Secondary school students' university readiness and their transition to university

Els van Rooij

Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

10210 Downloads (Pure)


A pre-university diploma grants access to university, but does this also mean that someone is ready for university, i.e., that he possesses the attributes needed to be successful? Dropout rates suggest this is not the case: One third of all first-year students do not continue to the second year of the degree programme they started. In this thesis, we investigated which student attributes contribute to a smooth transition to university and what role pre-university teachers play in preparing their students for university.
Results showed that secondary school students who were more curious and had more academic interest had more confidence in themselves being successful in university. Moreover, after the transition, they had higher motivation and felt more at home in the university environment. Furthermore, secondary school students who put more effort into their schoolwork and made better use of learning strategies were more successful in university. Factors such as curiosity and academic interest are thus important, but factors related to actual study behaviour – especially self-regulated learning – are necessary for effective adjustment to the university learning environment.
Although pre-university teachers felt that university preparation was an important task, their role was small and rarely explicit. The role mainly consisted of providing information and not so much of contributing to the development of attributes students need to be successful in university. The national examinations at the end of secondary school and a lack of knowing what universities expect from first-year students were barriers that kept teachers from paying more attention to university preparation.
Translated title of the contributionDe 'v' van vwo: Voorbereiding op de transitie naar de universiteit
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Groningen
  • van de Grift, Wim, Supervisor
  • Jansen, Ellen, Co-supervisor
Award date15-Mar-2018
Place of Publication[Groningen]
Print ISBNs978-94-034-0416-5
Electronic ISBNs978-94-034-0415-8
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Cite this