Transition to Higher Education at a Time of Change

Date: 22nd July 2020

Location: Online event

Please note this event is for Members only

This event is online and will run from 10.30am to 2.15pm. Please scroll down for the booking form.

Covid 19, climate change and the inequalities highlighted in recent weeks are all having an impact on our society. The emotional impact on young people in particular creates additional challenge for HE staff concerned with developing provision to support transition to higher education this autumn. This event will consider these challenges and the opportunities to rethink what induction and transition could become. It will explore the particular challenge experienced by students from groups under-represented in higher education, review and apply the Level 4 NERUPI aims and objectives centred on transition and encourage sharing of members' ideas and plans for first year induction and transition.


Rise of Eco Anxiety - Caroline Hickman, 2019:

The Chameleon Habitus: Exploring Local Students' Negotiations of Multiple Fields - Jessica Abrahams & Nicola Ingram, 2013:

NERUPI Framework:

Theory, evaluation, and practice in widening participation: a framework approach to assessing impact - Annette Hayton and Andrew Bengry-Howell, 2016:

Confirmed speakers:

Nicola Ingram is professor of Sociology of Education at the Education and Social Research Institute, Manchester Metropolitan University. Nicola's research includes the Paired Peers Project, a two-phase longitudinal study investigating the student experience and postgraduate progression experience for students from different backgrounds at two Bristol universities.

Caroline Hickman is a climate psychology therapist, researcher and lecturer in the Department of Education at the University of Bath. Caroline's research interests centre on climate change psychology, eco-anxiety and talking to children about climate change.

Annette Hayton is Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bath and Convenor of the NERUPI Network. She has worked and published extensively in the field of WP and is particularly keen to develop praxis-based approaches to access and participation activity and evaluation.

Download Programme, Pre-reading and Further Details: Programme 22 07 20 Transition to HE

Event Further Information

Making the transition to higher education is a challenge for all students. Becoming an undergraduate signifies a commitment to a chosen path, a new type of learning experience and, very often, a significant change in social network. Although higher education is designed to be transformational, experiencing the process of personal change can be painful as well as enjoyable. This process is even more challenging for students from groups under-represented in higher education as their culture and values are less likely to reflect the culture and values of the academy. They, and their support networks, have less understanding of the traditional expectations of student life and study which often results in them feeling like ‘fish out of water’, adversely affecting their capacity for study and social connections.

Covid 19 means that new entrants in 2020 face another challenge. Staff, as well as students, are not yet clear about the shape of the learning experience or what student life will be like – although we know it will not be back to normal. Many students will not have engaged with formal learning or their teachers since March, have not taken the examinations they have worked towards over the years or completed the important rites of passage that support the change process. In addition to Covid 19 many young people are deeply concerned about the implications of climate change and the inequalities of our society brought into sharp focus over the recent weeks.

This creates additional challenge for HE staff concerned with developing provision to support transition to higher education this autumn. But it is also an opportunity to rethink what induction and transition could become. Setting meaningful aims for this process and learning from the experience is fundamental if we are to make best use of the situation to enhance the transition experience for undergraduates in 2020 and the future:

This session will:

  • Consider the emotional impact of Climate Change, Covid 19 and inequalities on society and young people
  • Explore the particular challenges experienced by students from under-represented groups in higher education
  • Review and apply the Level 4 NERUPI Aims and Objectives centred on Transition
  • Provide opportunities for members to share ideas and plans for induction and transition