Exploring coping strategies of transfer students joining universities from colleges

Monika Foster, Timothy Mulroy, Mark Carver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Students transitioning from colleges to universities in the United Kingdom (UK) into the second or third year of an undergraduate programme must quickly adapt to a new learning environment and new expectations. The process of transition includes intense demands on their time and, for many, a requirement to commute. The consequence can be a limited university experience compared to those who began their studies in the traditional first year. With the increase in the numbers of transfer students studying at universities in the UK, this study was set up to explore the challenges of transition at two universities using an online survey and focus groups. Results show that transfer students cope with their transition to university in multiple ways, categorised into the following themes: learning expectations, peer support, online engagement, cue-seeking and efficiency. By supporting the use of these coping strategies, universities can facilitate a better student experience and enhance student success.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1617
Number of pages10
JournalStudent Success
Issue number1
Early online date20 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Transfer students
  • Transition
  • Coping strategies
  • Engagement


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