Emerging recommendations available in report
The Transitions Working Group has developed a report to support the taumata (Curriculum Framework Transformation principles) and the subset of transitions emerging recommendations in the Curriculum Framework (CF) Consultation Paper.
This Supporting Report captures our proposals and has comprehensive appendices detailing our consultation and research findings. The Report is not finalised; it represents the current state of ideas that lay the groundwork for emphasising transitions in the Waipapa Taumata Rau | University of Auckland curriculum. These ideas will continue to be developed ahead of formal consultation in July/Aug 2022.
The Transitions working group considered student transitions within the Curriculum Framework Transformation (CFT) Programme. The Curriculum Framework Transformation programme affords the opportunity to examine ways to improve opportunities for students to access support services and relevant information required to develop into independent and resilient learners.
This includes the need to recognise the significant challenges facing many students and acknowledging their diversity and varying social and academic needs and aspirations. This includes delivery of enhanced transition resources and activities (both academic and social) that are tailored to our cohort of learners and focused on student success and retention, and equity and community.
The Transition working group is part of the Curriculum Framework Transformation Programme and past/present members include:
Professor Mark Vickers (Liggins Institute) and Dr Kaitlin Beare (Science) (Co-leads), Gemma Skipper (Summer Start / Campus Life), Therese Lautua (UniBound), Alan Shaker (AUSA representative), Dr Chris Moselen (Learning Services), Dr Clare Wall (Faculty of Medicine and Health Science), Dr Helen Ross (School of Graduate Studies).
Transitions are the changes navigated by students in their entry into and movement within and through Waipapa Taumata Rau | University of Auckland.
Successful transitions need to be cast as a partnership between the student and Waipapa Taumata Rau | University of Auckland that is based on trust, shared responsibility and collaboration. Further, transitions need to be viewed as a continuum of experiences throughout the student journey. Effective student achievement and successful transitions are guided by principles of manaakitanga and whanaungatanga integrated across several priorities, as detailed in Taumata Teitei, and alignment with Waipapa Toitū where students and people are at the centre. These themes include:
- Developing an education model that is student-centric, that encompasses physical, digital, formal and informal learning activities, and is enriched by professional and community co-curricular activities.
- Extending informal academic, social and professional engagement between individuals, student cohorts, staff and the broader University community.
- Enhancing the student voice by reviewing student representative systems.
- Enabling engagement of students in the design of their programmes – this includes their learning experiences and the social, physical and digital contexts in which they learn.
Through the richness of experiences of University life, the curriculum allows students to be highly connected to knowledges of place and conversant in mātauranga Māori, kaupapa Māori and Te Tiriti o Waitangi principles and accountabilities.
A critical lens on transitions suggests institutions themselves must adapt to enhance student transition, meeting students where they are as opposed to assuming it is the student who must change to fit the University. Viewed from this angle, supporting transitions encompass much more than bridging programmes and academic skills workshops, although these remain important components. It also concerns all students, not just those entering the first year.
The Transitions working group focuses on four key transitions:
- Transition into undergraduate (UG) study from high school (including pathways and outreach into secondary schools) and transition/retention from generalist first year programmes into more specialised second year offerings (with particular focus on successful transitions for Māori and Pacific students including early engagement with whanau).
- Transition from UG to PG degrees (including successful transitions between PG degrees).
- Transitions through different elements of PG study, doctorate and post-doctorate (preparedness for life post-PhD including employability skills for academic and other pathways).
- Other transitions into the University (adult learners, first-in-family, international students, professional retraining).
Students may enter or exit at any point, often by transferring into or out of workplace environments. In addition, different student groups will have different transition experiences. Māori students, Pacific students, international students or students with disabilities may all have additional challenges entering an institution that was not designed with them in mind.
Students coming from outside of Auckland will have distinct social needs compared to those who have arrived with all their school friends. First-in-family students face an environment that is likely foreign to both them and their support networks. However, a number of core principles underpin transitions for all students and can be used as a framework for developing meaningful responses.