Higher education (HE) providers have to maintain flexibility in their delivery strategies to accommodate variations in A-level/ pre-university qualification assessment policy, exam board curricula, practical experience and assessment strategy which may change from year to year. For the student, transitional barriers into HE are strongly influenced by cultural, educational, socioeconomic background and increasingly, student expectation. It is therefore difficult to identify specific challenges and develop strategic remedies applicable to all Life Sciences students in all Universities. Helping students transition between school/college and HE is not to be confused with making it easier. University ought to be challenging and students should experience periods of personal, social and academic struggle as this is the process that develops resilience, resolve and the many transferrable skills and strategies that allow for success. The breadth of the A-level curriculum often sacrifices depth of understanding and perhaps does not leave scope for the freedom and space to learn via more experiential, practical problems solving opportunities; those skills that underpin the very essence of the scientific method. So how can we bridge this gap?
Dr Leanne Williams is a Senior Teaching Fellow in the School of Life Sciences at the University of Warwick. Before completing a PhD in reproductive physiology she taught Biology in an inner city FE college for many years. As a result she has developed a keen interest in identifying the transitional barriers students face when moving from school/college to University. During her time at Warwick she has developed a number of strategies to help students identify and refine the skills they need for effective transition to academic and social life at University.
The seminar will be followed with refreshments.
All are welcome to attend.