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Learning Journeys: Student experiences in further and higher education in Scotland

This report looks at how students choose what and where to study, their experiences of studying, and their transitions between different levels of study, as well as their hopes for the future. The findings are based on a survey of over 1,600 college, undergraduate and postgraduate students in Scotland.
 
The research shows a majority of students reported positive experiences in college and university, but highlights some key issues.

Key findings 

• Students from more 'deprived' backgrounds reported feeling less confident to play an active role in their education, and were less likely to feel they were achieveing their full potential.

• Students on 'direct-entry' routes to university (entering university in second year of a degree or later) were the group of university students most likely to have found settling into studying at university challenging, and reported issues fitting in with other students, and difficulty adjusting to different ways of learning and teaching.

• Negative perception of college or university may be affecting students' choices in education: college students reported they felt university would be impersonal, difficult, and intimidating, while university students reported they saw college more as a 'back-up' plan, or somewhere students would go if they didn't get the grades for university.

• Both college and university students felt that university was seen as the 'normal' option after school or a superior option to college.
 
The report recommends action to address the issue of 'parity of esteem' between different qualifications and modes of study, further work to support students from more deprived backgrounds in education, and to help transitions between levels of study, especially for direct-entry students. The report also calls for further, specific research to be conducted in areas of concern.

Author(s): Higher Education Academy Scotland and NUS Scotland

Production date: 2013

Communities: Scotland, Diversity, Careers Information, Careers Advice and Guidance

Audiences: Academics, Careers practitioners , Students and graduates - all

Format: Web


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Tags: Scotland NUS higher education academy social mobility diversity

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