In the current era where lifelong learning is brought to the fore, higher education can no longer be regarded as an isolated trajectory within one’s educational career as many students face substantial challenges in crafting their professional future. More specifically, the transition from school to higher education and continuing to the labour market are often a difficult hurdles for many students. Almost half of students do not succeed in the first year and often withdraw from education, students are faced with a variety of contexts and may choose to study in a different (international) context, and they are then confronted with structural barriers in finding a (high-quality) job, as evidenced by increasing levels of youth unemployment and underemployment.

Higher Education Transitions aims to deepen our understanding of the transitions taking place when students enter, progress and leave higher education to enter the labour market. Drawing on an international team of contributors, this guide includes three conceptual and fifteen empirical studies which include a range of quantitative, qualitative, cross-sectional and longitudinal studies. Divided into three sections to reflect each important transition phase, topics include:

  • transitions from secondary to higher education;
  • transitions within higher education;
  • transitions from higher education to the labour market. 

By considering transitions across different phases as a broad and interrelated process, this guide will be essential reading for higher education researchers, policy stakeholders and all those interested in the transitions into higher education and the labour market.

section I|100 pages

Transitions from secondary to higher education

chapter 1|10 pages

Transitions to higher education

Moving beyond quantity

chapter 3|16 pages

Different transitions towards learning at university

Exploring the heterogeneity of motivational processes

chapter 4|19 pages

Transition to an international degree programme

Preparedness, first-year experiences and success of students of different nationalities

chapter 5|19 pages

Study success in science bachelor programmes

Predictive value of secondary school grades

chapter 6|16 pages

‘Cutting rough diamonds’

The transition experiences of first-generation students in higher education

section II|106 pages

Transitions within higher education

chapter 7|10 pages

Transitions within the university

Concepts and cases

chapter 11|17 pages

Who succeeds at the university and how much time does it take?

A longitudinal analysis at the University of Antwerp (Belgium)

chapter 12|18 pages

Learning journeys and Master's literacies

Chinese first-degree students' transitions to postgraduate studies in the UK

section III|99 pages

Transitions from higher education to the labour market

chapter 13|10 pages

Transition from higher education to the labour market

State of the art

chapter 15|16 pages

The transition from university to working life

An exploration of graduates' perceptions of their academic competences

chapter 17|18 pages

Enrolment of first-year students in knowledge domains

Unpacking transformative practices in three introductory courses

chapter |14 pages

Conclusion: Understanding higher education transitions

Why theory, research and practice matter