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Being successful at university; the preparatory role of the secondary school

Petrie van der Zanden

Going to university is a challenging transition for many late adolescents, as they have to cope with the academic, social, and intrapersonal demands of university life. According to Nicholson’s (1990) transition cycle, preparation is an important first step for easing the transition to university. As implied by the name, the pre-university track in secondary education aims to prepare students for university. Up until now, what happens before students get accepted into higher education is often neglected in research into the predictors of student success. This PhD project aims to fill this gap by studying:

  1. how successful students are during their first year at university and
  2. which factors contribute to this success, focusing on the role of students’ preparation for university studies at secondary school.

This scientific research will lead to recommendations for secondaryschool teachers about how they can prepare their students for success at university.