Induction and Transition

Effective induction and transition are essential to allow students to settle in, get going and stay the course. Old-fashioned approaches where induction tends to be organised centrally - and involves wheeling out the great and the good - have outlived their effectiveness. We must thus note that a good induction process can improve first year retention by up ten percentage points. We offer services to review and develop induction (and transition) at three levels - programme, department and institution. Our work here draws on research evidence from several relevant contexts:

• The contribution of pre-entry interventions to developing engagement and commitment
• Effective approaches to induction and transition drawing on the What works? Student retention and success programme
• Promoting social engagement through the academic programme
• Working in partnership with professional service staff
• Specific induction activities that have been developed elsewhere

Relevant publications

Thomas, L. (2012) ‘What works? Facilitating an effective transition into higher education’, Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning, 14, Special Issue, pp.4-24

Jones, R. and Thomas, L (2012) Promoting social engagement. Improving STEM student transition, retention and success in higher education. Birmingham: National HE STEM programme

Thomas, L. (2012) Building student engagement and belonging at a time of change in higher education. London: Paul Hamlyn Foundation

Thomas, L. et al (2009) Review of Widening Participation Strategic Assessments. Ormskirk: Action on Access.

Relevant activities

Liz is directing the What works? Student retention and success change programme on behalf of the Higher Education Academy and Action on Access, funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. This explores three areas, including induction. Fifteen academic programmes within nine universities are implementing changes which will be evaluated both quantitatively and qualitatively.

In 2012 Liz was invited to the First Year in Higher Education conference at the Queensland University of Technology, Australia. She gave a key note address on transition, a masterclass on the link between pre-entry interventions and retention and success, plus a workshop on staff engagement.