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Theme: Support Systems and Programs

The importance of forming social and academic networks for students in transition
to university study

Mary Peat, Biological Sciences, The University of Sydney
Anthony M Grant, Psychology, The University of Sydney
James R Dalziel, Psychology, The University of Sydney

The transition to university is a difficult time for many students. They may have lost the comfort zone afforded by their local school and the friends with whom they grew up, or they may be re-entering an educational institution after a significant period in the workforce or for other reasons. One of the major considerations for them is of knowing what is in store in their new learning environment. One way to help ease this transition is to offer induction programs. One such induction program is the Faculty of Science's Transition Workshop at the University of Sydney, which involves a one-day workshop before university begins, including talks from past first year students and staff, and the formation of peer groups. A follow-up survey to the 1998 workshop asked both attendees of the workshop and non-attendees about their adjustment to university life. The survey used three 'open-ended' questions and the responses were thematically analysed. Results show that students who attended the workshop benefited from the development of the social networks that were established through attendance at the workshop

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