Higher Education

, Volume 73, Issue 3, pp 499–518 | Cite as

The growth trend in learning strategies during the transition from secondary to higher education in Flanders

  • Liesje Coertjens
  • Vincent Donche
  • Sven De Maeyer
  • Tine van Daal
  • Peter Van Petegem


As in many OECD countries, the first year in Flemish Higher Education is a major hurdle. Research on the experience of the transition period from secondary to higher education highlights the importance of the change in students’ teaching/learning environment. Though this change is hypothesised to affect students’ learning strategies, and hereby students’ chances of study success, studies examining the change in learning strategies during the transition period are absent. The present research is innovative in the way that it investigates the average and differential growth in learning strategies during the transition from secondary to higher education. All students from 36 secondary schools were logged onto the Inventory of Learning Styles-Short Version, and their progress was tracked over five waves from the beginning of the last year at secondary school to the beginning of their second year at a higher education establishment. Six hundred and thirty students were retained for analysis. Results indicate that students on average increased their self-regulated and deep learning during the transition. The results also showed an increase in students’ degree of analysing and lack of regulation. Furthermore, for all the scales except the memorizing scale, the evolution over time varied from student to student.


Learning strategies Growth model Higher education Secondary education 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Liesje Coertjens
    • 1
    • 2
  • Vincent Donche
    • 2
  • Sven De Maeyer
    • 2
  • Tine van Daal
    • 2
  • Peter Van Petegem
    • 2
  1. 1.Psychological Sciences Research InstituteUniversité catholique de LouvainLouvain-la-NeuveBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Educational Sciences, Faculty of Social SciencesUniversity of AntwerpAntwerpBelgium

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