Transition from High School to University: Challenges Faced by First-Year B.ED. Students at a University of Technology
The recent Council on Higher Education report avers that Higher Education in South Africa experiences serious shortcomings in graduate output and outcomes. This report corroborates the general belief pervading concerning existing research into students’ first year university experiences. Students are unable to cope with the rigours of academics during this transition. Furthermore, research, especially from the field of psychology, also holds that first-year students struggle to succeed in their first year due to emotional and behavioural problems. However, this study argues that transition from high school to university is a period characterised by mismatch and discontinuities in the life of students. The purpose of this article is to investigate the mismatch and discontinuities, expressed as the articulation gap in the exposition of the article, experienced by first-year students at a university of technology. Data were drawn, using a cutting-edge qualitative instrument, from selected first-year B.Ed. students. The findings reveal that first-year students’ high school experiences are often not replayed at university. Students experience a myriad of new challenges which require new ways of learning (academic), and new ways of relating to peers (social challenges). We conclude the study with recommendations to assist with academic and social challenges.
Key words - Transition; Behavioural Problem; Challenges; Emotions. Graduate Output