Meeting student expectations: Getting closer.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Previous research at the University of Ulster has shown that many students have a set of false expectations about what their university experience will be like. In general they are more fearful of both their potential academic and social experiences than turns out to be the case. As a result of these findings the School of Biomedical Sciences improved the communication with applicants prior to entry by introducing applicant visit days etc.and enhanced induction procedures.Surveys conducted before biomedical science students started their course have been compared with similar surveys after students have had a few months experience of the university. Most students still underestimate the requirement for private study but they are much more realistic about the study time required than hitherto. Comparisons of opinions at the two times have shown that most students have had most of their expectations met. Some statistically significant disparities however continue. These relate to student expectations of their social environment (disappointed in their use of sporting clubs and student societies) and of the attitudes of some staff (clarity of assessment tasks and feedback, staff sympathy with non-academic problems, etc.). Student expectations however have been exceeded in their engagement with the course and the quality of the teaching. These changes in student expectation have been accompanied by a substantial improvement in student retention.It is concluded that pre-entry interventions and a more extensive induction has had a positive effect on the expectations of new students but that the relationship between staff and students still requires to be improved as regards non-academic support and the management of assessment.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnknown Host Publication
PublisherThe European First Year Experience Network
Number of pages120
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2009
EventEFYE: Enhancing the first-year experience: Theory, research and practice - Groningen, The Netherlands
Duration: 1 Jan 2009 → …


ConferenceEFYE: Enhancing the first-year experience: Theory, research and practice
Period1/01/09 → …


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