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Direct entrants in transition: becoming independent learners

Christie, Hazel; Barron, Paul; D'Annunzio-Green, Norma


Hazel Christie

Norma D'Annunzio-Green


This article investigates the dynamic transitions that college leavers make to university. It draws on qualitative research with a group of students who took direct entry to the second or third year of a degree programme at university, to show that successful transitions depend on the students becoming independent learners. It argues that the students who adapt best to the new learning environment are those who understand what independent learning entails, and who are good time managers. While the transitions experienced by direct entrants are comparable to those of students entering the first year of a degree more generally, the article recognises that there are differences. The difficulties experienced by many new students – including learning how the university works – may be exacerbated amongst direct entrants because they have less time in which to adapt to the new regime and their needs are often less visible at the institutional level.


Christie, H., Barron, P., & D'Annunzio-Green, N. (2013). Direct entrants in transition: becoming independent learners. Studies in Higher Education, 38, 623-637.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2013
Deposit Date Jul 16, 2015
Print ISSN 0307-5079
Electronic ISSN 1470-174X
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 38
Pages 623-637
Keywords University transition; student learning; learning environment; first-year experience; academic success;
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