Challenging the notion of the transition year: the experiences of rural and urban tertiary students

Amy L. Wilson, Luke Greenacre, Silvia Pignata, Anthony Winefield

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2 Citations (Scopus)


The assumption in the literature that the transition to tertiary studies occurs within the first year has not been tested. This study investigates the timing of the transition by comparing the experiences of domestic students from rural (n = 7) and urban (n = 8) secondary schools, using an ecological framework. Semi-structured interviews of students' experiences revealed that the timing of the transition period can extend beyond the initial transition year, particularly for urban students who experience less immediate changes to social networks. Research and support for students in transition needs to consider more than just the first year of studies to increase student satisfaction, reduce attrition rates and improve educational outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-30
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Research
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Ecological framework
  • Rural students
  • Tertiary studies
  • Transition
  • Urban students

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