Skip to main content Skip to main navigation menu Skip to site footer

Moving Beyond First Year: An Exploration of Staff and Student Experience


Transition pedagogy has had a major impact on the first year experience for higher education students in Australia. Similarly, there has been a significant focus on transitioning students from their final year of study to employment. Considerably fewer studies have sought to understand the “middle child”; the years in between the first and final year of study. Staff at a metropolitan Australian university noticed an increase in students struggling with university life after the first year of their program, with students purposefully withdrawing from courses or their program entirely. This article reports on focus groups held with staff and feedback via a student survey. Findings suggest the challenges faced by students in second year are multi-faceted, and curriculum and delivery should be intentionally designed to support students through a series of transitions throughout the university journey.

Published: 2021-03-15
Pages:82 to 92
How to Cite
Birbeck, D., McKellar, L., & Kenyon, K. (2021). Moving Beyond First Year: An Exploration of Staff and Student Experience. Student Success, 12(1), 82-92.

Author Biographies

University of South Australia
Australia Australia

David Birbeck is the Associate Director and Head: Curriculum Development and Support of the Teaching Innovation Unit at the University of South Australia. David is interested in researching programmatic approaches to curriculum design and assessment.  

University of South Australia
Australia Australia

Lois McKellar is an Associate Professor of Midwifery at the University of South Australia engaged in teaching and research. She is an advocate for working collaboratively to ensure the provision of outstanding midwifery education and equipping midwives for practice in the 21st century and beyond. Lois is a Fellow of the Governor’s Leadership Foundation, a founding member of Trans-Tasman Midwifery Education Consortium and an active member of Australian College of Midwives

University of South Australia
Australia Australia

Kat Kenyon is a Project Officer in health sciences at the University of South Australia.  Kat has a strong focus on clinical education, equity and ensuring education is accessible to all.  She has significant experience in supporting teaching and learning, including curriculum design and development.

Open Access Journal
ISSN 2205-0795