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Towards a more successful school-university transition: Insights from a case study

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posted on 2022-08-23, 23:45 authored by Louise Soper

There is increasing concern amongst parents and educators at the level of dropout and underachievement of school leavers during their first-year of university education (e.g., Gardner, 1996; Nunley & Gemberling, 1999). In this research, a case study of one school and one university was undertaken. Specifically, the preparedness of Grade 12 graduates, from the selected school, for university study was assessed. A multiparadigmatic lens was used as a theoretical grounding for the implementation of this research. Data collection for this case study was through participant observation and written questionnaire. Consistent with the eclectic basis of this research, empirical, interpretive, and critical reasoning informed the analysis of the quantitative and qualitative findings. Importantly, this study has created new knowledge regarding the future empowerment of university -bound school students. It is the principal finding of this research that many university -bound Grade 12 students are lacking in the appropriate skills required to smoothly navigate the transition between high school and university. Specifically, the school in this case study failed to equip students with the appropriate academic skills and techniques required in order for students to reach their academic potential during the first semester of university study. This research proposes some answers to and paves the way for the development of new educational initiatives within the area of school/university transition. Within the current educational climate this research is timely and implores the stakeholders in both senior secondary schooling and first -year university education to unite and assume responsibility for providing the best possible future life chances for Australia's youth. One possibility discussed is an enrichment of symbiotic partnerships between schools and universities.



Central Queensland University

Place of Publication

Rockhampton, Qld

Open Access

  • Yes

Era Eligible

  • No


Dr Howard Walmsley

Thesis Type

  • Master's by Research Thesis

Thesis Format

  • By publication