The transition to Higher Education for non-traditional, commuter students - a synthesis of recent literature to enhance understanding of their needs.

Jane Southall, Hilary Wason, Barry Avery


Transition to Higher Education has been the subject of an increasing number of studies in recent years due to the importance of retention rates and the impact that poor transition has on students’ success.  Most of the transition literature focusses on the need for students to integrate, develop a social and academic identity and acquire appropriate independent learning skills.  When the student body was more homogenous in terms of educational experience, academic level and family background, and when becoming a student meant living away from home, all of these issues were more easily addressed. However, with a much more diverse student body, many of whom do not leave home but commute to campus on a daily basis whilst retaining part-time jobs, the previous models of transition are becoming harder to implement.  It is vital that Higher Education Institutions develop a clearer understanding of the factors affecting transition for such commuter students in order to develop pedagogic approaches and interventions that can ease their transition into Higher Education and build engagement.


transition, independent learning, self-efficacy, cultural and social capital

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