European First Year Experience Conference at Birmingham City University

On Wednesday the 28th of June, I presented a show and tell session to a full house at the European First Year Experience Conference. This is the first time the research has been presented outside of MMU and we were really pleased to get some early feedback on the resources, which were well received.

The research I have been working on with my supervisor Rachel Forsyth focuses on the transition from further education to higher education, specifically for ‘non-traditional’ students. Transition to higher education is a complex area with a large body of literature. The findings from this project so far, has not pulled up anything particularly different from the literature, with the same issues in transition as was being written twenty years ago. However, we have used the data collected in this study to refocus our resources. Staff and students at MMU were interviewed who had either recent first hand or professional experience of transition.

At MMU, there is a drive to attract young people in further education to higher education who may not have considered the institution before. More information can be found here: I hope that the resources developed from this research will help staff to acknowledge the background of their students and consider what can be done to enhance student experience.

In collaboration with our colleague Liz Walshaw, we designed some resources to be used in the session. This included a poster, role-play exercises, a case study scenario and some illustrations based on the issues first year students may face such as making friends or work-life balance. The resources will be developed into a webpage on the CELT website that is going live in September and a full report following thereafter. Over the next two months, I will be running sessions to trail the resources further. Please get in touch if you would like to be involved with the resource trials and development.

Contact: Henry Coleman –


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