An enhanced route from FE to HE graduation?

Meharg, D., Taylor-Smith, E., Varey, A., Mooney, C., Dallas, S. (2017). An enhanced route from FE to HE graduation?. Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice, 5, (2), 85-92.



This study explores student transitions from further to higher education through the Associate Student Project and examines the effectiveness of this enhanced transition programme for direct-entry students. Universities are expected to plan transitions for young people, ensuring courses support articulation and provide seamless progression (Scottish Government, 2014). The Access in Scotland Report (Hunter Blackburn et al., 2016) called for further research into retention strategies for disadvantaged students and the development of appropriate support methods. Through the Associate Student Project, Edinburgh Napier University has introduced targeted learning opportunities to enhance student progression and attainment by addressing barriers to success in the different HE environment, creating opportunities for students to develop their confidence and the academic skills which will help them to succeed at university.
For some, the journey to university is seen as a ‘rite of passage’ (Giddens, 1991); others have no family history of university study and the journey from college to university is an unknown path. This research makes use of focus groups involving articulating students, both before and after transitions from college into adjacent degree courses, to examine their experience of the transition, combined with data from large scale surveys of all undergraduate students in the School of Computing and the associate students currently studying in college and, importantly, the university’s retention and attainment data.
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Simone Dallas
School Placement Coordinator
+44 131 455 2685
Ella Taylor-Smith
Senior Research Fellow
+44 131 455 2392
Debbie Meharg
+44 131 455 2927
Alison Varey
Senior Lecturer
+44 131 455 2725

Areas of Expertise

Computing Education
Computing Education shares many of the same challenges of general education but it also has a few unique challenges which the researchers in this area are exploring through a range of funded projects and collaborative national and international projects.

Associated Projects