What do commencing undergraduate students expect from first year university?
Burke Da Silva, Karen Loreen
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The expectations of students entering their first year of undergraduate study in South Australia were investigated. Responses from 3,091 students allowed a comprehensive understanding of students’ expectations. Most respondents (70%) were entering university directly from secondary school and most (78%) were studying in their program of first choice. The major factor in program choice was interest in the topic, followed by career prospects. The need to understand the expectations of students commencing university is becoming even more important with many universities aiming to increase participation from previously under-represented groups. Only 30% of students had realistic expectations about the amount of study required to succeed at university. Most students felt that feedback on submitted work, and on drafts of work, would be important for their learning. Having easy and convenient access to teaching staff outside of face-to-face teaching was seen as an important factor in success. Ninety-one percent of students felt that having friends studying at the same university would provide support, but 25% did not know anyone studying at the same university.