Transition from school to university : an environmental approach : a comparative study of students at the Universities of Durham and Loughborough
The university environment as a whole was subdivided into five environmental spheres:- the physical, human, institutional, academic and personal. The effects that aspects of each of these five spheres had upon transition were assessed by surveying a randomly selected systematic sample of 25. of the first year undergraduates at Durham and Loughborough during the first term of their first year, in November 1975. These two universities were chosen because of their similarity in proportion of students in residence and similar student numbers. A specially devised questionnaire was used containing questions eliciting students' attitudes .towards aspects of the university situation within each of the five spheres. A Supplementary Survey was conducted during the students' second year (February 1977) to assess the degree of attitude change and adjustment, and to discover the ease with which transition had been accomplished. Between these two surveys interviews had been conducted with students at both universities to discuss more fully the implications of the main Survey. Results obtained from both surveys and interviews were then compared with final degree results, published between 1978 and 1980, and frequency with which students reported experiencing transitional problems, using a specially computed problem score. Individualised characteristics such as age, academic attainment on entry to university, home are~ and school experience were also compared with degree results. and problem reportage. There was a tendency for environmental factors to be leis significantly related to degree success, attrition and problem reportage than some other student characteristics, especially previous academic attainment.