The difficulty of transfer and academic engagement of further education students when progressing to higher education environments

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The difficulty of students transferring from Further Education Colleges and progressing to Higher Education Universities in the United Kingdom is a well-known problem. The study presented here focuses on the ability of students to begin to engage with the subject of computer programming on transferring after 2 years of study at a further education college into a 3rd year of a university programme. There is an assumption that there are environmental factors within the change that cause the problems of student engagement with their studies. The findings of this study concurs with difficulties for many students with beginning to engage with skills such as programming. However, the findings presented in this paper challenges the assumption that it is environmental factors within the university and proposes that the problem is not due to a difficulty of transfer from further education to Higher Education but that the problem pre-dates this transfer. The problem proposed from this study is that many students simply do not gain the skills their qualifications suggest while in Further Education. Subsequently, many students cannot begin to engage with skilled subject areas at University. It is proposed that the extent of the problem remains hidden and ultimately unsolvable due to a target-driven management system placing a focus on pass rates.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2
JournalCommunications of the IIMA
Issue number 3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019



  • Education
  • Computer programming

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