Student transition experiences and the agency of supportive campus environment in higher education
Global shifts in the demography of students as well as competition in meeting the knowledge and skills needs of students have led to emerging discourse on how universities can enhance the transition experiences of first year students. Subsequent to this call, the current study examine the perception of first year students on their transition experiences in a university in South Africa. Data was gathered using a survey from a sample of first year students (n = 1538) and analysed by way of multiple regression analysis. Results revealed that students’ sense of belonging, intellectual engagement, cross-cultural interaction and supportive campus environment serve as strong predictors of the transition experiences of first year students. In particular supportive campus environment served as the strongest predictor of the transition experiences of students. The study further highlights the prominence of enhancing the transition experiences of first year students by means of strong institutional academic and social support systems and the maintenance of institutional culture that builds a sense of belonging among first year students.
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