‘Duck to Water’ or ‘Fish Out of Water’? Diversity in the Experience of Negotiating the Transition to University

  • Naomi E. WinstoneEmail author
  • Julie A. Hulme


Winstone and Hulme present a critical discussion of the notion of transition to university. They argue that the common emphasis on the challenging nature of the transition fails to acknowledge the diversity in students’ experiences; for some students, the liminality and discomfort experienced during this critical period in their educational journey can be a transformational and empowering rite of passage. Rather than homogenising students’ experiences, Winstone and Hulme argue that it is beneficial to explore the transition experience through the lens of students’ expectations and subsequent experiences and to view the transition to university as part of a trajectory of transition experiences within a student’s educational journey. The chapter also presents practical suggestions for engaging multiple student voices in understanding and facilitating positive transition experiences.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Higher EducationUniversity of SurreyGuildfordUK
  2. 2.School of PsychologyKeele UniversityKeeleUK

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