ in #usiness or industr #efore ta!in$ up their lectureships? &he ma:orit 01.esponses from staff in these two Schools were e+tremel uniform7 possi#l #ecause the all teach courses which are quite stron$l vocational? &he differences which emer$ed related to specialisation of particular courses? &he ma:orit 0:ust over one third2 of these staff had #een lecturin$ at the 9niversit of *orthum#ria for five ears or less? &hree had lectured here for #etween 12 and 1% ears7 and two for twent or more ears? &wo mem#ers of staff had entered universit teachin$ directl from under$raduate or post$raduate stud 7 and four had #een wor!in$ as academics in other H8 or . staff in three schools7 #ut 1) questionnaires were returned7 and onl 16 of these were usa#le? &he proportion of staff who were willin$ to #e interviewed was relativel hi$h7 and seven interviews too! place with staff from two schools? Staff were offered the option of completin$ and returnin$ the questionnaire electronicall 7 or of printin$ it out and returnin$ it #e internal mail? In the end7 ei$ht of the usa#le responses were received electronicall and ei$ht # internal mail? *o differences emer$ed #etween questionnaires su#mitted in each mode? &he staff questionnaire was desi$ned after most of the results of the student questionnaire had #een anal sed7 so that specific issues which arose from this could #e raised with academic staff? Because of the diversit of student attitudes and e+perience7 staff were as!ed to estimate the proportion of their students who showed particular characteristics7 rather than to characterise 4students5 as a whole $roup? &he staff responses confirmed that this approach was useful7 #ecause answers in the 4lar$e ma:orit 5 and 4small minorit 5 #rac!ets were e+tremel rare throu$hout the responses? In addition7 several staff drew attention to a wide diversit of student #ehaviours and attitudes in their prose responses? 3rose responses were invited on four topics? However7 staff did offer sli$htl lon$er responses to some of the questions where ver #rief answers were requested? &hese have #een discussed alon$side the shorter answers7 #ecause in almost all cases the simpl ela#orated on $eneral points made in these? +/$2 Staff characteristics &welve mem#ers of staff from the School of Informatics responded to the questionnaire7 and four from the School of the Build 8nvironment? .131 Section "hirteen$ +/$+ 8ethodolo-y Staff perspectives &he response to the staff questionnaire was ver small? It was circulated to over 1..2 stated that their main teachin$ area was 4su#:ect'specific and technical5? &wo felt that that the mostl tau$ht in areas which were 4su#:ect specific and non'technical57 and three that their wor! was 4su#:ect specific and conceptualFtheoretical5? Secondar teachin$ areas included technical wor!7 wor! e+perience and $eneric s!ills teachin$7 and pro:ect wor! and research? Staff were as!ed to respond to questionnaire items in relation to the first ear students whom the encountered7 either in classrooms and lectures or as $uidance tutees? &he ma:orit of these lecturers #oth tau$ht first ears and acted as first ear $uidance tutors? 131 .

6?3@ . %. . 6?3@ 6?3@ . 2%@ 31?3@ 31?3@ 31?3@ a small minority 1)?)@ 12?%@ . 6?3@ 6?3@ 1)?)@ 1)?)@ 37?%@ 12?%@ .@ 12?%@ 12?%@ .. a ma!ority 1)?)%@ 6?3@ 6?3@ 12?%@ 6?3@ 2%@ %6?3@ 12?%@ 31?3@ 6?3@ 2%@ 2%@ %.@ 31?3@ 31?3@ 1)?)@ 12?%@ about half 2%@ 37?%@ 37?%@ 62?%@ 31?3@ 43?3@ 31?3@ 2%@ 62?%@ .@ 1)?)@ %6?3@ 2%@ 6?3@ %. 6?3 6?3@ . . Students arrive at universit with adequate or #etter stud s!ills Students are stron$ on concepts Students are hi$hl motivated to learn Students are interested in their su#:ect Students find their course #orin$ Students e+pect to #e 4spoon fed5 Students e+pect to 4dictate terms5 Students understand that the need to wor! hard to $ain $ood mar!s Students $enerall onl do the minimum of wor! required of them Students need to !now 4how the are doin$5 in order to feel motivated to wor! /ainin$ high mar!s 0rather than :ust passin$2 is ver important to students Students are clear a#out wh universit the are at Students are confident in their academic a#ilit Students have hi$h $eneral levels of self' confidence 17 =here a mem#er of staff declined to respond to a particular item7 percenta$es will not add up to 1.@ . 43?)@ 43?)@ 12?%@ 31?3@ 31?3@ 43?)@ %6?3@ a minority 37?%@ 43?)@ %.132 +/$/ Staff responses$ :uantitative sections ')()(' Staff impressions of students &he followin$ ta#le presents staff responses to questionnaire items on student characteristics? &he fi$ures represent the percenta$e of staff who #elieve that each statement is true of the proportion of their students indicated at the head of the column 17? a lar-e ma!ority Students arrive at universit with adequate or #etter su#:ect'specific s!illsF!nowled$e Students arrive at universit with adequate or #etter self'mana$ement s!ills Students find it eas mana$ement s!ills to acquire self' . . . . . . . 2%@ . 6?3@ 6?3@ . . . 132 .

133 &he staff who responded seem to have concerns a#out the stud s!ills of at least half of their students7 #oth when the arrive and once the have had some time to wor! on these? &he ma:orit of staff su$$est that onl around half of their students have $ood general stud s!ills on arrival7 and most are pessimistic a#out students5 a#ilit to improve these? &his contrasts with student assessment of their own stud s!ills as indicated in their questionnaire responses7 where well over half felt that the had acquired $ood stud s!ills durin$ their first ear? Ane e+planation for this is the acceptance amon$ students of relativel low private stud hours7 and possi#l also surface learnin$ practices? Staff ma #e more aware of students with wea! stud s!ills than of students who are $ood at or$anisin$ their own wor!7 #ecause these students ma ta!e up more of their time than do the ones who are mana$in$ well? Averall7 the aspect of student stud a#out which staff are most concerned is their self' mana$ement? Eust under %.@ of students a$ree or stron$l a$ree with the item on interestC it would appear from this that their perception is more or less accurate? It should #e noted that the student responses to items around interest are sli$htl contradictor ? =hile a#out 7.@ state that the find their course interestin$ overall7 around 6%@ a$reed with the item 4I often found m course #orin$ #ut will stic! with it #ecause I want a $ood :o#5? &his pro#a#l indicates that for man students e+perience of the course 0li!e their levels of motivation and wor! patterns2 is somewhat uneven? Staff interviews confirmed that staff are aware of this7 and also of the shift in levels of interest which occurs throu$h the academic ear and as the course pro$resses? Staff over'estimated the percenta$e of students who are hi$hl motivated to learn? Almost half of the staff questioned #elieved that around half of their students are hi$hl motivated7 and more than a quarter #elieve that a ma:orit of students feel hi$hl motivated? However7 Eust over half of the students a$ree or stron$l a$ree with the 4low motivation5 item7 and onl 2.@ actuall disa$reed or stron$l disa$reed? Students ma well 4cover5 their lac! of motivation with hard wor! in class7 or the 4future motivation5 of the 4$ood :o#5 ma ensure that the ma!e an effort? It is also possi#le that staff were thin!in$ of all the students the teachC most stated in their interviews that motivation increases in the second and final ears?7 and that the responses from the staff who teach ver specialised courses 0where motivation was noted as #ein$ considera#l hi$her2 have led to a hi$h fi$ure? &here ma also have #een a shift in the $eneral motivational levels of students in ver recent ears 0see #elow on interview comments relatin$ to attendance and assi$nments2? Staff underestimated the importance of $ainin$ hi$h mar!s 0rather than :ust passin$2 to students? Almost three'quarters of the students stron$l a$reed with this item7 and a further quarter a$reedC however7 onl 12?%@ of staff thou$ht that this was important to 4a lar$e ma:orit 5 of students7 and onl around one'third thou$ht that it was important to a ma:orit ? -ore than half the staff questioned thou$ht that hi$h mar!s were important to %.@ or fewer of their students? 133 .@ of students stated that the felt that the 4wor!ed consistentl 57 indicatin$ that most staff have a fairl accurate estimate of the e+tent to which students are stron$ in this area? However7 students seem to rate their own 4independent wor!in$5 s!ills far more hi$hl than do staff? &he need to help students develop #etter stud s!ills7 and recognised the need for these7 emer$es from this data and the interview feed#ac! from staff? Staff were not overl concerned a#out the lac! of su#:ect'specific s!ills #rou$ht to universit # their students7 #ecause most were teachin$ on courses which are desi$ned to #e suita#le for students 4startin$ from scratch5 in a particular area? Gevels of su#:ect interest are :ud$ed as #ein$ relativel hi$h # the ma:orit of staff? Eust over 7.

@ of students a$reed with the item 4inherent a#ilit is the #i$$est factor in success at universit 57 and ver few disa$reed? Ane mem#er of staff commented that students seemed ver surprised when the were actuall a#le to 4$et #etter5 at their su#:ect7 and two stated that man students assume that their performance at school determines all the can ever achieve? Students ma #elieve that hi$h mar!s are simpl somethin$ of which the are not capa#le7 rather than somethin$ the can $ain with hard wor!C staff are aware that to a lar$e e+tent students can control their own attainment? &he impact of feed#ac! on motivation was estimated as #ein$ hi$h amon$ students7 #ut it was still underestimated? Anl 37?%@ of staff #elieved that 4a lar$e ma:orit 5 of students 4need to !now Mhow the are doin$N in order to feel motivated to wor!5? However7 more than ".@ of students a$reed or stron$l a$reed with this item7 a 4lar$e ma:orit 5 # an one5s standards? %.@ of staff #elieve that a ma:orit of students feel this wa 7 and 12?%@ stated that it was pro#a#l important to around half of the students? &he immense importance of on$oin$ feed#ac! to students is somethin$ of which staff seem to need a $reater awareness? A$ain7 student #ehaviours ma pla a part hereC man staff note that students are unwillin$ to cooperate with the formative assi$nments and re$ular tests which would help to $ive them this !ind of low'an+iet on$oin$ awareness of their pro$ress? Staff are well aware that a num#er of their students are 4strate$ic5 in that the will do the 4minimum of wor! that is required of them5 if possi#le? Anl 12?%@ of staff stated that this applied to a minorit of their studentsC the rest were equall divided #etween attri#utin$ this wor!in$ pattern to #etween half and a ma:orit of their students? Around 4.@ of students disa$ree or stron$l disa$ree with this item in their questionnaire7 su$$estin$ that the 2%@ of staff who su$$est that 4a ma:orit 5 of their students $enerall do the minimum are correct7 and that those who su$$est that this pattern applies to around half are sli$htl over'optimistic? A$ain7 differences #etween staff and student definitions of 4minimum5 should #e considered? A student ma feel that sFhe is doin$ 4the minimum5 if sFhe studies for the prescri#ed 1) hours a wee!7 or if sFhe is completes assi$nments # the s!in of the teeth? A student ma feel that sFhe is doin$ more than the minimum if sFhe occasionall $lances at last wee!5s lecture notes #efore a seminar7 or if sFhe does the re$ular writin$'up7 revision and non'required readin$ descri#ed # the student interviewees? Staff definitions are pro#a#l a $ood deal less elastic? *o particular item on the student questionnaire measured students5 responses to conceptual wor!7 althou$h several items could #e re$arded as 4pro+ies5 for this7 e?$? the item relatin$ to a preference for o#viousl 4career relevant5 topics? It is pro#a#l fair to sa that most if not all of the students who were interviewed would have en:o ed 4conceptual5 wor!7 and pro#a#l performed stron$l in these areas? However7 staff were deepl concerned a#out students5 s!ills in this area7 and hardl an felt that more than half of their students were $ood at handlin$ this aspect of universit level wor!? &his pro#a#l relates to the preference for 4transactional5 learnin$ discussed in interviews 0see #elow2? 134 .134 &he reason for this underestimation ma well #e the failure of man students to put in the requisite num#er of hours? In the student data7 no si$nificant relationship was found #etween stron$ a$reement with the 4hi$h mar!s5 item and disa$reement with the 4minimum wor!5 item 0althou$h commonsense would su$$est that it should e+ist2? However7 if some of the students comments in 2:2 a#ove are considered7 it appears that *orthum#ria students are far from at pical in this pattern? 3erhaps surprisin$l 7 therefore7 staff $enerall #elieve that students are well'aware of the importance of hard wor! in $ainin$ $ood mar!s? Almost half #elieve that the ma:orit of students !now this7 while the same num#er #elieve that half of their students are aware that the need to put the wor! in in order to do well? Staff ma overestimate students5 satisfaction with their own performance in this respect? Another possi#ilit ma lie in the comparison of this response with the fact that almost 4.

..inancial hardship is su$$ested as the main reason # three mem#ers of staff as the main reason for withdrawal7 and # three more as an important secondar reason? &his is out of line with national statistics7 #ut in !eepin$ with 9.*8 02.@ state that 4a minorit 5 of students at some time show this sort of #ehaviour7 indicatin$ that it is a small7 #ut real7 issue in their da to da lives? Eust two mem#ers of staff su$$ested that it is widespread? Staff were evenl divided in their views on whether students are 4clear5 a#out their reasons for comin$ to universit ? (er few felt that a lar$e minorit or ma:orit were either clear or unclearC the 4clusterin$5 of responses in the middle reflects the ver wide student diversit which emer$ed from the interviews? A similar diversit emer$es around levels of confidence amon$ students7 althou$h $iven the relativel low levels of confidence reported even # the hi$hl satisfied and successful interviewees7 staff ma overestimate the assurance of students? It should #e noted that these are responses from a small num#er of staff in a small section of the universit ? In addition7 it is li!el that the questionnaire was returned onl # staff who have a stron$ interest in student affairs7 which ma have s!ewed the results in some wa ? Several staff told me privatel that the #elieved this e+ercise7 for one reason or another7 to #e a waste of time 0and that therefore the had not completed the questionnaire2? &heir responses would have #een interestin$ for this reason if no other7 #ut it would #e difficult to find a relia#le wa of collectin$ these? ')()(+ Staff perspectives on student retention Staff were as!ed to indicate what the #elieved to #e the main reason wh students drop out of universit ? &he purpose of this7 li!e that of the questions a#ove7 was to measure staff attitudes to withdrawal7 and not to discover why students 4reall 5 leave? &he ma:orit of answers reflected the importance of poor course choice7 which several studies 0GS17 %1'67 )2'"..13% &he item on 4spoon feedin$5 was included #ecause this term is heard so often in discussions of the contemporar student in the media and in informal conversations #etween staff 0it was also used # two of the student interviewees in relation to some of their peers2? *o mem#er of staff felt that fewer than %.127 and also with the attitudes reported # the student interviewees? 13% .@ of their students #rou$ht this e+pectation to the classroom at some sta$e7 and :ust over a third felt that it applied to the ma:orit of students? &his issue was e+plored at $reat len$th in the staff interviews? &he item 4Students e+pect to Mdictate termsN5 was #orrowed from -cInnis and Eames5 2.2 cite as the ma:or reason for withdrawal from H8? &his su$$ests that staff here perceive retention patterns as #ein$ similar to national ones? &he School of Informatics stud came to a similar conclusion? 2%@ of staff state that students leave #ecause the 4chose the wron$ course57 and two more state that the leave #ecause the course was 4not what the e+pected5? Several staff also su$$est that these are secondar reasons for withdrawal? Ane tutor su$$ests that chan$in$ career aims also have an influence7 which ma #e o#served especiall in the vocational courses tau$ht in these schools? . surve of academics in Australian universities? It was introduced followin$ the introduction of a s stem in which man students paid tuition fees7 in response to concerns that students were comin$ to view themselves as 4customers5 who are in a position to ma!e demands over aspects of their course 0as opposed to other7 more o#viousl 4transactional5 elements of universit life such as facilities7 accommodation etc2? Staff in this surve did not appear to #elieve that this was a prevalent attitude amon$ 9niversit of *orthum#ria students? However7 onl 2%@ su$$ested that it was found amon$ no more than 4a small minorit 5? %.

or e+ample7 the tutor who stated that 4poor time mana$ement5 was a pro#lem ela#orated on this7 su$$estin$ that: &hese are often students who have low attendance rates7 in spite of attempts to contact them and encoura$e them to contact us7 who then fall so far #ehind the no lon$er feel a#le to catch up? &his is often due to ina#ilit to :u$$le earnin$ mone with socialisin$ and then with stud 0in that order2 K so the stud can #e the first thin$ to $ive? &his is actuall a ver accurate picture of the sort of 4drift5 which was descri#ed # students in the School of Informatics who had #een called in to interviews followin$ poor attendance? Another tutor offered a similar response to the one quoted here in relation to poor motivation? &he sense of 4not #ein$ a#le to catch up5 is a hu$el important factor in the decision to leave for man students? &his tutor draws attention to a num#er of issues7 such as the failure of the student to inte$rate with the institution 0e?$? # respondin$ to contact2 and low academic motivation 0so that stud is their lowest priorit 2? =hat was interestin$ a#out these responses is that ver few staff seemed aware of this sort of 4passive5 withdrawal? Ane e+planation ma #e that students who leave in this wa often fail to see their tutors #efore their departure7 or even to fill in an official 4e+it form5? &he students with whom tutors are more li!el to discuss a withdrawal tend to #e those who have identified one particular reason wh the are droppin$ out? Several staff mentioned that part'time wor! was an issue which compounds the pro#lems of financial hardship7 and another stated that students ma allow personal pro#lems to spiral out of control if there are a ran$e of stresses in their lives? &utors are e+tremel receptive to the fact that students often have to #alance a ran$e of difficult and diverse factorsC it is pro#a#l fair to sa that man students do not realise how understandin$ their lecturers are of their situation and its difficulties? 136 .136 Gac! of motivation and poor time mana$ement were mentioned # three mem#ers of staff as primar reasons and # :ust one as a secondar reason? It ma #e that these factors are rarel cited # withdrawin$ students themselves7 #ecause the will usuall mer$e with other factors 0e?$? homesic!ness27 or #ecause the will have other7 more o#vious s mptoms such as academic failure? In addition7 the are rather difficult thin$s for a student to admit in a face' to'face interview with their tutors? In several interviews in School of Informatics a student admitted to a mem#er of staff who had not tau$ht himFher that the had decided to leave #ecause sFhe 4:ust didn5t feel motivated57 #ut that sFhe had offered a different reason to a $uidance tutor or ear tutor? However7 several staff did sa that some students will discuss their lac! of motivation with little em#arrassment? A cluster of academic issues were cited7 mostl as secondar reasons? Anl one mem#er of staff named this as a primar reason for withdrawal7 #ut four su$$ested that findin$ the course too difficult was a secondar factor in some students5 decision to leave? Homesic!ness was named as a primar factor # one tutor and a secondar factor # two? 8+ternal time pressures were seen as important # two tutorsC one named part'time wor! as the main pro#lem7 while the other noted that famil pressures are a pro#lem for man students? Ane tutor su$$ested that the main difficult lies in institutional attitudes towards students? If the are not treated as individuals the are more li!el to leaveC similarl 7 poor course or$anisation and inconvenient timeta#les ma!e it difficult for man to persist in hi$her education? 8vidence from the School of Informatics pro:ect su$$ests that the latter factor in particular is a source of difficult for man students? Several staff offered sli$htl lon$er discussion? .

@ of students stated that the desire to stud a particular su#:ect prompted their decision to enter H8? Staff are aware of reactive entr ? Ane person named it as a central reason for enterin$ H87 and two named 4pressure of e+pectations5? However7 most felt that it would #e a secondar reasonC reactive entr andFor pressure of e+pectations were named as powerful secondar motivations # 13 mem#ers of staff? 4Self esteem5 and 4status5 reasons were mentioned onl # two mem#ers of staff7 and onl ver few #elieved that the desire for a student social life 0named as secondar # 2 staff2 or to avoid $ettin$ a :o# at this sta$e 0li!ewise2 had an impact? Eust two mem#ers of staff su$$ests that academic reasons 0e?$? 4to #e educated57 4:o of learnin$52 are important? 1) I had a similar e+perience at m previous institution where I tau$ht technical lin$uistics to 8n$lish students? 137 .137 Anl two mem#ers of staff su$$ested that students leave specificall #ecause the are more committed to their social life than to their course? Ane stated that some students ma #e inclined to $ive up earl on in a course if the find certain elements7 especiall the technical ones7 difficult? &he importance of chan$in$ the student perception that their a#ilities are pre'determined and that the are relativel unli!el to #e a#le to develop new s!ills is clear? &his is part of the a$enda for stud s!ills provision? Students need to #ecome aware that the can7 and will7 #e a#le to e+tend their ran$e of !nowled$e and a#ilities quite dramaticall if the are willin$ to put the wor! in? &he e+citement of findin$ that one is a#le to do somethin$ which was previousl ver hard was mentioned # several of the interviewees7 #ut these were all proactive students whose personal inclination was to relish a challen$e? .osterin$ a similar approach in a wider swathe of the student #od is important1)? &he mem#er of staff who drew attention to administrative and timeta#lin$ matters was well' informed of the sort of difficult which students in the School of Informatics had mentioned? SFhe noted that students found it difficult to maintain attendance7 and therefore to persist7 if the encountered 4uns mpathetic timeta#les IwhichJ assume students are availa#le on campus "am'6pm7 % da s a wee!5 0see GS17 12)'1327 on the decline of the 4full time5 student2? &his mem#er of staff also drew attention to the dissatisfaction of some students with elements of course or$anisation which the perceive as #ein$ poor? &his is a ver valid point? 3oor or$anisation can #e dama$in$ to retention where it means that a student misses out on one 4!e 5 element of their course7 e?$? #ein$ una#le to contact a $uidance tutor at a crisis point7 missin$ one e+amination or assessment deadline7 failin$ to find the first two introductor classes on a particular module? &hese ma appear relativel trivial7 #ut the can provide the 4critical incidents5 which colour a student5s view of universit ? Alternativel 7 $enerall poor or$anisation can ma!e students feel that the institution is not particularl concerned with their e+perience or their convenience7 which is dama$in$ to commitment and inte$ration? ')()() Staff perspectives on entry decisions Staff named various aspects of 4:o# prospects5 as #ein$ the most important reason wh students enter universit ? 6)?)@ stated that this was the most important factor in entr decisions7 and 2%@ thou$ht it would #e the second most important one? &his su$$ests a ver realistic view of student priorities? Staff underestimated su#:ect interest? Eust one lecturer stated that this was the most important reason7 and five stated it as a secondar reason? However7 over %.

13) Averall7 staff appear to have a realistic picture of the career focus of their students7 and a wise awareness that man students enter H8 #ecause it is part of a 4natural pro$ression5? However7 the mi$ht #e cheered # the hi$h levels of interest in particular su#:ects with which students arrive? It is possi#le that in these vocational areas staff assume that this is a part of the students5 desire to improve their :o# prospects7 as most students enterin$ these courses will aim to $et a particular sort of :o#? ')()(2 Staff perspectives on the purpose of the university Staff were as!ed to indicate what the #elieved to #e the most important function of a universit in relation to its students? Seven offered responses indicatin$ their #elief that the central function should #e 4$eneral intellectual development5? &his reflects a traditional view of the role of hi$her education7 and also more recent discussion of the s!ills which emplo ers see! in their $raduate recruits? &hree people preferred a more directl vocational definition7 statin$ that universities should 4prepare students for wor!57 or for particular :o#s? &wo tutors stress 4personal development5 issues7 and one states that staff should support students in all of their vocational7 academic and personal learnin$? Staff also stress the importance of capturin$ students5 interest and providin$ e+cellent teachin$? A wider ran$e of issues emer$e when the 4secondar functions and characteristics5 are named? Seven tutors state at this sta$e that developin$ su#:ect' or career'specific s!ills is !e 7 and two point to $eneric s!ills? 3ersonal development is mentioned # three tutors at this sta$e? Interestin$l 7 onl % people who did not provide answers under the headin$ of 4$eneral intellectual development5 as the main function do so here7 su$$estin$ that for some tutors this is either su#sumed in the preparation of students for wor! andFor personal development7 or that the do not consider this to #e an essential function? Several tutors who did not name vocational aims in response to the first item do so at this sta$e7 and almost half point to the importance of offerin$ pastoral support? &hree su$$est that offerin$ students an academic and social communit is important? Averall7 staff and students appear to have fairl similar views on what a universit 4should do5? Both specific and $eneric preparation for wor!7 and $eneral intellectual development feature su#stantiall in their accounts7 althou$h it is pro#a#l the case that the students interviewed $ave a minorit perspective on the latter issue? However7 the importance of offerin$ a communit to students is almost certainl underestimated # academic staff? It ma #e that lar$e element of this are outside the core activities of lecturers and are part of the function of central services such as accommodation or the Student 9nion? &he importance of academic inte$ration to students7 however7 su$$ests that this is an area where more staff activit 0and support for this2 would #e ver helpful indeed? Several mem#ers of staff drew attention to the importance of helpin$ students to develop confidence in their a#ilities7 and to help them develop #oth their intellectual and social identities? Staff showed a hi$h level of awareness of the need to challen$e students in a 4safe5 environment7 and to provide supportive teachin$? In addition7 the particular needs of part'time students were noted # several staff? &his was the first point at which the ver favoura#le views of non'traditional students7 noted durin$ the interviews7 arose? Ane tutor characterised hisFher part'time students as follows: 43art time students are Uhun$r U to learn as much as possi#le and en$a$e in a $reat deal of independent stud ?5 +/$0 Staff responses$ student lifestyles and characteristics 13) .

or 12 hours as a re$ular wee!5s stud time7 and onl one su$$ested that most students would stud for around 16 hours? &he rest all su$$ested that #etween three and si+ hours was more li!el to #e accurate? &his su$$ests that the ma:orit of tutors slightly over'estimate how much their students normall wor! 0the avera$e tutor estimate was :ust under nine hours27 #ut that the are depressin$l realistic a#out how little stud is actuall done? 1" Gi!e this pro:ect7 a ver wide ran$e of student wor!in$ wee!s was revealed # the <e#t Surve ? 13" .@? &wo tutors put the num#er over ".@ of the students surve ed in this pro:ect had part'time :o#s? However7 the 4cluster5 of tutors who estimated the num#er of students in wor! at 7. hours? A$ain7 there is a wide diversit of opinion with a cluster around the 4actual5 fi$ure of 1%?% hours which emer$ed from the questionnaire? .13" ')(2(' Staff !nowledge of student lifestyles Staff were as!ed to estimate the proportion of their full'time students who had a part'time :o# durin$ the term? &he ma:orit estimated this as #ein$ quite hi$h? Eust one tutor estimated the num#er of students with :o#s as #ein$ around 2%@? Ane thou$ht that a#out half of the students had a :o#7 and three #elieved that 6.rom the data collected in the 9niversit of *orthum#ria <e#t Surve 7 a very rou$h estimate of the avera$e would #e around 16?2% hours a wee!7 su$$estin$ that a num#er of tutors ma!e an accurate estimate #ut that man would appreciate some more accurate information1"? Staff turned out to #e remar!a#l realistic in their estimates of the t pical num#er of hours spent in private stud # their students? <espite the official advice that students should spend around 1) hours a wee! wor!in$ independentl 7 no tutor offered an estimate which was this hi$h? 8i$ht tutors estimated 1. K 6%@ of students had :o#s? Seven tutors thou$ht that 7. K 7%@ of students wor!ed7 and two #elieved that the actual num#er was around ). K 7%@ were reasona#l accurate in relation to the whole student population? &he data collected in the 9niversit of *orthum#ria <e#t Surve su$$ests that a#out 76?)@ of all full'time students at this institution wor! durin$ term'time? An this #asis7 the ma:orit of lecturers who returned the questionnaire underestimate the num#er of students in emplo ment? Staff were also as!ed to estimate the t pical wor!in$ wee! amon$ their students? &wo stated that the had no idea 0and stressed that information on this must #e sou$ht from the students themselves2? Here7 staff seemed to have a more realistic picture of the actual situation? .@? &hese estimates are e+tremel diverse7 and su$$est that man tutors simpl do not !now how man of their students spend time earnin$ mone ? &his is not surprisin$7 #ecause where fi$ures on student emplo ment are pu#lished the are rarel $iven wide pu#licit ? 3art of this ma #e #ecause of the difficulties involved in o#tainin$ reall relia#le statistics? Students cannot #e said either to have a :o# or not? &hrou$hout the academic ear the $ive up :o#s or ta!e on new ones7 chan$e their wor!in$ hours and shift patterns7 and it would #e hard to provide a stron$ definition of precisel what is meant # 4part'time wor!5? However7 several of the staff interviewed stated that the would $reatl appreciate some firmer information a#out these matters? Around %.ive lecturers estimated that students wor!ed for twelve hours or less in a t pical wee!7 #ut five su$$ested that a normal wor!load would #e 1% or 16 hours7 and four more statin$ that the #elieved students t picall wor!ed for around 2.

')(2(+ Staff narratives of student lifestyles =hen students were as!ed to write a#out the lifest les of their first ear students7 a ran$e of ver diverse impressions emer$ed? Several tutors drew attention to the wide ran$e of #ehaviours and attitudes7 and were careful to state that their comments should not #e ta!en as referrin$ to the entire student population? &ime pressures on students emer$ed as a theme of which man were well aware7 and staff had a clear picture of the different issues which compete for priorit in the lives of man of their char$es? All #ut one mentioned the pro#lems of balancing elements of a student life7 as this tutor su$$ests: 4worst case is the $et the #alance #etween learnin$7 $ettin$ the mar!s and en:o in$ ourself wron$5? Another tutor stated that: 4some are ver focussed on their studies K others tr fit their studies around ever thin$ else57 and this comment su$$ests a similar impression: 4I suspect that in the division #etween academic wor!7 paid wor! and social life the academic wor! looses out5? Ane tutor felt K rather li!e the student interviewees K that financial pressures are the main difficult for man students7 writin$ that: I have the impression that students main concern is finance and that the are spendin$ lon$ hours #asicall tr in$ to $et cash? &he have fairl active social lives as well7 #ut the financial issue seems to #e the predominant one? However7 some tutors did not feel that financial pressure was particularl important7 at least to some of the students7 and that the main difficult was an over'indul$ent social life? 4*on' e+istent stud till e+am time and lots of part in$ with some paid wor! in #etween5 was how one characterised hisFher students5 lives7 and another su$$ested that for most of hisFher students7 life consisted of: 4too man puttin$ wor! #efore stud 7 not necessaril #ecause of financial necessit L students do ver little wor! outside of the class in order to meet their learnin$ needs5? Another7 who was most definitel in a minorit 7 felt that hisFher students did not e+perience an stress: 4Stud IisJ ver rela+ed K ItheirJ lifest le is #ased on en:o ment and en:o in$ life5? 8lsewhere7 student socialisin$ was seen as 4pro#lematic5 onl in the first semester7 after which students $row up a #it and start to 4settle down5? Several tutors drew attention to the lin! #etween poor attendance and time pressures of various sorts: 4&he seem to spend a lot of time socialisin$ and wor!in$ part'time to earn mone 7 and don5t attend all lectures and seminars as a consequence5? Another su$$ested that not onl the time spent socialisin$7 #ut the time spent recoverin$ could lead to pro#lems7 and noted that students often found it difficult to $et up for 1.14.am lectures after a ni$ht out? &he variation #etween student lifest les was noted # another tutor7 whose impression of hisFher students was that as well as part'time wor! commitments which were actuall more similar to a full'time :o#7 4man live surprisin$l quietl in the parental home5? &he variation is a$ain important? Ather perspectives on attendance were offered? Ane su$$ested that peer pressure mi$ht lead to a#senteeism7 and several were aware that some students did not attend #ecause the !new there would #e no penalties? &wo tutors drew attention to the 4dou#le ed$ed sword5 of providin$ learnin$ materials on Blac!Board? &his was re$arded a valua#le resource for students who miss classes for a 4valid reason5 or who incorporate it into an or$anised pro$ramme of revision and review7 #ut as potentiall dama$in$ where students use it as a su#stitute for attendin$ classes? Ane tutor drew attention to the informal stud $roups which had sprun$ up amon$ hisFher students7 and the usefulness of these? 14. .

eport writin$ emer$ed as a particularl difficult area? &his ma relate to the difficulties with lo$ical thou$ht mentioned # three tutors? Ane complained that students 4could not #e lo$ical57 and another stated that sFhe had encountered an unwillin$ness to 4thin! throu$h pro#lems5? &his sort of view was summed up # the tutor who wrote that 4pro#lem solvin$ is usuall the s!ill that the need to develop5? Similarl 7 there are complaints that students are unwillin$ to en$a$e with theor 7 and find it ver difficult to comprehend structural or a#stract concepts unless an enormous num#er of practical e+amples are offered? Interestin$l 7 these latter areas relate to the development of different wa s of thin!ing which students ma not have had to use durin$ their school careers? Gearnin$ to thin! in a 4different5 wa is one of the 4transformational5 aspects of hi$her education which ma prove particularl dauntin$ for students? &his ma #e #ecause it is particularl vulnera#le to failures of confidence7 or #ecause it is perceived as potentiall dama$in$ to a student5s identit ? It is also li!el to require $reater mental effort than simpl learnin$ facts7 #ecause it is # definition acquired onl throu$h deep learnin$? A lac! of confidence is mentioned # two tutors7 one of whom states that this is an area where individual students var enormousl ? Another tutor su$$ests that students fail to focus on their wor! and in $eneral are not 4conscientious5? 141 .141 Another tutor focussed on the positives as well as the ne$atives7 and while notin$ that man students too! time to settle7 pointed out that the ma:orit do find sources of support and pro$ress? It is eas to see the less ideal aspects of student ha#its and circumstances as insurmounta#le7 #ut in fact most do pro$ress without ma:or difficulties? ')(2() Staff impressions of student study s!ills and academic orientation Staff were as!ed to reflect on the characteristics of first ear students when they arrive at universit ? Ance a$ain7 ver wide variation was mentioned # the ma:orit of staff7 and a wide variation was descri#ed in the e+tended answers? Some staff made it clear that the concentrated on the $aps in their students5 s!ills and !nowled$e7 possi#l #ecause the students who arrived with hi$h levels of s!ill tended to 4$et on with it57 and did not emer$e as a pro#lem? Ane tutor attri#uted this to the financial situation of most current students: /enerall motivation is hi$h7 financial demands as well as su#:ect interest now motivate most students? A feelin$ of $ettin$ UvalueU for mone as well as one of ma!in$ the most of the 3F4 ears Another tutor su$$ested that the norm was a reasona#le level of stud s!ills7 which simpl needed to #e directed towards the demands of individual courses: Istud s!ills areJ $enerall $ood #ut the need $uidance as to what mi$ht #e e+pected within this esta#lishment and in particular as ma relate to specific modules of learnin$ as desi$ned # specific mem#ers of staff? &hese positive impressions7 however7 were in the minorit ? Staff who stated that at least some of their students lac!ed the necessar stud s!ills often referred to a general deficit in this area: five people simpl stated that some of their students had 4poor stud s!ills5 overall? 8lsewhere7 attention was drawn to poor s!ills in ver#al and written communication 0with some e+ceptions2? Staff were aware of a $eneral unwillin$ness to en$a$e in writin$ tas!s7 and also to an ina#ilit or unwillin$ness to produce an !ind of structured or formal prose? .

eco$nisin$ the importance of personal development and pro$ression from school7 the comment was made that students 4li!e the adult environment5 which the find in hi$her education? It is interestin$ that onl one tutor mentioned this7 #ecause it is somethin$ which seemed to underlie man of the comments from the student interviewees? However7 some less enthusiastic responses were received? Ane tutor su$$ested that students7 rather than #ein$ happ 7 tended to #e 4stoic5 in the face of difficulties in their lives man of which are not of the universit 5s ma!in$? Another su$$ested that the mi$ht #e happier if the arrived with hi$her e+pectations7 and rather less cheerfull 7 one tutor su$$ested that hisFher students 4var #etween scared and c nical5? &his ma well #e a similar impression to that of the respondent who noted that the often 4lac! passion5? Ance a$ain7 the variation #etween individual students was noted # several tutors? It was asserted that 4in the main the have a $eneral understandin$ of what it means to #ecome a $raduate and to have their de$rees accepted # their chosen profession and peers5? Athers e+pressed the variation as leanin$ rather less towards the positive characteristics? &his was attri#uted to the pressures on student time and the lac! of inte$ration which results from this? Ane lin!s a lac! of social inte$ration to a ver 4transactional5 approach to learnin$ and lac! of academic orientation: Attitudes var ? Some students fit MuniN in #etween wor!? &heir social ties are not universit '#ased? Some see it as a place where the $et told thin$s and then are tested? A similar account is the followin$: 142 .142 A num#er of specific wea!nesses are mentioned # several tutors? &hese include poor independent wor!in$ s!ills7 a refusal to read an material in te+t#oo!s or :ournals7 develop listenin$ s!ills or ta!e notes7 a deficit in 4#asic5 su#:ects such as 8n$lish or -athematics7 and a desire K even a demand K to #e spoon'fed? All of these factors are mentioned # at least two different lecturers? In addition7 one notes that the presence of a num#er of students in this position can #e difficult for students who are more willin$ to develop their stud s!ills or who arrive #etter prepared: a si$nificant num#er lac! adequate stud s!ills such as: note'ta!in$7 independent readin$7 listenin$7 anal tical s!ills7 writin$? &he determine the 4culture5 on a course? However7 another tutor states that most of hisFher students arrive with $enerall $ood stud s!ills and a willin$ness to learn? &hese students are ta!in$ a ver specific vocational course7 which is e+tremel unli!el to attract 4reactive5 entrants or students who have not underta!en at least some careful thou$ht a#out their future careers? ')(2(2 Staff impressions of student attitudes to university &he staff who returned the questionnaire felt in $eneral that students have a positive attitude towards their universit ? Students were descri#ed as 4$ood humoured57 4$enerall positive and happ 57 4favoura#le5 and 4lar$el positive57 and several tutors stated that the felt their students li!ed universit ? Ane said that hisFher students were 4respectful IandJ appreciative of support $iven57 and another stated that 4most have a level of lo alt towards the universit 5? &hese views7 $iven # a#out half of the staff questioned7 seemed to reflect an accurate appreciation of the level of satisfaction which emer$ed from the student questionnaire? .

143 .our tutors7 in this section7 drew attention to the development not onl of a transactional approach to learnin$ #ut of a 4customer5 mentalit amon$ students? &he followin$ comments e+press this: Ithe J thin! that the should dictate polic and that the should $et e+tensions and consideration even without cause? Ithe areJ ver #lasV? &he consider universit to #e a means of o#tainin$ a de$ree at minimal effort7 and are not interested in wider issues &his is chan$in$? It is more of an MI pa and therefore I have a ri$ht to passN Some loo! at the universit in quite a consumer'oriented wa 7 thin!in$ that as the pa for it the can demand what the want from their education? Athers seem to thin! that it is a $ood place to learn? .impression is that some do as little stud as possi#le to $et # and others are incredi#l committed to doin$ the ver #eset the possi#l can? &he vast ma:orit have to wor! and this impacts on their stud #ehaviour? Social activit within a cohort has certainl reduced as man do not have the time? &his lecturer mi$ht well find that sFhe is in close a$reement with the student interviewees on the characteristics of the student #od as a whole? .inall 7 several tutors draw attention to the distinction #etween student satisfaction with their course and its teachin$7 and their dissatisfaction with some aspects of or$anisation? &he pro#lems over timeta#lin$ which were mentioned # some of the student interviewees were mentioned # two tutors7 as were difficulties with the relia#ilit of some I& services? Another commented that 4facilities and access to these facilities could #e improved5? &he difficulties of inte$ratin$ students and or$anisin$ timeta#les and other facilities in wa s that support them most effectivel was noted # one respondent7 who stated that increasin$ centralisation in these areas #oth diminished efficienc and made the institution seem 4inhuman5 to students? ')(2(4 Staff impressions of student motivation Here7 more than in an other section7 staff drew attention to the wide variation #etween individual students and #etween defined $roups of students? Anl one su$$ested that the norm was low motivation7 and the ma:orit were aware of some e+tremel hi$hl motivated students in their classes7 pro#a#l ver similar to the interviewees? Ane tutor wrote: &here is a big difference #etween the attitudes and a#ilities of students on our courses? =e have a small #ut si$nificant num#er who do not fit the perceived profileL most of the students are quite #lasV #ut can #e motivated and a small num#er are almost alarmin$l motivatedP It is eas to ima$ine that the interviewees would fit the latter7 ver welcome7 cate$or ? Ather staff e+pressed the contrast as follows: A#out halfL are hi$hl motivated #ut the other half :ust turn up7 do their wor!7 and don5t seem to #e #othered a#out wh the are doin$ it? Some students are motivated #ut a#out half are here #ecause the thin! the need to #e or can5t thin! of an thin$ else to #e? 3arental e+pectation is a !e factor? 143 .

144 /enerall a#out 6.@ are well motivated and attend re$ularl on first ears L ver mi+ed? Some are ver motivated and want to achieve and therefore attend ever thin$? -otivation is varied? &here are si$nificant num#ers who appear reluctant to en$a$e with learnin$ activities or with others in their $roup? &his sets a tone? 6ertain defined $roups of students were descri#ed as considera#l more motivated? -ature'a$e students were mentioned twice in questionnaire responses as 4much more motivated57 as were final ear direct entr students? Several tutors note that motivation chan$es as students pro$ress throu$h the course: &his Idemotivated attitudeJ has $enerall chan$ed # the final ear? Istudents areJ !een initiall 7 some lose motivation later in the first ear? -ost wor! adequatel in second ear and ver hard in third ear? <ifferent t pes of course seem to attract students with different levels of motivation? Ane tutor who tau$ht onl on a ver specific vocational course e+plained as follows: I-otivation isJ $ood to ver $ood as the have all chosen a specific vocational course? &he $enerall have done some research into their chosen profession #ut need reinforcement? &he ma:orit have a ear in a professional office as part of their course from which the ta!e $reat #enefit and heart? In an interview7 this tutor e+plained that the :o#s for which this course trained students were not necessaril particularl $lamorous or well'paid ones7 and in addition that the tended to #e :o#s of which students were not aware unless the !new someone in a similar line of wor! or had encountered professionals of this sort? It would #e a ver unusual place for a 4reactive entrant5 or a student who was simpl pursuin$ a hi$h salar to end up7 and students would #e unli!el even to appl without a stron$ su#:ect interest? Another tutor7 who tau$ht #oth on 4$eneral5 courses and more specific ones with hi$her entr requirements7 contrasted hisFher students thus: L there is a #id difference #etween 4$eneral5 students and Ispecific courseJ students? &he $eneral students tend to do what is necessar to pass7 whereas the Ispecific courseJ students are hi$hl motivated learnersL the are of a hi$her academic standard comin$ in and of a hi$her motivation? Staff had various perspectives on what motivates students? Su#:ect interest was cited # several: Some Istudents areJ hi$hl motivated # aspects of the course #ut tolerate others 0e?$? specific modules2? Some are e+cited # challen$e and discover 7 #ut man plod alon$ in search of emplo a#ilit in the end? .or this tutor7 va$ue career aspirations are what !eep some unmotivated students $oin$? 6onsiderin$ the relativel hi$h num#er of students who a$reed with the item 4I often find m course #orin$ #ut will stic! with it #ecause I want a $ood :o#57 this tutor seems to have a $ood idea of the different motivations amon$ hisFher students? 144 .

inall 7 two tutors draw attention to trends which ma dama$e motivation for students with a hi$h level of academic orientation? Ane states that 4man are disillusioned when ver poor students are allowed to pass into second ear57 and another ar$ues that 4students e+pect to have to wor! for a de$ree and this is undermined when laH students are allowed to pro$ress on a ver poor performance5? Both of these are essentiall comments a#out 4strate$ic5 students? =hile the student interviewees were certainl not demotivated # their awareness of 4strate$ists5 amon$ their peers7 it is possi#le that hardwor!in$ students with less determination andFor academic orientation mi$ht well e+perience emotions of this !ind? A student who wor!s hard #ut does not en:o the su#:ect $reatl for its own sa!e ma #e inclined to value their course li$htl when the institution is perceived as passin$ the same :ud$ement on hisFher own efforts? 14% .ew seem to #elieve that hi$h mar!s are particularl important to the ma:orit of students7 possi#l #ecause aspirations and effort are7 as su$$ested a#ove7 out of step in man cases? However7 simpl $ettin$ enou$h mar!s is seen as a factor: 4the !e motivator is mar!s #ut even this does not motivate some57 states one tutor7 and another writes: &he are usuall motivated enou$h to tr to pass a module7 #ut don5t alwa s want to do more than that? Summative assessment and fear of failure is the main motivator7 and possi#l !eepin$ at the same level as the rest of their peer $roup? Another tutor su$$ests that $ood relations with staff can #oost motivation7 a position which is supported # the evidence from students: 6ertainl in class times7 students $enerall come across as #ein$ motivated to tr and $rasp and appl what the are learnin$? 8'mail seems to have contri#uted to this7 as students are a#le to as! questions as the thin! of themL the students do seem to feel supported # staff7 and I thin! that contri#utes to their positive motivation? (arious demotivatin$ factors are noted? &wo staff su$$est that pressure of part'time wor!7 in particular e+haustion after lon$ or #adl 'timed shifts7 prevents students en$a$in$ well with either attendance or assi$nments? Another su$$ests that part'time :o#s operate in a 4trade off5 with students5 desire to $et 4the #est de$ree the can5? 3ersonal pro#lems and unpleasant aspects of the ph sical environment 0wide variations in temperature and poor air qualit 2 are also mentioned? &hree tutors su$$est that poor motivation arises when students encounter wor! which is difficult? &his ma #e #ecause the 4e+hi#it the Mit5s hard and will ta!e time so I won5t #otherN attitude57 or #ecause the are worried a#out their a#ilit to succeed: Some students #ecome disillusioned when some elements are hard to $rasp and the need to wor! independentl to achieve results? &he are motivated in su#:ects the thin! the !now #ut ma not appreciate the level required is a#ove what the have #een stud in$ which can lead to demotivation? It is possi#le that each of these attitudes ma operate for different students? &he latter tutor pic!s up on the unwillin$ness of students to #elieve in the possi#ilit of their own intellectual transformation? It is not unusual for a tutor to encounter the attitude amon$ students that the will #e una#le to perform at universit in su#:ects which the have not 4done #efore5? A tacit #elief seems to operate that #oth one5s a#ilit and one5s su#:ect !nowled$e are more or less determined # one5s school e+perience7 and will not chan$e durin$ hi$her education? Avercomin$ this is a ver $reat challen$e for academic staff? It ma #ecome more difficult as students #rin$ different e+pectations to education which is 4free5 and education for which the pa ? .14% 3assin$ modules 0possi#l to avoid the additional wor! involved in a resit2 and fear of failure are cited # man tutors? .

Staff intervie1s A total of seven interviews were carried out with mem#ers of academic staff? 9nfortunatel the response from staff to the request for volunteers was lowC several said that the would have li!ed to participate #ut were too #us to do so? Interviews were informal and in most cases lasted a#out twent minutesC the were !ept short #ecause the were carried out in term and staff time was ver limited? &he interviews were 4semi'structured5 and followed up on two of the topics raised in the questionnaireC student characteristics7 and universit cultures? -uch of the discussion here focuses on the ne$ative o#servations which staff made a#out their students? However7 most of the staff interviewees were enthusiastic a#out their students7 +0$2 Staff perceptions of students '2(+(' Student study habits Staff estimates of student private stud times and the reports of the students included in this surve are ver similar? -ost staff were not surprised that man students i$nore the 4official5 advice a#out how man hours the should spend wor!in$ outside class? Ance a$ain7 differences #etween $roups of students were mentionedC the lecturers who tau$ht on IdifferentJ ver specialised vocational courses stated that the saw a difference #etween these $roups and their more 4$eneral5 students? Both lecturers pointed out that althou$h the :o#s for which these courses would lead attract reasona#le $raduate salaries7 neither is associated with e+ceptionall hi$h pa 7 and that students would onl reall ma!e the effort to appl for a place if the had a $enuine interest in the su#:ect and the wor!? An these courses7 the tutors su$$ested that a#out three quarters of the students were e+tremel hi$hl motivated7 and that even the less successful students wor!ed hard? Ather differences #etween cate$ories of student will #e discussed in 14:2:4? Ane lecturer7 who felt that students 4do a lot less than the need to57 felt that in man cases students did not #other to prepare for seminars? SFhe re$ularl o#served an enormous difference #etween the reasona#l 'siHed minorit of students who prepared re$ularl and thorou$hl 7 and the ma:orit who do not prepare at all7 or who do so onl ver shallowl ? &his was descri#ed as ma!in$ seminars difficult to conduct7 especiall when the hard' wor!in$ students #ecome demotivated #ecause the 4laH 5 ones are allowed to pro$ress7 and even #enefit from other people5s efforts? &his tutor reco$nised students5 awareness of the diversit of input7 and descri#ed a situation in which students 4tacitl 5 re'or$anised seminar $roups on their own7 so that all of the hard' wor!in$ ones ended up in the same $roup? 3oor seminar attendance was notedC industrious students ma disli!e attendin$ seminars where their peers have not done enou$h wor! to ma!e the class via#le7 and wea! students ma not attend seminars where the are required to 4wor! for no mar!s5? A similar pattern was descri#ed # several tutors7 who were ver clear that a lac! of wor! was not necessaril the norm7 #ut that it was in dan$er of determinin$ the course of seminars #ecause the students who do not prepare well7 if the actuall #other to attend7 are often demandin$? 146 .146 Section 9ourteen$ +0$+ Staff intervie1 feedbac.

hours a wee! of part'time wor! to which the were committed is not the onl time commitment which competes with their studies? -an commute to their :o#s and also to colle$e7 addin$ as much as ten hours a wee! of travel to some schedules? &his tutor commented that man staff were not aware of the comple+it of student timeta#les and that the timeta#lin$ s stem is still #ased on the assumption that students are 4full time5 and that is that? Instead7 as one lecturer put it7 4man students occup a part'timeFfull'time no'man5s land5? Several tutors stated that the had noticed a sharp decline #oth in meetin$ deadlines and K more importantl K attendance levels within the last ear7 or at most within the last two ears? *o'one offered a specific e+planation for this7 #ut the fall in attendance levels was commented upon # tutors on all courses apart from the specific vocational ones? In informal discussions7 this recent and worr in$ trend has #een mentioned to m # tutors from four different Schools? '2(+(+ Student preparation for university Staff felt that in $eneral students who came from school were poorl prepared for universit 7 and that the most important difference is #etween those who quic!l adapt to universit assumptions and ha#its7 and those who do not? Averall7 staff reiterated the difficulties with student preparation which had #een mentioned on the questionnaireC poor time mana$ement7 an unwillin$ness to en$a$e with tas!s such as note'ta!in$ or independent readin$7 wea! writin$ and $eneral communication s!ills7 and a $eneral inclination towards a 4transactional5 approach to learnin$7 in which students are simpl told precisel what the need to !now and then $iven opportunities to reproduce this? Staff were as!ed whether the felt that these pro#lems related specificall to 4non'traditional5 students7 such as mature'a$e students or those from low'participation nei$h#ourhoods andFor non'$raduate famil #ac!$rounds? &hese sections of the student population were a#solutel not re$arded as havin$ worse stud s!ills than the rest? Several mem#ers of staff7 in fact7 felt that these $roups had more motivation to improve their stud ha#its and ma!e the #est use of their universit place? At no point did I encounter the reservations in relation to non' traditional students or widenin$ participation7 which have #een attri#uted to academic staff # some discussions? If an thin$7 these staff felt more positivel towards 4widenin$ participation5 students than towards the more traditional ones? 147 .147 Several mem#ers of staff stated that the were aware of some $roups of students who were pro#a#l doin$ sufficient wor! #ut would li!e the time to do more? In particular7 mature'a$e students with children were mentioned in this cate$or ? &he reasons wh man students do not do an thin$ li!e the required amount of wor! were mentioned # man mem#ers of staff? -ost were aware that there are some students who #alance a $reat man demands on their time in order to wor! ver hard7 #ut it was reco$nised that this is difficult7 and that one small upset can ma!e it difficult for a student with a part' time :o#7 childcare responsi#ilities and a conscientious attitude to hisFher coursewor! to maintain their preferred schedule? However7 all were aware that a lar$e num#er of their students do not wor! hard for other reasons? Ane said that sFhe felt students were quite willin$ to wor!7 #ut that late adolescence simpl presented a wide ran$e of thin$s to do and thin! a#out7 and that at first it was difficult for students to concentrate on any one of these7 especiall when the strict supervision of school 0and in man cases parents2 is removed? -ost of them will 4settle down5 as the course pro$resses? Another tutor said that sFhe felt that man students were simpl 4laH 5 and not inclined to ma!e an effort #e ond the minimum to $et throu$h? Another had spent time discussin$ schedules with students? .or man 7 the 1% K 2.

? Students are also unwillin$ to thin! 4across5 the course7 after the ver separate e+perience of their school or colle$e modules? Also noted were deficits in #asic communication and interpersonal s!ills7 once a$ain areas where some students are unwillin$ to address their own development? &hese are particularl pro#lematic if students are war of transformation durin$ their hi$her education e+perience7 #ecause the wa someone communicates with or relates to other people are closel related to identit ? However7 these are fundamental in #oth academic and professional performance? Several staff were sceptical of the e+tent to which 4#olt on5 s!ills courses can address these s!ills $aps? Ane stated that difficulties in self'mana$ement run deeper than an thin$ a course 2.am seminar? I assumed that this was caused # some particular circumstances7 such as famil responsi#ilities or transport? =hen as!ed what caused this pro#lem7 her onl answer was 4I5m often late5? 14) .14) =here a particular $roup was sin$led out as #ein$ worse prepared and least inclined to overcome difficulties with their preparation7 it was invaria#l the population of 4reactive5 entrants who had drifted into universit #ecause 4it5s what ou do ne+t5 or #ecause of va$ue aspirations towards a $ood 0usuall 7 a well'paid2 :o#? Staff were aware that reactive entrants are more li!el to #e middle'class7 oun$7 andFor second $eneration? Ance a$ain7 students on the specialised vocational courses were noted as #ein$ considera#l more willin$ to improve their own stud ha#its? &hese students were in $eneral e+empt from most of the pro#lematic traits discussed in the remainder of this sectionC the were also said to adapt more easil to e+pectations in their wor! placements? Ane of the difficulties around reactive entr was re$arded # several tutors as the need to ma+imise recruitment? Ane lecturer su$$ested that incorporatin$ more elements of the hi$her education 4e+perience5 into open da s mi$ht reduce the num#er of applicants #ut increase the num#er who are li!el to sta ? 9seful elements of this sort mi$ht #e an indication of universit teachin$ methods and of the amount of wor! which is reall needed for a decent performance? &he results of the questionnaire re$ardin$ student e+pectations and their relationship to perceptions are relevant here? &he term 4spoon feedin$5 was used in nearl all the interviews? Several tutors felt that man schools 4spoon feed5 pupils to a $reat e+tent7 sometimes #ac!in$ this up with the e+perience of their own teena$e children? (arious reasons were su$$ested7 such as the need for schools to perform well in lea$ue ta#les7 or the difficulties of teachin$ independent stud techniques to lar$e classes? &wo lecturers felt that criticism of secondar schools is 4frowned upon5? Several lecturers #elieved that the 4transactional5 approach to learnin$7 and the failure to encoura$e students to find thin$s out for themselves7 were encoura$ed # schools? Students who have #een a#le to do reasona#l well without developin$ independent research s!ills feel that it is 4unreasona#le5 of the universit to as! them to en$a$e in tas!s such as reflection on their own performance7 pro#lem'solvin$ or li#rar #ased research? Ane lecturer stated that students fail to reco$nise the importance of developin$ $eneric and stud s!ills7 and that this also relates to the #elief7 mentioned #efore7 that a#ilities are 4laid down5 #efore one enters H8 and cannot reall #e chan$ed? SFhe stated that man students tal! a#out a lac! of core a#ilities 0e?$? time mana$ement7 concentration7 spellin$2 as if this is due to a disease rather than a lac! of e+perience 2. <urin$ the ten ears when I tau$ht in H87 I noticed a difference in the wa students descri#ed their stud s!ills? =hen I first entered the profession students descri#ed difficulties activel 7 e?$? 4I find it hard to or$anise m own time5 or 4I find essa writin$ difficult5? However7 as time went on the were more li!el to refer to themselves passivel in this sort of report7 e?$? 4&ime mana$ement is ver hard for me57 or 48ssa writin$ is a difficult issue for me5? Ane student e+plained that she had a 4lateness pro#lem5 which made it difficult for her to attend a 1.

14" on time mana$ement s!ills can address7 su$$estin$ that what is actuall in question is the wa students or$anise their whole lives? Students are not used to usin$ an 4spare time5 effectivel or prioritisin$7 and will tend to do whatever is 4easiest5 rather than 4switchin$ on their #rains5? &his tutor felt that this was 4L an attitude developed earl L ineradica#le # the time the $et to universit 7 and ou can5t chan$e it in a few wee!s5? Another felt that #etter mana$ement of e+pectations would ma!e the transition easier? SFhe said that man students who stru$$le with #oth the course and their stud s!ills have not understood what is required in terms of a#ilit or time commitment? &hus7 as well as the practical ad:ustment to new materials and wa s of learnin$7 the have to ma!e the mental ad:ustment to a course which is more difficult and time'consumin$ than the had e+pected? -an tutors stressed that these concerns were not simpl the complaints of a $roup of 4out of touch5 academics lon$in$ for the 4$ood old da s5? In fact7 the were :ust as li!el to come from oun$er staff as from older ones7 and from staff who had wor!ed in industr or #usiness until recentl as from staff who had alwa s wor!ed in hi$her education? Ane lecturer7 who had had a lon$er career in education7 #elieved that the #est students are still 4as $ood as the ever were57 #ut that sFhe reco$nised a lar$er constituenc of reactive entrants who were poorl prepared and unwillin$ to do a $reat deal to overcome this? '2(+() Student attitudes to academic wor! A$ain7 staff contrasted students with $ood wor! ha#its and stron$ interest in the su#:ect with those who attempt to $et throu$h on the minimum wor!? Some students wor! ver hard7 developin$ e+cellent su#:ect and $eneric s!ills? &he complete tas!s on time7 to a hi$h standard7 and put in #oth hours and intellectual effort? Some characteristics of these students are discussed in the ne+t section? <escriptions of student attitudes inevita#l focussed on the ne$atives #ecause these are the ones who 4disrupt5 the normal flow of teachin$ and learnin$? Several tutors su$$ested that a num#er of students are simpl not realistic in their e+pectations of the effort which is needed to succeed? &his relates to the 4spoon feedin$5 which the ma have encountered in school7 where it was possi#le to pass7 or at least 4scrape throu$h57 on the minimum of wor!? Ane tutor stated that such students ma onl realise that the will fail if the do no wor! outside class7 or simpl fail to attend7 when this is immanent? =arnin$s do little $ood #ecause the ma have received these while at school7 and found that the could still $et awa with ver poor stud ha#its? &he e+ample of a student who failed to attend7 or respond to contact7 for ten wee!s was $ivenC this student was unwillin$ to accept that sFhe was simpl not in a position to 4catch up5 and pass the unit? 6omparison with school can #e activel unhelpful? Students who see hi$her education as a prolon$ation of school have difficult in ad:ustin$? &utors were aware of the tendenc noted # AH$a and Su!hnandan 01"")2 to thin! of universit as 4more rela+ed5 than school #ecause attendance is not mandator ? If this informs a student5s first few wee!s at universit 7 the ma alread #e so far #ehind that catchin$ up presents an enormous challen$e? Several tutors mentioned 4e+cuses57 some of them focussin$ on communication pro#lems? 6laims that an assi$nment has 4onl :ust #een received5 when the deadline is due were mentioned in several cases7 alon$ with an e+planation that this was implausi#le #ut that the #enefit of the dou#t has to #e $iven to the student? Another tutor stated that 4the e+pect e+tensions for the smallest thin$L there aren5t an e+tensions when ou5re in a :o#5? 9nhelpful student attitudes were summed up succinctl # one tutor: 4the want ma+imum results with minimum effortL it5s a time mana$ement s!ill of a sort5? &his had #een o#served # several interviewees? Another stated that some students are quite willin$ to tell tutors that it is 4unreasona#le5 to e+pect them to $o to the li#rar and loo! up materials7 rather than 14" .

1%. . for a #oo! is 4normal57 or at least 4reasona#le5 occasionall ? Should a universit help students with this ad:ustment7 or cease to demand this sort of transformation> <ifficulties copin$ with an !ind of course overview7 or with 4cumulative5 learnin$7 were noted # several tutors? A$ain7 these arise where students see! a 4transactional5 process? If the see learnin$ simpl as a transaction7 the are unli!el to accept that a lar$e part of their learnin$ must #e valued as the $roundin$ for hi$her'level s!ills and !nowled$e? Ane tutor7 in frustration at students who want to do the minimum to $et 4their piece of paper57 stated that sFhe 4sometimes wonderIsJ wh 7 if the want the mar!s so much7 the don5t :ust do the wor!5? SFhe then answered this question7 statin$ that for man students wor!in$ out priorities and actin$ on these is ver difficult? Several specific pro#lems were noted? &hree different tutors drew attention to the lure of the mo#ile phone 0each first statin$ that sFhe was sure the interviewer would find this a sill point and that sFhe was pro#a#l the onl person to ma!e itP2? Staff were aware of the mo#ile as a constant distraction and a wa to fill up an #rea! with relativel trivial concerns? &he use of $ames on mo#ile phones to 4fill in5 an #rea!7 even in class7 was noted7 as was the fact that man students are alread ma!in$ calls or te+tin$ #efore the have left the classroom? Ane tutor stated that sFhe 4was actuall $oin$ throu$h assi$nment questions Ioutside class timeJ and a student too! a callL I was tr in$ to support his learnin$7 #ut the phone call was more important5? It should #e noted that not all tutors feel this wa a#out the use of mo#iles # studentsC two tutors to whom I have spo!en outside formal interviews felt that tutors who crac! down on students who leave phones on durin$ lectures and even on those who ta!e calls are #ein$ over'harsh and unrealistic? In addition7 two tutors su$$ested that a few students in the earl sta$es of the course reall do mana$e their social lives ver #adl with re$ard to alcohol use? A tendenc which #oth had noticed in the past ear was for students to arrive at mornin$ sessions smellin$ of alcohol 0previousl this was onl found in the later afternoon2? Staff felt that some of these attitudes result from a culture in which students do not re$ard their universit career as an opportunit 7 #ut simpl as 4the ne+t sta$e5 or as a chance to $et 4a piece of paper5 which will enhance their emplo ment prospects rather than the s!ills or !nowled$e which will do this? Stud s!ills and a willin$ness to develop these was lin!ed to emplo a#ilit # most of the interviewees? It was noted that most emplo ers e+pect $raduate recruits to have a set of $eneric s!ills which are precisel the ones that would help students to succeed in their de$ree courses? Ane tutor felt that deficiencies in stud s!ills and en$a$ement with this area of learnin$ was 4#ad news5 for the emplo ment prospects of students? Another su$$ested that if their attitudes and aptitudes in this area cause them difficulties at universit 7 the will #e even more pro#lematic when the enter the wor!force? It was stressed that the difficult here is not in introducin$ units or teachin$ methods desi$ned to enhance stud s!ills7 #ut in $ettin$ students to use these7 rather than ma!in$ sure that the are the part of the de$ree course which falls # the wa side as the attempt to do the minimum to pass? 1%. or W4.7 et each ear a num#er of students sa that the 4cannot afford5 a #oo! of this price? Another tutor commented that students ma have difficult ad:ustin$ to a mentalit in which pa in$ W3. simpl $ivin$ out completel comprehensive handouts? &he development of research s!ills is not seen as a priorit # these students? &wo tutors descri#ed an attitude in which students want to #e told 4the question57 and then e+actl 4what to write down to $et the mar!s5? Gac! of commitment is evidenced in other wa s? A refusal to #u te+t#oo!s was noted # several tutors7 and the e+ample was $iven of a #oo! which will #e useful for core modules throu$hout all there campus'#ased ears of a course? &his costs W4.

1%1 -ost tutors who tau$ht on pro$rammes includin$ a placement ear stated that this was the point at which students finall realise how important $eneric s!ills are7 and that the return from their placements with infinitel #etter stud ha#its than #efore? .inal ear students were descri#ed as 4much more self mana$ed57 4realisin$ the value of time57 4professional57 4much more mature5? Students were descri#ed as under$oin$ a 4transformation5 in their attitudes and #ehaviours durin$ placement ears7 often after a ver 4rude awa!enin$5 durin$ their first few wee!s of professional emplo ment? Ane lecturer noted that in particular7 the importance of reflectin$ and reportin$ on one5s own wor! was a s!ill which students refuse to ta!e seriousl in the first and second ear and had to develop durin$ their placement? '2(+(2 Student motivation &he staff interviewees had remar!a#l uniform views on the factors which motivate students? B far the most important factor noted was simple interest in the su#:ect? &o a lar$e e+tent this is determined # the student5s e+periences #efore sFhe arrives at universit 7 #ut it was noted that staff can underta!e certain activities to foster interest even in students who ma have entered for other reasons 0see #elow on staffFstudent relations2? Ane tutor lin!ed a lac! of interest to the transactional approach to learnin$ descri#ed a#ove7 statin$ that what staff need is a wa to show students how much more en:o a#le a course can #e if the do realise the value of intellectual curiosit for themselves? Gi!e the students7 staff reco$nised the relationship #etween confidence and motivation? Several tutors felt that individual contact and praise for hi$h mar!s or improved performance was important7 and that there should #e time and resource for more of this7 rather than :ust information a#out $rades? However7 this demands that tutors have the time to reflect on individual student performances7 which is not especiall realistic under current conditions? &he impact of an unexpectedly $ood performance7 where students5 #eliefs in their inherent a#ilities are either reinforced or sha!en7 was also noted? Ane tutor stated that 4students are reall surprised when the find that we can teach them somethin$5? 3raise and support from famil and friends were also noted as #ein$ important in motivatin$ students? Ance a$ain7 this can #e especiall important where e+pectations of a particular students were not ver hi$h? &he need for a channel of communication with students5 social networ!s outside the universit was descri#ed here? 3eer support #etween students was re$arded as a ver positive motivatin$ factor7 and several tutors had encountered the informal stud $roups which were descri#ed # the student interviewees? 6amaraderie within the peer $roup was re$arded as ver importantC on the other hand7 a peer $roup where inertia is the norm can demotivate students who mi$ht otherwise #e inclined to wor! hard? &he other factor which was noted # all tutors was future emplo ment prospects? Students on the specialised vocational courses were descri#ed as seein$ their course as the first sta$e in their professional lives 0which often affected their relations with tutors as well as determinin$ their hi$h levels of motivation2? Hi$hl motivated students were re$arded as havin$ clear career $oals founded in interest rather than financial aspirations7 and in the a#ilit to understand the principle of 4dela ed $ratification5? /iven the outcomes of the student interviews7 this seems to #e a ver accurate perception? However7 the influence of 4future motivation5 was re$arded as more comple+ # man tutors? 8ffective 4lon$ term5 thin!in$ was seen as characteristic of the more academicall 'focussed students7 and the rest ma need more immediate rewards? Eo# prospects alone were not re$arded as sufficient to ensure hi$h levels of motivation7 partl #ecause a de$ree no lon$er $uarantees a $raduate :o#? &he main pro#lem with usin$ emplo ment as a motivator is that 1%1 .

1%2 the prospect is simpl too va$ue to en$a$e students with specific tas!s? Several tutors noted that the term 4a $ood :o#5 is used ver loosel # a num#er of students7 and does not seem to have much effect on their motivation to attend or complete assi$nments? Specifics were named as a useful response to this # most of the tutors? =here possi#le7 industr spea!ers7 open da s and visits were re$arded as helpful7 #ecause these would encoura$e students to see the relationship #etween what the do in universit and what the would need to do in a :o#? &he development of #oth su#:ect !nowled$e and $eneric s!ills can #e encoura$ed # this meansC one tutor stated that students would #e more li!el to 4trust5 an industr spo!esperson than their tutors to tell them a#out the importance of stud s!ills? 8+perience of the wor!place encoura$es students to see their studies as the route to a :o#7 rather than the 4piece of paper5 which the receive in a final transaction? Self'esteem was also identified as a motivator? Students at all levels were re$arded as #ein$ motivated # the prospect of improvin$ on their own performance7 althou$h the first need to #elieve that this is possi#le? Hi$h achievin$ students are often motivated # the possi#ilit of 4#ein$ the #est57 or at least of maintainin$ hi$h mar!s? &wo tutors stated that we can motivate students # ma!in$ sure that the have a 4sense of opportunit 5 and of the possi#ilit of changing their !nowled$e7 a#ilities and ultimatel lives? However7 staff were realistic a#out the e+tent to which it is possi#le to affect student motivation where man students are motivated to do as little as possi#le? Ane stated that 4we can onl encoura$e them to show initiative and learn activel 5? However7 this interviewee and several of hisFher collea$ues were clear that $ettin$ students to en$a$e in this sort of wor! from the ver #e$innin$ of the course was essential? Ane proposal was to set 4research tas!s5 in induction wee! whose practical #enefits for students are ver clearC for e+ample7 the can #e required to $ather information a#out student services7 social events or finance? Staff were aware of a num#er of demotivatin$ factors7 man of which have alread #een mentioned? &ime pressures due to part'time wor!7 tiredness7 social lives and personal pro#lems as well as distractions such as &( and mo#ile phones were all noted? Several tutors descri#ed the pro#lems around identit and career choice which quite naturall affect students? =here a student wonders whether sFhe has chosen the ri$ht course7 a loss of motivation was re$arded as inevita#le7 and staff stressed the importance of earl intervention and useful support for students who find themselves in this position? However7 two tutors were also aware that some students ma suffer a lac! of motivation whose causes are relativel o#scure? &he fact that a student can 4drift off5 was mentioned7 as was the fact that if a student fails to attend and i$nores7 for whatever reason7 attempts at contact from the universit ? &he 4passive point of no return5 for a student in this position was seen as a dan$er? A demotivator which was mentioned onl twice # staff7 #ut several times # students7 was lac! of confidence in one5s academic a#ilit ? It ma #e that this is su#sumed for staff under the first point in this section7 #ut overall it ma #e somethin$ which is underestimated7 especiall in its effects on students who are in fact academicall a#le and academicall inclined? 1%2 .

1%3 +0$/ Staff perspectives on university culture '2()(' $he impact of fees on student attitudes &wo concerns emer$ed in this section? Ane was the effect of fees on student attitudes to universit 7 which was the su#:ect of a certain amount of pessimism? &he other was the essential 4mission5 of the institution7 as viewed # staff and students? &he ma:orit of the staff interviewed felt that student attitudes had chan$ed7 and would chan$e even more7 as the are required to pa a $reater proportion of their own fees? &wo tutors7 however7 did not #elieve that this had had much impact7 or would have in future? Ane was a tutor on one of the specialised vocational courses7 and simpl #elieved that hisFher students had a stron$ enou$h su#:ect interest to override the influence of the new fundin$ arran$ement? &he other #elieved that chan$es in attitude K which sFhe felt had #een enormous in the past few ears K related to a more transactional s stem in secondar education? SFhe #elieved that students who pa their own fees will e+pect #etter 4value for mone 57 #ut did not thin! that this would necessaril equate to a demand for more 4spoon feedin$57 and ar$ued that sFhe had seen ver little chan$e in attitudes since the introduction of the W11. fee? However7 these views were in the minorit 7 and 0perhaps # coincidence2 the alternative position was e+pressed more often # tutors who had previousl wor!ed in #usiness or industr ? &wo tutors stated that the 4sense of MentitlementN is definitel stron$er5 than #efore students had to pa fees7 and one felt that althou$h students ma want 4more57 the ma not necessaril want 4more5 of thin$s which will enhance their s!ills or their educational e+perience? Another felt that students who pa are less li!el to value learnin$ for its own sa!e7 and that more will #e inclined to want 4somethin$ for nothin$5? &he sense that 4:ust #ein$ here and doin$ some wor! deserves a reward5 was also noted? Several tutors felt that students were not reall aware of the 4realities5 of hi$her education in terms of the sheer num#ers of students with whom tutors are dealin$? Ane e+ample of this was the assumption that tutors will immediatel remem#er the module7 course and level on which an individual is stud in$7 even if a tutor teachers more than three hundred students? Another was the anno ance e+pressed when a tutor is not availa#le immediatel 7 and on demand7 #ecause sFhe is teachin$ a different cohort? &he old'fashioned media ima$e of academics as havin$ plent of time to en$a$e closel with their small tutorial $roups seems to #e #elieved # man students? &he difficulties of findin$ sufficient time to ma!e the invalua#le individual contacts with students was noted # most of the tutors interviewed? Ane of them also noted that the rewards for doin$ this7 or for #ecomin$ an 4e+cellent5 teacher7 were limited #ecause most promotion routes for academic staff relate to administrative rather than classroom and student support activities7 or to research? '2()(+ University mission All of the staff interviewees descri#ed a 4tension5 #etween two functions of the universit ? Ane of these is to provide students with academic a#ilities and orientation7 stud s!ills and an 4enquirin$ mind57 as well as a desire to learn? &he other is to train them in specific s!ills and !nowled$e required for emplo ment? -ost of the staff interviewees stated that the 4ideal5 was a #alance #etween these7 althou$h several stated that a num#er of other staff would fall firml into one camp or the other? In $eneral7 staff #elieved that students too! a similar view to theirs7 i?e? that the were loo!in$ for a #alance #etween these two t pes of activit ? 1%3 ..

or students who are inherentl motivated7 en$a$ement in personal development activities is less of a pro#lem? Several tutors stated that this $roup tend to want a de$ree and a :o#7 #ut also to develop their own learnin$ and to #roaden their social lives # meetin$ a new and diverse $roup of people 0a$ain7 this is precisel the #alance sou$ht # the interviewees2? Students with wea!er motivation7 however7 show little interest either in $eneral learnin$ or in e+tendin$ their e+perience of life outside the classroom? &hree tutors stated that this mi$ht #e$in with encoura$in$ students to ma!e social contact with staff7 learnin$ a#out their research and professional interests7 and possi#l also their e+perience in careers #efore the #e$an lecturin$? &wo tutors actuall stated that the had found students e+tremel interested in their previous :o#s in industr 7 #ut that their classes would not have sou$ht this information # themselves? Another su$$ested that staff 4don5t need to #e automata57 and should #e offered the time and space to tal! to students a#out their own interests in the su#:ect and even a#out their lives outside wor!? However7 it was noted that facilities and wor!loads do not reall allow this? &his sort of activit mi$ht also improve student'tutor relations7 which were descri#ed # two of the lecturers as leavin$ room for improvement 0others referred o#liquel to a 4lac! of respect5 from certain students2? Ane stated that stron$er students will often respect lecturers #ecause of their su#:ect !nowled$e7 while wea!er ones ma resent them simpl as authorit fi$ures? &he ver $ood tutor'student relations on the specific vocational courses seem to reinforce thisC here7 it ma #e that the 4apprenticeship5 situation su$$ested # some of the student interviewees has #een achieved? Several tutors su$$ested that7 once a$ain7 the transactional approach ma #e at the root of some pro#lems here? Ane stated that a num#er of students now tend to see universit as a 4means to an end5 rather than an e+perience? Students are required to spend more time outside universit in part'time :o#s7 and as staff:student ratios rise it is increasin$l difficult to ma!e contact with students and to encoura$e those who mi$ht #e sh er7 or less industrious7 to #ecome inte$rated and to see the 4#i$$er picture5 around their studies? &his is still possi#le on the specialised vocational courses #ecause students who appl to these in the first place will usuall have clearer vocational $oals and value their place more hi$hl ? 1%4 .indin$ wa s to inte$rate personal development activities into the earlier ears of the course is a real challen$e7 especiall in the li$ht of time pressures and financial constraints7 and the disinclination of man students to put much effort into activities which are not immediatel rewarded with mar!s? &hree tutors su$$ested that students who enter H8 see!in$ training ma #e particularl disinclined to #other with this aspect of a course? Ane stated that 4man treat the whole personal development side of thin$s as a :o!e7 and attendance plummets when this is introduced Iin the first earJ5? .1%4 &his would certainl #e true of the student interviewees descri#ed a#ove? However7 it is pro#a#l fair to sa that the questionnaire responses indicate that a num#er of students enter universit loo!in$ onl for the latter? &hree tutors pointed out that students who enter with :ust this priorit ma often leave with an appreciation of the #lend of the two? Staff su$$ested that most modules are written to provide a com#ination of these two t pes of activit ? .or the ma:orit of staff7 the !e to com#inin$ these lies in encoura$in$ students to ta!e an interest in their personal development durin$7 or alon$side their course? In order to develop students academicall 7 prepare them for wor! and help them to $et the most out of their universit course7 staff feel that it is essential to provide 4an overall educational e+perienceL where the $ain more than the sum of their module mar!s5? -an staff feel that the places where this happens most often are the placement ear and its aftermath7 and the final ear pro:ect? .

1%% .or the wider student #od 7 the challen$e is to encoura$e students to do the wor! needed to acquire the s!ills and !nowled$e which will help them $ain hi$h mar!s and 4$ood :o#s57 #ut also to value the process of personal development which will help them to #ecome hi$hl successful 0and satisfied2 students and7 later7 emplo ees? And this will not #e achieved in a situation where it is possi#le to pass on the #asis of a purel 4transactional5 approach to education? In the words of one interviewee7 4we need toL $et them to thin! in new and interestin$ wa s and learn how to learn5? &his is essentiall a transformational process? Ance a$ain7 the ethical question of whether it is reasona#le to set out to transform students in hi$her education is raised? Should an institution which has e+panded num#ers and increased vocational provision simpl accept that man of its students arrive wanting :o# trainin$ and little more> <oes this constitute $ivin$ a num#er K possi#l a ma:orit K of students 4what the want5> Ar is it unfair on students li!e the interviewees7 all of whom are first'$eneration students and all of whom have derived #enefit and satisfaction from the 4intellectual5 and 4personal development5 aspects of their course> If we insist that students who choose to $et their trainin$ in a universit en$a$e with conceptual and personal development wor!7 are we authoritarians who want to $ive them 4what5s $ood for them57 or $enuine practitioners of 4widenin$ participation57 widenin$ participation in activities and opportunities of which students were not previousl aware> It would #e dishonest to den that staff are $enuinel divided on this7 and so are students? &he interviewees would have #een ver disappointed if the had :ust #een offered trainin$ and nothin$ more7 #ut at least some of the questionnaire respondents mi$ht well have #een perfectl content? However7 while perfect contentment within one5s comfort Hone ma #e a pleasant enou$h state7 hi$her education has the potential to offer an student a $reat deal more than that7 and to limit institutional and student aspirations thus would #e a true loss of opportunit ? &his was e+pressed # the tutor whose commitment to the training function of the universit was the stron$est encountered7 #ut who was also passionate a#out the intellectual mission of H8? &owards the end of this interview7 sFhe simpl stated that: 4&he trou#le with our students7 when the arriveL is that the don5t dream enou$h an more5? 1%% .

1%6 &onclusion &his report offers a 4snapshot5 of some of the lives7 attitudes and e+periences of some 9niversit of *orthum#ria students at the end of their first ear? =hat emer$es is encoura$in$ and positiveC the ma:orit have thorou$hl en:o ed their universit e+perience and the academic component of this in particular? &he are $enerall well ad:usted to their lives at universit 7 althou$h relativel few claim ver hi$h levels of ad:ustment? In $eneral7 staff li!e their students7 and are impressed # their efforts at universit and # the maturit which the achieve as the pro$ress throu$h their courses? Staff are aware of the difficulties which students face and s mpathetic to these? Gecturers are concerned to provide an e+cellent learnin$ e+perience for their students7 and help them $et the most out of their course7 in terms of en:o ment7 academic development and preparation for wor!? However7 there are some $enuine pro#lems? Ane is a $enuine $ap in motivation amon$ at least some students? Specific $roups are especiall vulnera#le to this7 #ut it appears to affect a #road ran$e of students at some time or other? (arious factors cause this: a lac! of interest7 a failure to connect emplo ment $oals with current tas!s 0perhaps #ecause these future $oals themselves lac! clarit 27 4worr 5 and lac! of confidence in one5s own a#ilities7 time pressures7 unclear or undefined priorities and poor stud ha#its? Gow motivation operates in a vicious c cle with poor stud ha#its7 lac! of en:o ment and inte$ration7 and a failure to en$a$e with the personal development aspects of the course which are fundamental to a hi$her education e+perience? Ane $roup of students who are unmotivated are those whose entr to universit has in some wa #een 4reactive57 i?e? the have chosen to enter H8 #ecause of pressure from famil 7 teachers or peers or #ecause it seems to #e a 4natural pro$ression5 after school? /ettin$ these students to en$a$e with the institution and develop $ood stud ha#its is a challen$eC the are especiall vulnera#le to driftin$ awa from #ehaviours which support their learnin$ and ultimatel from universit itself? Another pro#lem is the presence of 4strate$ic students57 who set out to do as little wor! as possi#le in order to $et throu$h their course? If the mana$e the inherent ris!s of their strate$ well7 the ma persist and pass7 #ut there is a dan$er that the ma fail or withdraw? 8ven where the achieve a measure of success7 strate$ic students are unli!el to have a $ood e+perience in H87 and their presence is anno in$7 even demotivatin$7 to students who are interested in their course and wor! hard? &his is partl #ecause the success of strate$ic students implies a devaluin$ of the universit places which hardwor!in$ students ma!e sacrifices to !eep7 and partl #ecause the ma!e it difficult for all students to $et the most out of student'centred teachin$ methods which man favour? In $eneral7 the reasons which inform students5 entr decisions will influence their #ehaviours once the are in H8? Students who decide to $o to universit #ecause of interest in their su#:ect7 whether or not this is accompanied # instrumental aims7 are li!el to show a cluster of characteristics which predict academic satisfaction and retention? =here students do not have clear su#:ect interests andFor career $oals7 the are more li!el to encounter difficulties? Successful students are also li!el to have realistic e+pectations of their course and their universit e+perience as a whole? Students with realistic e+pectations report hi$her levels of ad:ustment and satisfaction once at universit 7 while those whose e+pectations turn out to have #een mista!en in a particular area will find ad:ustment in that field more difficult7 and are less li!el to #e satisfied? In addition7 perceptions of aspects of the universit e+perience appear to have more to do with how the realit measures up to student e+pectations than with that realit itself? .or the most part7 reports of satisfaction and e+perience relate toe+pectations and not with pro$ramme 0students on the same pro$ramme will have had #roadl the same actual e+perience2? 1%6 .

.elations #etween students and staff seem to #e reasona#l $ood? Students $enerall feel that staff are $ood teachers and are approacha#leC however7 student perceptions of staff 4approacha#ilit 5 appear to relate closel to their e+pectations a#out the availa#ilit of academic support? &he 4personalities5 of academic staff seem to #e a secondar issue? .1%7 At *orthum#ria7 it appears that successful7 academicall oriented students are :ust as li!el K if not more li!el K to #e 4non'traditional5 students andFor those who mi$ht #e considered as 4successes5 of the widenin$ participation initiative? 6ontrar to the situation descri#ed in some national reports7 academic staff on the courses e+amined at *orthum#ria have e+tremel positive attitudes towards the qualit of these students? &his ma contri#ute to the success of the institution in meetin$ #oth its retention and widenin$ participation tar$ets? &here are some correlations #etween ad:ustment7 attitude7 stud #ehaviours and persistence decisions and various demo$raphic factors? =omen seem to have lower levels of academic and social confidence than men7 althou$h their academic ad:ustment ma #e sli$htl #etter? Students who enter with qualifications other than A'levels show sli$htl worse academic ad:ustment and orientation? -ature'a$e students seem less li!el to consider leavin$7 and first'$eneration students seem to have sli$htl hi$her academic orientation and su#:ect interest7 althou$h the are sli$htl more li!el to consider leavin$? &he most important demo$raphic factor appears to #e accommodation? Students who live in 9niversit of *orthum#ria Halls of .6 would have #een a serious deterrent or an outri$ht #ar to their enterin$ H8? Staff and students appear to have a similar set of priorities for the mission of the universit C vocational preparation7 $eneral intellectual development7 and personal development in $eneric s!ills7 4universit e+perience5 and individual transformation? However7 it is possi#le that the views of the student interviewees represent those of onl a minorit of the students population? Staff felt that for man students the personal development aspect of universit is 4squeeHed out5 under current constraints of time and finance? &he also su$$ested that for man students this is a ver low priorit 7 at least until the final ear once the have developed a more mature and professional attitude durin$ a placement ear? Staff $enerall have a fairl accurate picture of student characteristics and lifest les? However7 some said that the would li!e more information a#out these7 and there were areas where man staff did not !now a $reat deal a#out students? In $eneral the sli$htl over' estimate student motivation7 #ut under'estimate the importance of $ainin$ hi$h mar!s and also of !nowin$ 4how one is doin$5 to students? Staff are aware that there is an enormous ran$e of different attitudes and lifest les amon$ their students? Staff are concerned a#out certain student attitudes and a#ilities? In particular7 the feel that incomin$ students are wea! in self'mana$ement and prioritisation7 and various #asic $eneric s!ills7 e?$? note'ta!in$7 listenin$ and directed readin$7 written and ver#al communication7 pro#lem'solvin$ and conceptual wor!7 and reflection and report on their own learnin$? Staff also worr a#out the development of 4transactional5 approaches to learnin$7 which ma!e it difficult to en$a$e in student centred techniques7 deep learnin$ or pro#lem solvin$? 1%7 .esidence are #etter attenders and show overall stron$er academic orientation7 en:o ment and satisfaction? &his is pro#a#l #ecause it is considera#l easier for them to inte$rate into the institution7 and also practicall simpler for them to attend lectures and use academic and social facilities? .or man students7 the financial realities of universit life are harsh7 and the students interviewed7 despite e+cellent overall levels of preparation7 found that this came as a surprise? &he impact of de#t on recruitment is outside the remit of this pro:ect7 #ut it is worth notin$ that several of the interviewees stated that the prospect of owin$ the sums of mone which will #ecome the norm after 2.

1%) Some staff and students are also concerned a#out the development of a 4customer5 approach from a minorit of students as the #e$in to perceive that the are pa in$ more for their education7 and a#out the detrimental effect on teachin$ and learnin$ which this ma have? Students often lac! confidence in their own a#ilities7 and ma not relate wor!in$ hard to $ainin$ the hi$h mar!s which the crave? &his ma relate to poor stud s!ills7 or to the lac! of opportunities for individual encoura$ement and feed#ac! from academic staff? It ma also arise #ecause students are often inclined to #elieve that success at universit is determined # 4inherent a#ilit 57 or # performance #efore the enter universit ? A distur#in$ num#er prefer to #elieve that the 4:ust can5 or 4:ust can5t5 do certain thin$s7 and find it surprisin$ 0and encoura$in$2 when the realise that the can actuall learn thin$s? A$ain7 this relates to a #elief in transactional learnin$ rather than transformation throu$h learnin$? -an students lac! a discourse or dialo$ue to discuss elements of their universit e+perience? Aften7 the institution and its staff ma wor! on the #asis of different fundamental #ut unspo!en assumptions a#out the purpose of the universit 7 and some of its core activities7 from those emplo ed # the students? &he need for a dialo$ue around various aspects such as s!ills7 emplo a#ilit 7 personal development and the purpose of H8 emer$es from this stud ? =hat sorts of activit are su$$ested # these findin$s> In the first place7 it provides et another ar$ument for #uildin$ in more opportunities for staff: student contact in small $roups or one'to'one interactions? Both staff and students were clear a#out the value of thisC it was seen as encoura$in$ and motivatin$7 and staff were clearl committed to this element of their wor!? It is valued even where the contact is offered throu$h the creative and prompt use of electronic resources? And it is facilitated # an important messa$e from the data which should not #e lost amon$ the various less cheerful onesC staff and students do want to cooperate in the wor! of the universit 7 and hold fundamentall positive attitudes towards each other? Importantl 7 offerin$ students academic contact on a personal #asis seems to #e what determines their view of staff as approacha#le or otherwise? &his is e+tremel encoura$in$ #ecause it offers a much more concrete K and reasona#le K wa of improvin$ staff'student relations than the rather va$ue e+hortation to lecturers to 4#e nice to students5? Af course7 it would #e a#surd to ar$ue against an initiative of this latter sort? However7 it is often frustratin$ for academics to #e told that the must 4reall care5 a#out their students7 or to impl that certain !inds of personalit have a #etter chance of offerin$ 4e+cellence5 in education? Advisin$ staff on frequenc and t pe of professional interaction is considera#l simpler than offerin$ advice on what constitute appropriate emotions? 3oor motivation amon$ students needs to #e addressed? It is not simpl the fault of staff who fail to enthuse their students? Some students arrive at universit with relativel little interest in their su#:ect7 and even where the #rin$ a level of su#:ect interest this is does not alwa s translate into a willin$ness to put the wor! in? 4Student centred teachin$5 can encoura$e some students to participate more in their own education7 #ut it is impossi#le to centre one5s teachin$ ver effectivel on students whose inclination is to place themselves at the mar$ins? Specific pro#lems with motivation were identified # staff? &he 4transactional5 approach to education is one s mptom of this7 and another is an unwillin$ness to develop $eneric s!ills and to en$a$e in the personal development involved in education? -an staff felt that the placement ear was !e to improvin$ #oth $eneric s!ills and motivation? &his ma occur partl #ecause $oin$ on placement helps students to clarit their career $oals7 and to see the lin! #etween all aspects of their course and future emplo ment? If the perceive that report writin$7 prioritisation of their time and pro#lem solvin$ are essential in the wor!place7 the have a $reater incentive to wor! on these than if the have simpl #een 1%) .

esidence? And students in the wor!place are almost forced to underta!e the activit of meetin$ and dealin$ with new and diverse people which some staff stated was a low priorit for unmotivated students? 6ommunication and interpersonal s!ills are fundamental to da 'to'da survival? 3erhaps #oth staff and students can learn from 4student $ood practice5 of the sort descri#ed # the interviewees? Staff were careful to point out that7 althou$h the spent more time in their interviews tal!in$ a#out the worse students7 the were aware that man were hard'wor!in$7 motivated and had $ood stud s!ills? It is entirel understanda#le that these students who are 4$ettin$ thin$s ri$ht5 did not occup a $reat deal of the discussion7 as the are in one sense 4unremar!a#le5C the course is set up to wor! for students li!e them? However7 it is interestin$ that we !now relatively little a#out the ha#its7 interests and priorities of 4e+cellent5 students in the modern universit ? Identif in$ and sharin$ $ood practice is a standard technique in staff developmentC could this #e e+tended to our students as well> 4&rappin$5 or encoura$in$ su#:ect interest at an earl sta$e is important here? &here is a discourse of universit entrance which focuses on career $oals to the e+clusion of this7 and it appears that students who enter without at least some attachment to the su#:ect are vulnera#le to poor stud ha#its and ad:ustment7 and also to withdrawal? Buildin$ su#:ect interest from scratch for these students K rather than simpl assumin$ that ever one on a course has an attachment to their field K is important? &his ma #e achieved partl throu$h re$ular and precise careers activities from the ver #e$innin$ of the course7 #ecause it ma!es the lin! #etween classroom activit and the desired :o#? Another aspect of student $ood practice which can #e fostered # the institution is clarit of personal $oals and their relation to stud ? &his appears to #e one of the motivatin$ factors for students on the hi$hl specialised vocational courses which have #een mentioned a#ove? &o encoura$e #etter motivation7 and facilitate student wor! in $eneral7 staff need to have a clear picture of da 'to'da student lives? Averall staff do not seem to hold highly inaccurate #eliefs7 #ut there are some misconceptions and a real staff hun$er for clear information a#out what life is li!e for all of their students? Staff and students also feel that this sort of 4realistic5 picture mi$ht #e helpful in some administrative areas7 e?$? timeta#lin$? Some of the student priorities identified7 most importantl on$oin$ feed#ac!7 could #e used in #oostin$ motivatin$ and possi#l also effective stud #ehaviours such as $ood time mana$ement and attendance? =here students fail to ta!e up opportunities for formative feed#ac!7 this mi$ht #e supported # the sort of 4dialo$ue5 discussed #elow? 1%" .1%" told to do so # a 4teacher5? In addition7 students who develop these a#ilities in the wor!place can find that a :o# is more interestin$ when it is done in a professional wa ? &he wor!place incorporates some of the elements which students themselves sa the find motivatin$? Eo#s have an inherent element of constant and on$oin$ feed#ac! on 4how ou5re doin$5C if one is underperformin$7 this will often #e pic!ed up ver quic!l while $ood performance will #e noted and sometimes rewarded? In addition7 students whose placement wor! means that the wor! in a team will e+perience 4su#:ect'#ased5 inte$ration of the sort for which universities strive? Buildin$ some of these elements into the earl sta$es of a course would #e a ver useful strate$ ? However7 the wor!place has several distinct advanta$es over the universit for doin$ so7 and for en$a$in$ students with these activities? In the first place7 attendance at wor! is compulsor 7 and instead of the situation where 4nothin$ happens to ou if ou don5t do the wor!57 somethin$ does happen to emplo ees who do not show up or who fail to do their :o#? In addition7 students spend more time7 and more consistent time in their wor!place7 rather than perhaps 16 or 1) contact hours spread out over the wee!? A placement offers all students some of the advanta$es of the Halls of .

16.esidence? In particular7 this would involve providin$ spaces where it is pleasant and eas to spend academic or social 4down time5 on campus? &he informal stud $roups used # students mi$ht #e facilitated # provision of small spaces which are reasona#l quiet #ut do not require 4li#rar li!e5 silence7 and where it is possi#le to spread out one5s wor! and have a cup of coffee? /aps #etween lectures mi$ht #e spent on campus if students could $o somewhere warm7 comforta#le and K ideall K smo!e'free where the can sit down for an hour or so without havin$ to spend mone ? And providin$ more social events around courses would help provide a universit communit for students livin$ at home? All of these require lar$e resources of time and mone 7 #ut would pro#a#l #e appreciated # man students? -ana$in$ student e+pectations from #efore entr and durin$ the first ear 0at least2 is e+tremel important in helpin$ students to en:o their course and to ad:ust well? &he stron$ relationship #etween e+pectations and ad:ustmentFsatisfaction is also important when the new emphasis on surve s of student satisfaction is considered? All of the a#ove activities will have some impact on the specific pro#lems caused # two $roups of students who are vulnera#le to withdrawal or failure7 the 4strate$ic5 and the 4reactive5 $roups? An awareness and ac!nowled$ement that a minorit of students do fall into these cate$ories is important7 as is the development of some measures to support their learnin$ and to help them $et more out of their universit e+perience than mi$ht have #een the case 0or7 indeed7 their intention2? It is not reall practical 4:ust to leave them5? Strate$ic students clearl dama$e the qualit of classroom e+perience for all students 0especiall where tutors tr to use interactive and student'centred techniques2C their decision to follow their universit career in this wa is not somethin$ which harms onl them? In addition7 the #ehaviours of these $roups ma have wor!ed at a time when staff: student ratios were low and staff had the time to put in the effort with individual students which would ensure that the en$a$ed sufficientl with their course to pass? As students are required to #e more proactive in 4ownin$5 and mana$in$ their own learnin$7 reactive and strate$ic students are $oin$ to find it harder to 4survive5 at universit ? (er importantl 7 these are $roups of students defined not # an demo$raphic factor7 #ut # their attitudes and approaches to stud ? &here is some evidence that these ma relate wea!l to some demo$raphic factors? . . It would also #e useful for students to !now a#out some of the less 4o#vious5 aspects of student opinion and lifest le? Ane findin$ from this pro:ect which would pro#a#l come as a surprise to man staff is the lac! of confidence amon$ man female studentsC the !noc!'on effects of this in student representation and possi#l also achievement are not !nown? Ane area in which it mi$ht #e possi#le to e+tend student 4$ood practice5 is in helpin$ students who live at home to en:o some of the advanta$es conferred # accommodation in Halls of .or e+ample7 mature'a$e students rarel fall into either cate$or 0for o#vious practical reasons2C #oth Dneale5s stud and this one su$$est that more men than women are 4strate$ic57 and there is evidence that first'$eneration students are less li!el than second to #e 4reactive5 entrants? However7 there are plent of hi$hl motivated oun$7 male andFor second $eneration students who come to universit with a love of their su#:ect and a determination to wor! hard7 and a num#er of strate$ists and reactive entrants will #e female andFor first $eneration? All of these issues are related to the theme of 4unspo!en5 assumptions a#out the universit on the part of #oth staff and students7 and to the need to open a dialo$ue in which #oth sides can voice these? &his is not eas ? <ialo$ue7 and the formation of a shared discourse7 needs time and space7 and is #est achieved in small $roups rather than in the lar$er classes and impersonal fora which are #ecomin$ more common in hi$her education? Students who have $rown used to a 4transactional5 approach to learnin$ in school ma #e unwillin$ to put in the 16.

161 additional time and thou$ht needed for this processC such a resistance has #een mentioned # several staff? However7 active participation in a dialo$ue is an effective wa for staff and students to learn more a#out each other and reinforce the academic communit ? Several priorities for staff'student dialo$ue have #een noted in this pro:ect? &he nature of learnin$7 s!ills7 feed#ac! and motivation are all areas of interest for #oth students and staff? As students reflect on their e+periences and enhance their own learnin$7 staff can find out more a#out the individuals whom the teach and can shape teachin$ methods and or$anisation towards this $roup? Ance a$ain7 discussion and active e+ploration is a more effective wa to help students understand the mission of the institution in areas such as feed#ac! and $eneric s!ills acquisitionC there is somethin$ of a contradiction in e+pectin$ them to #elieve thin$s in these areas #ecause the have :ust #een told that it is true? If universit is a place where students are encoura$ed to ta!e part in a dialo$ue7 this will cruciall esta#lish the fact that it is different from school? However $ood secondar schools are at their :o#7 it is different from that of a hi$her education institution? =hether dialo$ue is re$arded as an old'fashioned function of intellectual development or a modern $eneric s!ill for the adapta#le7 creative7 pro#lem'solvin$ professional 0or7 as most of the staff and students interviewed would pro#a#l ar$ue7 as a #it of #oth27 it is somethin$ that definitel #elon$s in a universit 7 and which students will not onl en:o 7 #ut need# Some of the tensions around universit teachin$7 such as the difference #etween transactional and transformational learnin$7 can #e e+plored here? &he nature and ethics of transformation can #e discussed7 where these are a source of an+iet or simpl un!nowns for students? It is also a place where students can reflect on the variet of sometimes #ewilderin$ e+periences? Students can learn more a#out the purpose of the su#:ect s!ills and !nowled$e which the are acquirin$7 in relation to their relevance in the outside world and to individual career $oals? &he can also $ain $eneric s!ills of reflection7 report7 anal sis and communication? A dialo$ue would encoura$e students7 to paraphrase one of the student interviewees7 to thin! a#out 4this sort of thin$5? It mi$ht also help them7 to paraphrase one of the staff7 to 4dream5? 161 .

2? &he influence of active learnin$ on the colle$e student departure process: towards a revision of &into5s theor ? Eournal of &igher Education 71 0%2? %6" K %".2 <espaul7 3 A 8 /7 . 02.<SA Annual International 6onference7 -el#ourne7 Australia7 Eul 1""" Broad#ent7 6 02..22? Students and universities( a dysfunctional relationship? 3aper presented at the A&8-FAA33A 6onference7 6an#erra7 Au$ust 2..= 02..and .nstructor Service to Students 9D.. 6hatterton7 3 01"""2? 9niversit students and cit centres K the formation of e+clusive $eo$raphies? &he case of Bristol7 9D? 8eoforum 3.SS $0.22? Stop the #us I want to $et off: Academics copin$ in a time of uncertaint ? 3aper presented at the 6onference of the Australian Association for .%2? Non-completion at the University of North "ondon and "ondon 8uildhall University( A case study? Hi$her 8ducation 3olic Institute7 Gondon Bland7 < 02.12? =or!in$'class men5s constructions of masculinit and ne$otiations of 0non2 participation in hi$her education? 8ender and Education 13 042? 431 K 44" Aston7 G and Be!hradnia7 B 02. Breen7 ....? 117 K 133 6hristie7 H7 -unro7 .4 Ahmad7 ..42? 1eveloping the Duality of . Duestionnaire? 3aper presented at the 4th Annual Gill *orth 6onference on 6olle$e &eachin$7 6entral -ichi$an 9niversit 7 Septem#er 2. and Sullivan7 A S 02.isher7 & 02..esearch in 8ducation7 Bris#ane 2..42? 8colo$ical and motivational determinants of activation: stud in$ compared to sports and watchin$ &(? Social .42? 6rossin$ the line: A stud of peer influence on students from low'income #ac!$rounds in transition from school to universit ? 3aper presented at the 6onference of the Australian Association for ...32? <issonance #etween conceptions of learnin$ and wa s of learnin$ for indi$enous Australian universit students? Studies in &igher Education 2) 012? 7" ' )" Bra+ton7 E -7 -ilem7 E ..2 Boulton'Gewis7 / -7 =ilss7 G and Gewis7 < 02.42? Geavin$ universit earl : e+plorin$ the differences #etween continuin$ and non'continuin$ students? Studies in &igher Education 2" 0%2? 617 K 636 6oo!7 A and Gec!e 7 E 01"""2? <o e+pectations meet realit > A surve of chan$es in first ear student opinion? Eournal of %urther and &igher Education 23 022? 1%7 K 171 6orcoran7 3 02...2 6han7 ( 02.162 %iblio-raphy Adams7 E 02...esearch in 8ducation7 Bris#ane 2.12? -odern traditions> British -uslim women and academic achievement? 8ender and Education 13 022? 137 K 1%2 Archer7 G7 3ratt7 S < and 3hillips7 < 02. 01"""2? Student motivation and conceptions of disciplinar !nowled$e? 3aper presented at the H8.12? Gearnin$ autonomousl : the learners5 perspective? Eournal of %urther and &igher Education 2% 032? 2)% K 3..eis7 H& and de (ries7 .ndicators Research 67? 12" ' 143 162 .

..22? <an$er and $rievin$ in the universit ? 3aper presented at the 6onference of the Australian Association for ...esearch in 8ducation7 Bris#ane 2..12? Alternative perspectives on the student e+perience: alienation and en$a$ement? Studies in &igher Education 26 012? 7 K 1" 163 .esearch in 8ducation7 Bris#ane 2.irst' ear students5 perceptions of capa#ilit ? Studies in &igher Education 2" 0127 1.22? Academics5 metaphors and #eliefs a#out universit teachin$ and learnin$? 3aper presented at the 6onference of the Australian Association for .42? Interpretin$ student wor!load and the factors which shape students5 perceptions of their wor!load? Studies in &igher Education 2" 022? 16% K 1)4 Dneale7 3 01""72? &he rise of the Mstrate$ic studentN: how can we adapt to cope> in %acing up to Radical Ahanges in Aolleges and Universities ed S Armstron$7 / &hompson and S Brown? Gondon: Do$an 3a$e? 11" K 13.163 <oole 7 D 02..2 Hi$$ins7 .32? 6onsiderin$ the la#or contri#utions of students: An alternative to the student'as'customer metaphor? Eournal of Education for usiness 7) 0%2? 2%% K 2%7 Hannan7 . B7 Bec!er7 E A H and Buc!le 7 ..42? 3eda$o$ in diverse secondar school classes: Ge$acies for hi$her education? &igher Education 4)7 231 ' 2%2 /ra son7 E? 3aul 02.42? &he influence of the curriculum or$anisation on stud pro$ress in hi$her education? &igher Education 477 411 K 43% Eones7 .....22? &he relationship #etween e+tra'role #ehaviours and :o# #urnout for primar school teachers: A preliminar model and development of an or$anisational citiHenship #ehaviour scale? 3aper presented at the 6onference of the Australian Association for .2 -c=illiam7 8 and &a lor7 3 / 02.22? &he conscientious consumer: reconsiderin$ the role of assessment feed#ac! in student learnin$? Studies in &igher Education 27 012? %3 K 64 Eac!son7 6 02." K 12) -acdonald7 E 02. and &homas7 G 02..42? Students at ris!: students5 $eneral stud orientations and a#andonin$Fprolon$in$ the course of studies? &igher Education 4)7 173 K 1)) -ann7 S E 02. 02. and Eimmieson7 * 02... Gind#lom'Ol1nne7 Sari 02.7 Hartle 7 3 and S!elton7 A 02...22? M/ettin$ it to$ether and #ein$ put on the spotN: s nopsis7 motivation and e+amination? Studies in &igher Education 27 032? 32" K 337 -cShane7 D 02.32? &he consequences of earl ad:ustment to universit ? &igher Education 467 411 K 42"? Hal#esle#en7 E ..32? &ransitions into hi$her education: $endered implications for academic self'concept? 3xford Review of Education 2" 032? 331 K 346 Eansen7 8 3 = A 02.32? Broadenin$ an understandin$ of the phenomenon of dissonance? Studies in &igher Education 2) 012? 63 K 77 GiHHio7 A and =ilson7 D 02.esearch in 8ducation7 Bris#ane 2.2 -1!inen7 Ear!!o7 Al!inuora7 8r!!i and Gon!a7 Dirsti 02...12? *ot 4:ust passin$ throu$h5: -a!in$ retention wor! for present and future learners? Bidening =articipation and "ifelong "earning? 3 022? Dem#er7 < 02..42? .

nstructional =sychology 26 042? 2%.22? Student retention in hi$her education: the role of institutional ha#itus? Eournal of Education =olicy 17 042? 423 K 442 9.42? /eneration neRt comes to colle$e: meetin$ the postmodern student? Hi$her Gearnin$ 6ommission 6ollection of 3apers7 9SA? Availa#le at www?ta lorpro$rams?or$ &homas7 G 02.*8 02.2? =h students are not 0:ust2 customers 0and other reflections on Gife After /eor$e2? Eournal of &igher Education =olicy and 0anagement 22 022? 14" K 16% Silver7 H 02..12? Student Retention.esearch in 8ducation7 Bris#ane 2.02..amsden7 37 &ri$well7 D and -artin7 8 02.32? <oes a universit have a culture> Studies in &igher Education 2) 022? 1%7 ' 16" Smithers 02.. B7 <eBac!er7 & and /reene7 B A 01"""2? 3erceived instrumentalit and academics: the lin! to tas! valuin$? Eournal of .22? 8n$a$in$ hetero$eneit : tertiar literac in new times? 3aper presented at the 6onference of the Australian Association for .32? <issonance in e+perience of teachin$ and its relation to the qualit of student learnin$? Studies in &igher Education 2) 012? 37 K 4) ...22? Student motivation: a socio'economic perspective? Studies in &igher Education 27 0427 44% K 4%7 = she Hirst7 8 02.164 -iller7 .42? Staff perceptions of factors related to non'completion in hi$her education? Studies in &igher Education 2" 0327 37% K 3"4 &a lor7 ..ea 7 <7 <avid7 .4 Sullivan7 A 02....12? 6ultural capital and educational attainment? Sociology 3% 042? )"3 K "12 .... 3rosser7 -7 .2 164 .idle 7 < 02....42? Academic and social inte$ration in hi$her education: a surve of satisfaction and dissatisfaction within a first ear education studies cohort at a new universit ? Eournal of %urther and &igher Education 2) 022? 17" K 1"3 ..42? Gearn for :o not :ust :o#s sa s new minister? $he 8uardian 24 Septem#er 2.42? 9nderstandin$ student motivation? Educational Research 46 022? 137 K 14" Sharroc!7 / 02.. ' 26.12? -a!in$ a difference> Institutional ha#ituses and hi$her education choice? Sociological Research 3nline % 042? .and Ball7 S 02.hodes7 6 and *evill7 A 02.2? $he University( An 3wners 0anual# *orton and 6o?: *ew Oor!? &a lor7 E A and Bedford7 & 02.7 Seifert7 &imoth G? 02.42? 3uHHlin$ e+periences in hi$her education: critical moments for conversation? Studies in &igher Education 2" 012? "1 K 1.osovs! 7 H 01"".. Support and Bidening =articipation in the North East of England# 9niversities for the *orth 8ast7 *ewcastle? 9niteFH83I 02.%2? $he Student Experience Report +@@4? H83I7 Gondon? wa -wachofi7 *7 Strom7 -7 /il#ert7 3 and 6ohen7 H 01""%2? Reflections on the student as customer metaphor? &eachin$ forum7 9niversit of =isconsin? =inn7 S 02..

"e. or fill in your response in the space provided. Please tic the box !hich best represents your ans!er to each "uestion. /ale 1:0* 1:0+ 0emale %ge 1)'20 21'2* 2+'. 89:.) *0'*) -!er +0 1he course on which I initially entered ## was 2id you transfer to a different course at ## during your first year? 3es #o 1:04 1he last 5ualifications which I gained prior to entry to ## were: 1ype 6e7g7 %'le!els. please provide a little information about yourself and your course.1'. what do you think you will do in the coming academic year? Intermitting this year but will return nlikely to return to uni!ersity I$m not sure what I will do 1:01 Progress to the 2nd year of my course Repeat the first year of my course "tudy at a different uni!ersity from ## 1:02 1& ' 1( 1:0. At the present time. .The Student Experience and Student Expectations 1: First of all. please tick the type of accommodation in which you li!ed for the longest period of time7 "hared house>flat 6pri!ate< "hared house>flat 6 ##< Pri!ate hall of residence -ther Parents$>own home ## hall of residence 1:0( 2id any of the following people among your family and friends go to uni!ersity? =ent to uni!ersity aged 1& ? 2* =ent to uni!ersity as a mature'age student 2id not go to uni!ersity /other 0ather -lder brother or sister 3ounger brother or sister %unt.#9 etc< 1:0& =here did you li!e during your first term? #ote: if you mo!ed during your first term.16% Appendix #ne D Student >uestionnaire THE STUDENT EXPERIENCE AND STUDENT EXPECTATIONS Student Questionnaire 1 .0 . uncle or cousin 9lose friend from school>college 1:0) 1:10 =hat is>was your father$s occupation? =hat is>was your mother$s occupation? CONTINUED 16% .

please tic the box !hich best represents your ans!er to each "uestion. or fill in your response in the space provided. how many hours did you actually spend in pri!ate study? . that ad!ised by your tutors.imately how many hours of formal study appeared on your timetable? Activity @ectures @ab sessions 2:02 Hours Activity "eminars>classes "tudy groups Hours Activity "mall group tutorials -ther acti!ities Hours 2:01 2id your tutors suggest a sensible number of hours for you to spend in pri!ate study? 3es #o 2:0. why was this? Please tick all which apply7 I lacked moti!ation to study Personal>medical problems I felt foolish in front of family>friends I$m not sure I usually did the ad!ised amount -ther.ours per week 2:0+ If the amount of time you actually spent in pri!ate study was less than ad!ised by your tutors. what was this? .ours per week 2:0* In a typical term'time week. &#ain. If they suggested a sensible number of hours of pri!ate study. please state: I enAoyed studying for this course I felt that I needed to work hard to keep up I wanted to get good marks /y friends were all working hard I ha!e made sacrifices to come to uni!ersity CONTINUED 166 . why was this? Please tick all which apply7 I didn$t want to let my family down I didn$t want to let my tutors down I didn$t want to let myself down I rarely did the ad!ised amount -ther. or more than. %ppro. please state: I felt that I was doing enough work I felt that I understood the subAect well I found pri!ate study boring I was too busy earning money 0amily commitments made studying difficult /y social life was too busy 2:04 If the amount of time you actually spent in pri!ate study was about the same as.166 2: The follo!in# "uestions as about ho! you spent your time !hile studyin# at $%%.

weeks 1 ? 4 "emester 1. weeks & ? 12 "emester 2. how long did your commute to uni!ersity take? 6#ote: please pro!ide the figure for one !ay tra!el only< hours minutes CONTINUED days 167 . please state when this occurred and how many hours you worked at your busiest and least busy times during term'time7 2:14 2:1& In an a!erage week. weeks 1 ? 4 "emester 2. weeks 1 ? 4 "emester 2. 2:1* If you answered Dno$ to *:11. why was this? Please tick all that apply7 I disliked the physical en!ironment 0amily commitments Part'time work commitments I Aust didn$t feel moti!ated I was too tired I attended &+B or more -ther. weeks 1 ? 4 "emester 1. and estimate what percentage of timetabled hours you attended at the following stages of the year: &+ ? 100B "emester 1. please state +0 ? &+B 2+ ? +0B 0 ? 2+B #one . how many days did you come into uni!ersity ? -n an a!erage day. weeks & ' 12 2:0( If at any point you attended less than &+B of timetabled hours. weeks & ? 12 :aster !acation 3es > #o 2:11 2id you continue with your part'time work until the end of the academic year? 3es #o 2:12 2:1.167 2:0& Please think about your attendance at the sessions on your timetable. weeks 2 ? 12 9hristmas !acation "emester 2. when did you begin this work? Cefore I began my course "emester 1.ad left course Personal>medical problems I felt that I understood the subAect well I found the timetabled sessions boring I found the tutor>lecturer unapproachable I disliked a particular topic or module @ong gaps between classes I found it difficult to relate to other students 2:0) 2:10 2id you ha!e a part'time Aob during term'time in your first year at ##? If you had a part'time Aob during term'time. please indicate the date when you left your Aob =hat sort of part'time work did you do? In a typical week. how many hours did you work in your part'time Aob? 2:1+ 2id the number of hours which you worked in your part'time Aob !ary significantly during the year? If so.

:0) . did you consider transferring to a different course? 3es > #o If you considered withdrawing or transferring but e!entually stayed on your original course.:0+ . please state below: %ttracted by course title Interest in the subAect =ant to get a particular type of Aob =ant to get a well'paid Aob .: 'hen you ans!er the "uestions in the next section. which one was this? =hy did you choose the course onto which you were initially accepted at ##? Remember.:04 .:0* =as one of the reasons indicated abo!e the most important reason? 3es > #o If so. There are several possible ans!ers to each "uestion( please indicate all of the ans!ers !hich you feel apply to you.:0.:11 . please state I began to enAoy my course more I couldn$t decide on another course I got support from student ser!ices /y career aims ha!en$t changed CONTINUED 16) . please state below: .:12 =as one of the reasons indicated abo!e the most important reason? 3es > #o If so. tick all the answers which apply to you7 Reputation of this course %d!ice of teacher>careers ad!iser %d!ice of family>friends -ther.:02 .16) . !hy did you decide to stay on your original course? I began to enAoy uni!ersity more I got support from my tutors I got support from friends>family -ther.:10 . please state below: Reputation of the uni!ersity Reputation of the "chool>course Reputation of the city /y friends were going to ## Recommendation of friend>relati!e . which one was this? =hy did you choose to go to ##? Remember.:0& =as one of the reasons indicated abo!e the most important reason? 3es > #o If so. which one was this? %t any point in your 1st year. . did you consider dropping out of your course? 3es > #o %t any point in your 1st year.:0( . tick all the answers which apply to you7 It offered a course I wanted to do I wanted to li!e at home I wanted to lea!e home 1his was the only place I was offered -ther.:01 1o study a subAect that really interests me 1o train for a specific type of Aob 1o impro!e my Aob prospects generally I didn$t want to get a Aob right away 1eachers ad!ised me to go to uni!ersity . =hy did you decide to go to uni!ersity? 0amily wanted me to go to uni!ersity %ll my friends were going to uni!ersity I enAoy learning and studying I want to achie!e a degree -ther. please thin about your application to $%% .

pected to become independent learners too 5uickly ni!ersity timetables should be more con!enient for students 1he physical en!ironment of the uni!ersity is pleasant I sometimes felt pressurised by financial worries In general. agree disagree *:0* agree disagree *:0+ agree disagree *:04 agree disagree *:0& agree disagree *:0( agree disagree *:0) agree disagree *:10 agree disagree *:11 agree disagree *:12 agree disagree *:1. Please circle the ans!er !hich best represents your response to each "uestion *:01 I ha!e adAusted well to the academic demands of uni!ersity I ha!e adAusted well to my social life at uni!ersity I find it easy to manage my own time and workload at uni!ersity I worked consistently throughout my first year at uni!ersity It was easy to understand the rationale for the content of my course I ha!e become good at working independently while at uni!ersity "tudents are e. the academic demands of the work on my course wereE strongly agree strongly agree strongly agree strongly agree strongly agree strongly agree strongly agree strongly agree strongly agree strongly agree strongly agree strongly agree far too hea!y far too difficult agree neither agree nor disagree neither agree nor disagree neither agree nor disagree neither agree nor disagree neither agree nor disagree neither agree nor disagree neither agree nor disagree neither agree nor disagree neither agree nor disagree neither agree nor disagree neither agree nor disagree neither agree nor disagree about right about right disagree strongly disagree strongly disagree strongly disagree strongly disagree strongly disagree strongly disagree strongly disagree strongly disagree strongly disagree strongly disagree strongly disagree strongly disagree far too light far too easy *:02 agree disagree *:0.16" )* +n the follo!in# section. the lecturers on my course were good at e. the lecturers on my course were approachable In general. *:1* too hea!y too difficult too light too easy CONTINUED 16" .plaining things In general. the workload on my course wasE In general. you !ill be as ed to thin about your experience durin# your first year at university.

. .pectations? .pected about as I e.pectations? .pectations about the course content I would encounter wereE /y e.pectations about the amount of academic support a!ailable wereE /y e.pectations about the need to be an independent learner wereE /y e.* +n the next section.pectations about the amount of indi!idual contact with staff wereE much hea!ier much harder much harder far more interesting !ery good a bit hea!ier a bit harder a bit harder a bit more interesting good about as I e.pected about as I e. please try to remember your expectations about #oin# to university.pected? In general.pectations about the amount of non' academic support a!ailable wereE /y e.pectations about the teaching methods at uni!ersity wereE !ery accurate !ery accurate !ery accurate !ery accurate !ery accurate !ery accurate 5uite accurate 5uite accurate 5uite accurate 5uite accurate 5uite accurate 5uite accurate 5uite mistaken 5uite mistaken 5uite mistaken 5uite mistaken 5uite mistaken 5uite mistaken !ery mistaken !ery mistaken !ery mistaken !ery mistaken !ery mistaken !ery mistaken +:10 +:11 +:12 +:1.ow do the academic demands of your course compare to your e. +:01 . Please circle the ans!er !hich best represents your response to each "uestion.pectations? . +:0* +:0+ +:04 much too high much too high much too high a bit too high a bit too high a bit too high a bit too low a bit too low a bit too low +:0& +:0( about right about right +:0) /y e.pectations about the physical en!ironment of uni!ersity wereE /y e.17.pected about ade5uate about right a bit lighter a bit easier a bit easier a bit more boring poor much lighter much easier much easier far more boring !ery poor far too low far too low far too low +:02 +:0. +:1* CONTINUED 17.pectations about the study habits I would need at uni!ersity wereE /y e.pectations about academic staff wereE /y e.ow interesting is your course compared with what you e.pected about as I e.ow does making friends at uni!ersity compare to your e.ow does the workload at uni!ersity compare to your e. how good a preparation for uni!ersity was school or college? /y e.

4:01 In general. agree disagree 4:0* agree disagree 4:0+ agree disagree 4:04 agree disagree 4:0& I need to know how well I$m doing in order to feel moti!ated to work In general. I found my course !ery interesting strongly agree strongly agree strongly agree strongly agree strongly agree strongly agree strongly agree strongly agree strongly agree strongly agree strongly agree strongly agree strongly agree strongly agree agree neither agree nor disagree neither agree nor disagree neither agree nor disagree neither agree nor disagree neither agree nor disagree neither agree nor disagree neither agree nor disagree neither agree nor disagree neither agree nor disagree neither agree nor disagree neither agree nor disagree neither agree nor disagree neither agree nor disagree neither agree nor disagree disagree strongly disagree strongly disagree strongly disagree strongly disagree strongly disagree strongly disagree strongly disagree strongly disagree strongly disagree strongly disagree strongly disagree strongly disagree strongly disagree strongly disagree 4:02 I only want to study topics which I belie!e to be rele!ant to my career Inherent ability is the biggest factor in academic success at uni!ersity In general. the lecturers stimulated my interest in my subAect I am keen to learn about new aspects of my subAect and to e. I did only the minimum of work which was re5uired of me I often found it difficult to get moti!ated to work on my course I want to gain high marks at uni!ersity agree disagree 4:0. agree disagree 4:1* -!erall. I ha!e really enAoyed my studies so far at ## agree disagree 171 .plore new ideas I find it easy to talk about uni!ersity with my family and friends I get satisfaction from meeting intellectual challenges and pushing my limits I often find my course boring but will stick with it because I want a good Aob I feel that I really belong at uni!ersity agree disagree 4:0( agree disagree 4:0) agree disagree 4:10 agree disagree 4:11 agree disagree 4:12 agree disagree 4:1. please thin about ho! you felt about your course at $%%. and circle the ans!er that most accurately describes your response to each statement.171 -* 'hen you ans!er this section.

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