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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences eTheses
Title: Associate Students in transition from college to university: a sociocultural study
Author(s): Fotheringham, Julia A
Supervisor(s): Brosnan, Kevin
Husband, Gary
Keywords: transitions
direct entrants
widening participation
Associate Students
communities of practice
social justice
landscapes of practice
peripheral participation
Issue Date: 23-Apr-2020
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: It is important to understand students’ experience of transition from college to university if institutional and national targets to widen participation in higher education are to be achieved. The Associate Student Project (ASP) funded by Scottish Funding Council, supports dual matriculation for Associate Students. This study explores the sociocultural experience of 23 Associate Students from four Scottish colleges who transitioned as direct entrants into the third year of engineering degree programmes at a post-92 university. Further it illuminates these students’ participation in the communities that they encountered during their first year at university. First the analysis draws from Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) to offer a system-wide perspective of the ASP enacted in the colleges. This illustrates how the subjects (students) and the sociocultural context co-evolve to meet the object and outcomes of the system. Next, findings highlight the contradiction of being matriculated in both institutions yet the university was largely absent during the college years. Skills workshops position the Associate Students as in deficit and needing support despite being viewed by college lecturers as amongst the most academically able. The micro-perspective of direct entry students’ participation at university is framed by Wenger-Trayner and Wenger-Trayner’s (2015) landscapes of practice. Student participants preferred to remain at the periphery, engaging with former college peers at the expense of engaging with new social networks or academic support provided by the university. Findings further suggest that Associate Students’ transition to university is mediated as much by spatial mobility and an individual’s personal circumstances as it is by transition support. This study contributes to knowledge about the transition of students from one educational sector to another, and about their engagement as they gain access to university through flexible routes. Without these, some of them would have been unable to go to university at all.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

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