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Resources for Student Transitions Enhancement Theme

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Support for Looked-After Students

QAA Scotland (January 2016) Corporate Parenting: Frequently Asked Questions

QAA Scotland (April 2015) Corporate Parenting Factsheet

The Scottish Government National Improvement Framework

The Scottish Government National Improvement Framework (last updated 8 January, 2016) 

Key documents:

The Scottish Government (January 2016) National Improvement Framework for Scottish Education – achieving excellence and equity [The Framework will see new and better information gathered throughout primary and early secondary school years to support individual children’s progress and to identify where improvement is needed. The data will be used to close the gap in attainment between children from the least and most deprived communities in Scotland]

The Scottish Government (September 2015) A draft National ImprovementFramework for Scottish Education [to drive improvement for children, with a clear focus on raising attainment and closing the gap]

See also:

Education Scotland National Improvement Framework

The Scottish Government Post-16 Transitions

Post-16 Education Reform

The Scottish Government (August 2014) Post -16 Education Reform

Post-16 Education Reform: Learner Journey

The Scottish Government (November 2012) Post 16 Education: Improving the Learner Journey Report

See also:

World of work website 

Skills development Scotland website

Post-16 transitions Policy and Practice Framework

The Scottish Government (August 2014) Opportunities For All - Post-16 transitions - Policy and Practice Framework: Supporting all young people to participate in post-16 learning, training or work

The Scottish Government Young People 16-24 – Developing the Young Workforce

The Scottish Government (June 2014) Education Working For All! Commission for Developing Scotland's Young Workforce Final Report [Wood report]

The Scottish Government (December 2014) Developing the Young Workforce - Scotland's Youth Employment Strategy [Wood report]

See also:  

Education Scotland Developing the Young Workforce

Our skillsforce website

The Scottish Government Employability Policy

The Scottish Government (last updated August 2013) Policy

Curriculum for Excellence (CfE)

Enhancement Themes Developing and Supporting the Curriculum

See also:

Education Scotland The curriculum in Scotland  [Curriculum for Excellence]

Doyle and Brown (2013) Curriculum for Excellence: Impact on higher education final report

Universities Scotland (2014) Implications of Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) in Scottish schools on admissions for universities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (Briefing)

Universities Scotland (2013) Scottish Higher Education Sector's Overarching Statement on Curriculum for Excellence (Briefing)

Universities Scotland (2012) Beyond the Senior Phase: University Engagement with Curriculum for Excellence

Higher Education Academy (HEA) (2013) Curriculum for Excellence Tackling Transitions

Higher Education Academy (HEA) (2012) CfE Discipline perspectives

Widening Access

Commission on Widening Access [the commission has been established to advise Ministers on how to achieve the ambition that a child born into deprived communities should later have the same chance of going to university as a child born in the least deprived areas. Interim report was published in autumn 2015 and a final report in March 2016]

Scottish Funding Council (SFC) Learning for All 2015

Universities Scotland (2015) Widening access to higher education in Scotland (Briefing)

Universities Scotland (2014) Action on Access: Recommendations to achieve further progress on widening access to higher education in Scotland

Universities Scotland (2013) Access All Areas: widening access to higher education

Universities Scotland (2013) Widening Access to Higher Education: Does Anyone Know What Works?

NUS Scotland (February 2013) Unlocking Scotland’s Potential: Promoting Fairer Access to Higher Education

Universities Scotland (2012) Widening access to university (Briefing)

See also:

Scottish Wider Access Programme (SWAP)

Scottish Funding Council (SFC) Widening Access

UWS Partnership - South West Articulation Hub (SWAH)

ELRAH - Edinburgh, Lothians, Fife and Borders Regional Articulation Hub

Transitions into the first year

University of Ulster (2009) Student Transition And Retention (The STAR Project)

Higher Education Academy (HEA) (2014) Mapping student-led peer learning in the UK

Yorke, M. and Longden, B. (2007) The first-year experience of higher education in the UK

National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education [Ireland] (2015)Transition from second level and further education to higher education

The University of Leeds (2014) Flying Start [a website for students with information and guidance on aspects of what studying at university means; including resources on the first year; independent learning; the first assessment; referencing]

Tinto, V. (2009) Taking Student Retention Seriously: Rethinking the First Year of University [Keynote address delivered at the ALTC (Australian Learning and Teaching Council) FYE (First Year Experience) Curriculum Design Symposium,Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia, February 5, 2009]

Harvey, L. and Drew, S. (2006) The first year experience: a review of literature for the Higher Education Academy. The Higher Education Academy

Transitions into and through higher education

International Students Transitions into Scottish Higher Education 2016 (2016) International Students Transitions into Scottish Higher Education

Improving the Student Experience (2015) Improving the Student Experience in Higher Education, Support and Advice for Staff

The University of Oxford (2014) Managing Transitions and Expectations

The University of Leeds (2014) Student EducationService – Student Support [multitude of resources for staff to support students, including induction and transition for taught students; induction for research students; peer mentoring and personal tutoring]

Kuh, G., Kinzie, J., Buckley, J.A., Bridges, B.K., Hayek, J.C. (2006) What Matters to Student Success: A Review of the Literature

Higher Education Academy (HEA) What works? Student retention and success changeprogramme: Phase 1 [a three-year programme, 2008-11, where £1 million supported seven projects, involving 22 institutions, to identify, evaluate and disseminate effective practice to improve student retention]

Higher Education Academy (HEA) What works? Student retention and success changeprogramme: Phase 2 [from 2012-15, phase 2 will focus on implementing and evaluating findings from phase 1]

Postgraduate Taught transitions

Improving the Student Experience (2015) Improving the Student Experience in Higher Education, Support and Advice for Staff

Postgraduate Research transitions

Careers Research and Advisory Centre (CRAC) Limited (2015) Vitae realising the potential of researchers

Retention and success

Liz Thomas keynote presentation at the 11th Enhancement Themes conference 2014 - Facilitating effective transitions in higher education  - accompanying PowerPoint


Universities Scotland (2013) Taking Pride in the Job: University action on graduate employability (2014) Improving Student Employability. An ebook for academics to help their students get ready to enter the labour market

Universities Scotland (2012) Graduate employment  [Briefing]

Universities Scotland (2012) 360 Degrees: Equipping Scotland’s Graduates for Success

Higher Education Academy (HEA) Employability

Other Research 

Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) and Higher Education Academy (HEA) (March 2015) Effective practice in the design of directed independent learning opportunities

The Higher Education Academy (HEA) and NUS Scotland (2012) Learning Journeys: Student experiences in further and higher education in Scotland

Liz Thomas Associates - higher education research and consultancy

National Centre for Research Methods (2012) Inventing Adulthoods study [a qualitative longitudinal study of over 100 young people growing up though their teens, twenties and thirties and their transitions into higher education and work]

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (2013) Young Adult Development Project [young adult development, 18-25]  

Quality Enhancement Themes: The First Year 

Mayes, T. (2009) Overview of the Enhancement Theme 2006-08The aims, achievements and challenges

Whittaker, R. (2008)Transition to and during the first year

Gordon, G. (2007)The First Year - Australia sourced materials

Quality Enhancement Themes: Responding to Student Needs

Gordon, G. (2005) Responding to Student Needs outcomes

Quality Enhancement Themes: Graduates for the 21st Century

Hounsell, D. (2011). Graduates for the 21st Century - Institutional activities

International: Student transitions work in other English-speaking countries


Baik, C., Naylor, R., and Arkoudis, S. (March 2015) The first year experience in Australian universities: Findings from two decades, 1994-2014 

Blakemore, J., Gribble, C., Farrell, M., Arber, R. & Devlin, M. (2014) Australian International Graduates and the Transition to Employment

James, R., Krause, K-L. & Jennings, C. (March 2010)The first year experience in Australian universities: Findings from 1994 to 2009 

Office for Learning and Teaching [The Australian Government's Office for Learning and Teaching (formerly the Australian Learning and Teaching Council, ALTC) conducts sector-wide policy and development work, commissioning projects aimed at promoting excellence, innovation and leadership.  Amongst the activities they have supported are projects on transitions into higher education and into the workplace]

Universities Australia ['Pathways to Study', 'The Student Experience' and 'Flexible Modes of Study' are all areas of UA's work which touch upon transition]

Student Success formerly The International Journal of the First Year in Higher Education (Int J FYHE) [a biannual, open access, peer-reviewed academic journal]

See Also:

Transition pedagogy 


The University of British Columbia (2012) Academic Success in Student Transition (ASIST)

Universities Canada (formerly the Association Of Universities And Colleges Of Canada) [The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) explicitly lists the undergraduate student experience as one of its key policy issues.  Some of the institutional case studies which have been produced as part of this report may be relevant to the Theme, as they deal with transition into university]

British Columbia Ministry of Advance Education [Currently running a Student Transitions Project]

Ontario Native Education Counselling Association [In Canada - as well as Australia and New Zealand - some educational bodies have a focus on first nation peoples.  An example of this from Canada is the Transitions project in Ontario.  Whilst perhaps not of direct relevance to us, it may be worth examining projects such as these to see whether any lessons can be learned about focusing on specific student groups]

United States

University of South Carolina (2015) National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition

See also:

E-Source for College Transitions, an online newsletter offering practical strategies for supporting student learning and success

Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) [very focused on accreditation, though it has conducted some thematic work on e.g. distance learning and student learning outcomes.  It has also produced some material relating to how students transfer between institutions]

Association for Orientation Transition Retention in Higher Education – NODA ["The mission of NODA is to provide education, leadership and professional development in the fields of college student orientation, transition and retention”]

Student Paths [“Student Paths is a program aligned with the Common Core standards that high schools implement into their curriculum to help their students with the transition from high school to their future.  Students who are engaged with the program can expect to achieve the following 12 college and career readiness outcomes”]


The National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning

South Africa

The South African Institute for Distance Education (SAIDE) [provides support for the Siyaphumelela programme, a data analysis project involving four SA institutions and supported by the Kresge Foundation (USA).  As well as being of potential interest to those concerned with learning analytics, Siyaphumelela are a co-host of the National Resource Centre for the First Year Experience and Students in Transition's 2015 conference]

South African National Resource Centre for the First Year Experience and Students in Transition (SANRC), University of Johannesburg [Established as a partner to the US National Resource Centre at the University of South Carolina]


QAA Scotland have developed a resource which provides details of transition related activities taking places in other English speaking countries. See map below. Click on the arrow and select the region to view more information.

Resources for Navigating Transitions 

Positive psychology

Seligman, M. E. P. & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2014) Positive Psychology: An Introduction, in Csikszentmihalyi, M (2014) Flow and the Foundations of Positive Psychology, pp 279-298: Springer [chapter preview only]

Seligman, M. E. P. & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000) Positive Psychology: An Introduction. American Psychologist, Vol. 55, No.1, pp.5-14.

Rae, T. (August 2015) Channeling strengths in young people The Psychologist, Vol.16, pp. 696-698 [interview with a psychologist with specialisms in wellbeing and positive psychology approaches]

Linley, P.A., Joseph, S., & Boniwell, I. ­(Eds) (March 2003) Positive psychology – Special issue  The Psychologist, Vol.16, pp. 126-143 [a collection of short articles published shortly after positive psychology was launched with Martin Seligman’s APA Presidential address in 1998 – including first article by Seligman]

Linley, P.A & Harrington, S. (February 2006) Playing to your strengths The Psychologist, Vol.19, 86-89 [a review of academic and applied approaches to understanding the psychology of strengths]

VIA Institute of character Positive Psychology Resources, Authors and Researchers on Twitter

Centre for Confidence and Well-being Positive psychology

Character strengths

Character Scotland website [formed in 2009 by a group of academics, educationalists and local entrepreneurs interested in personal development and supporting and empowering young people to become the best versions of themselves]

Inspire-Aspire website [an independent education programme inspired by the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. Character development in 10-18 year olds is fostered through a unique poster template using supporting Internet resources to help them explore their character, ideals and values]

Outward Bound Scotland (2015) Skills for Life Award  [19 day personal development course to equip 15-19 year olds with key life skills such as perseverance, confidence and independence to assist them with future transitions into work, college, university or an apprenticeship]

See also:

The Jubilee Centre for Character and Values [an interdisciplinary research centre on character, virtues and values for public and professional life]

VIA Institute of character Character strengths

Centre for Confidence and Well-being Signature strengths

Outward Bound Scotland (2015) Skills for Life Award  [19 day personal development course to equip 15-19 year olds with key life skills such as perseverance, confidence and independence to assist them with future transitions into work, college, university or an apprenticeship]


9 questions to improve metacognition Inner Drive

Brockbank, A. and McGill, I. (1998) Facilitating Reflective Learning in Higher Education. Taylor and Francis: SRHE/Open University Press 

See here for second edition (2009)

Entwistle, N. (2000) Promoting deep learning through teaching and assessment: conceptual Frameworks and educational contexts. Paper presented at the TLRP Conference, Leicester, November 2000. 

Cheng M. et al. (2015) Critical self-reflection

OpenLearn Works Reflection toolkit [includes several sessions for the reader: e.g., looking backwards, looking forwards; identifying my skills, qualities and abilities; goal planning for the future]

Stein, D. (2000) Teaching critical reflection. ERIC Clearinghouse.

University of Bradford (2015) Reflection Skills

University of Manchester (2015) Reflective Writing

University of New South Wales (2015) The UNSW Student Portfolios Site

University of Portsmouth (2015) Department for Curriculum and Quality Enhancement

University of Reading (2015) Reflective writing

Self-efficacy (self-belief)

Bandura, A. (1997) Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York: W.H. Freeman and Company

Cheng, M. et al. (2015) Self-efficacy

Centre for Confidence and Well-being Self-efficacy

Bandura, A. (1992) Exercise of personal agency through the self-efficacy mechanism (pp. 3-38). In R. Schwarzer (Ed.) Self-efficacy: Thought control of action. Washington DC: Hemisphere [for 2014 publication see here

Bandura, A. (1994). Self-efficacy. In V. S. Ramachaudran (Ed.), Encyclopedia of human behaviour, Vol. 4. (pp. 71-81). New York: Academic Press. (Reprinted in H. Friedman (Ed.), Encyclopedia of mental health. San Diego: Academic Press, 1998).

Gibbs, C. (2002) Effective teaching: exercising self-efficacy and thought control of action [paper presented at the Annual Conference of the British Educational Research Association, 12-14 September 2002]

Schunk, D.H. and Zimmerman, B.J. (2003). Self-regulation and learning. In W.M. Reynolds and G.E. Miller (Eds.) Handbook of psychology: Educational psychology, Vol. 7. (pp.59-78). New York, NY: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

Zimmerman, B. J. (1995) Self-efficacy and educational development. In A. Bandura (Ed),

Self-efficacy in changing societies, pp 202-231. Cambridge University Press, New York, NY,


The British Psychological Society (March 2016) Researching resilience? The Psychologist [A new BBC Radio 4 documentary in ‘The Science of Resilience’ is in production. To share thought about research and experiments into resilience, contact ]

Smith, M. (September, 2015) From adversity to buoyancy The Psychologist, Vol.28, pp.690-695)

Education Scotland, Building resilience in learners [focus is on how teachers of S4-S6 pupils can help them manage transitions in their senior years]

Building student resilience model (2016) Academic Transition toolkit, University of Edinburgh

See also:

Education Scotland, More information on Health and wellbeingacross learning experiences and outcomes Curriculum for Excellence: resilienceexplanation

Is resilience written in our DNA? (2016) BBCiWonder

Konnikova, M. (2016) How people learn to become resilient [a short overview of some of the research literature in resilience]

The UK resilience programme evaluation: final report [the largest UK trial of resilience training in England’s schools] Department for Education

How to Thrive Resilience Skills [How to Thrive is not-for-profit organisation which works with schools in England to improve the resilience of children and young people. A multi-faceted approach involving curricula, staff training, leadership and parental involvement]

How to Thrive Resilience in Education [information for young people, staff and parents]

Young Minds, Academic resilience [aimed at children and young people; contains resources to help establish whole school methods in England to building resilience approaches; also includes information from the perspective of parents, pupils and services]

Edutopia Resources on Developing Resilience, Grit and Growth Mindset (2016) What works in Education; George Lucas Educational Foundation

plus see here for a collation of U.S. news articles (2011-15) on grit, resilience and bouncing back

Stanford University (2016) The Resilience Project [has been in operation since 2009 and in collaboration with several other education institutions and organisations, aims to implement evidence-based strategies to allow students to engage with their learning and their institution]

Centre for Confidence and Well-being Resilience including projects in resilience


Dweck, C. (2006-10) Mindset [those with a growth mindset understand that intelligence can be developed. This means students focus on improvement rather than worrying about how clever they are. They are able to work hard to learn more and increase their knowledge]

Dweck, C. Mindset Works, Inc. (2008-12) [includes paid resources on MindsetMaker, a suite of resources to develop teachers and with the growth mindset knowledge and tools to help them support student learning and success]

Dweck, C. S., Walton, G.M., Cohen, G.L. (2014) Mindsets and Skills that Promote Long-Term Learning. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Education Scotland, Scottish Learning Festival 2009 Keynote speech by Carol Dweck.

Winning Scotland Foundation Developing a growth mindset

Outward Bound Scotland (2015) A case study: Mindset: helping pupils develop more positive attitudes [using Mindset theory, children can develop their abilities, resilience and productivity through initially failing and by being encouraged to try again through hard work and practice. In this way, motivation and confidence, as well as ability improve – in October, 2012 Beeslack Community High School, Penicuik, Midlothian became the first Scottish school to experience the new Mindset course]

Edutopia Resources on Developing Resilience, Grit and Growth Mindset (2016) What works in Education; George Lucas Educational Foundation

See also:

Vale of Leven Academy, West Dunbartonshire Council Mindset [the school's resource page devoted to Mindset with resources for parents, pupils and staff]

Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) Changing Mindset 2015 study [this project gives training to teachers of year 6, age 10-11 pupils. Training including theory and evidence and materials are provided to run an 8 week programme of weekly lessons and activities. An evaluation report will be published in Spring, 2018]

Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), Changing Mindsets study [University of Portsmouth led this project which took place between January and May 2013 and targeted Year 5 pupils aged 9-10]

University of Portsmouth, Department of Psychology Changing mindsets

Outward Bound Scotland (2015) A case study: Mindset: helping pupils develop more positive attitudes [using Mindset theory, children can develop their abilities, resilience and productivity through initially failing and by being encouraged to try again through hard work and practice. In this way, motivation and confidence, as well as ability improve – in October, 2012 Beeslack Community High School, Penicuik, Midlothian became the first Scottish school to experience the new Mindset course]

Centre for Confidence and Well-being Mindset including Glasgow University Mindset research and Further and higher education


American Psychological Association (2016) Harnessing willpower to meet educational goals

American Psychological Association (2016) Harnessing willpower to meet your goals

American Psychological Association (2014) Self-control: Teaching students about their greatest inner strength

American Psychological Association (2012) What You Need to About Willpower: The Psychological Science of Self-Control

Michael Daly Research (2016) Self-control resources 

Michael Daly Research (2016) Childhood self-control and adult health


University of Cambridge Mindful Student Study [a study to evaluate the effectiveness of mindfulness for university students; currently there are few rigorous scientific studies]

University of Oxford and University College London Mindfulness and Resilience in Adolescence; the MYRIAD project [a seven-year study beginning in 2015, to evaluate the effectiveness of mindfulness. Researchers plan to recruit children aged 11 to 16 from 76 secondary schools to be the largest trial of its kind ever conducted]

The Guardian lifestyle Mindfulness [a series of articles examining the concept of mindfulness and meditation in various settings]

The Mindfulness Initiative (October 2015) Mindful Nation UK: Report by the Mindfulness All-Party Parliamentary Group (MAPPG) [MAPPG reviews the scientific evidence and best practice in mindfulness training in education, as well as in health, the workplace and the criminal justice system. The report also develops policy recommendations for governments. Mindfulness in Education recommends helping children and young people learn mindfulness to support their mental health and wellbeing]

American Psychological Association (APA) (July/August 2012) What are the benefits of mindfulness [empirically supported benefits of mindfulness such as stress reduction, more cognitive flexibility and relationship satisfaction – all reported benefits drawn from peer-reviewed literature]

The British Psychological Society This is not McMindfulness by any stretch of the imagination, The Psychologist (May 2015) [Interview with Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of mindfulness-based stress reduction]

The Psychologist (March 2015) A mindful moment [archived articles on mindfulness] 

Mindfulness for Students [Contains resources for students such as free guided meditations as well resources for wellbeing staff such as practicalities for setting up mindfulness courses in HE settings]

Headspace [download mindfulness meditation programmes]

Centre for Confidence and Well-being Mindfulness [includes research into the benefits of mindfulness and details about Mindfulness Scotland, a social enterprise and charity set up by a group of Scottish individuals, including NHS clinical psychiatrists and psychologists, with links to leading Scottish universities, who have come together to initiate ground-breaking new research on the potential benefits of mindfulness in medical, psychological and social wellbeing]

NHS choices Mindfulness


The Scottish Government (November 2015) Mental health and wellbeing among adolescents in Scotland: profile and trends [this report looked at boys and girls aged 13 and 15 between 13 and 15 between 2006 and 2013. Most closely associated with mental wellbeing were friendships, a positive experience of school, expecting to go to university and belonging to a club].

Universities Scotland (February 2015) Student mental wellbeing in higher education: good practice guide [guidance for the teaching and support of students experiencing mental health difficulties; aimed at senior leaders and managers to support institutions in their promotion of mental wellbeing and in the support they provide for students experiencing mental health difficulties]

Student minds [UK student mental health charity]

The Guardian Higher Education Network Mental Health: a university crisis [a series of articles examining mental health issues among students and academics]

SafeSpot [a positive mental wellbeing downloadable app for children and young adults to improve coping skills by offering a personalised coping plan, useful strategies and tools to  help and local resources]


The PIE Review (Winter 2015 No.8) Head space pp.39-44 [examines what institutions are doing to support international students’ mental wellbeing]