Enhancing the Student Experience

Gearing Up for Transitions Conference

Looking at student transitions into, through and out of university.

Gearing up for Transitions logo

I am an Edinburgh University Alumna, it was great to return and see the good practice at Edinburgh regarding student transitions.

The 3rd Annual University of Edinburgh ‘Gearing Up’ event took place on Thursday 5th March 2015 at the John McIntyre Conference Centre, Pollock Halls. To reflect the current QAA (Quality Assurance Agency) Scotland Enhancement Theme of Student Transitions, the event had a broader focus than in previous years and in recognition of this was called ‘Gearing up for Transitions’. It was jointly organised by the Student Induction Team and Academic Services.

The 150 attendees included current students, University of Edinburgh and EUSA staff as well as external colleagues from Higher Education Institutions in Scotland and two staff from Lund University, Sweden.

The day included:

  • a student panel talking about their experience of transitions;
  • Keynote address ‘What Works? Facilitating an effective transition into and through higher education” by Professor Liz Thomas, Liz Thomas Associates;
  • student Art Exhibition ‘It’s a Jungle’ by the University of Edinburgh's student-run Graphic Design agency "Jungle Studio" dealing with the fear and anticipation before leaving home, school or university;
  • posters and bring and brag stalls;
  • 18 break-out sessions featuring a wide variety of current practice looking at all aspects of transitions during the student journey.

Key themes

Key themes that emerged through the day included:

  • Personal Tutors - consistency, more time
  • Academic community: sense of belonging; importance of peer support; more contact time with academic staff
  • The personal context and previous educational experience
  • Importance of clarity, structure and setting expectations
  • Developing reflective practice to aid the transition to independent learning

What did [I] like best about this year’s Gearing Up event? The student involvement; excellent organisation; great key note; inspiring break-outs; Overall [I] came away feeling enthused and energized.

Gearing up website

More information can be found on the Induction Team’s website.