‘I always wanted to be at university, but I wasn’t sure it was for me’: First-in-family students’ experiences of success at university

25th May

This workshop, presented by Sharron King (UniSA) and Ann Luzeckyj (Flinders), drew on research developed through a National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE) grant that was conducted with first in family (FiF) students from the three universities in South Australia. The project entailed detailed statistical analysis of the initial expectations and subsequent experiences of over FiF 5,300 students* as well as in-depth interviews with 18 students who were the first member of their family to attend university. The findings revealed the rich diversity of the FiF student cohort and the project explored their reflections on the transformative experience of higher education. The fora provided an opportunity for participants to gain insight into how first-in-family students (and graduates) have reflected on their time at university.

More information about the research

*Data from a large Office of Learning and Teaching (OLT) project matching student expectations and experiences with academic outcomes across the same three South Australian universities between 2010 and 2012.


Supporting first year students as they come to grips with transformational subject matter (Threshold Concepts)

25th September

This forum explored the practicalities of ‘what to do’ with threshold concepts and provide opportunities to discuss ways in which we can use them to support the success of our first year students.

For more information about the presenter

Jan Meyer is a Professor of Education in the School of Civil Engineering at The University of Queensland.

Much of his research career has been devoted to exploring mechanisms for developing metalearning capacity in students, to the modelling of individual differences in student learning, and to the construction of discipline centred models of student learning. He has over the past decade developed with Professor Ray Land and others the conceptual framework of threshold concepts.

He previously held a Chair of Education and the Directorship of the Centre for Learning, Teaching, and Research in Higher Education in the School of Education at Durham University, UK.

For further research related to Threshold Concepts