Document Type

Journal Article


The College of Community Psychologists of the Australian Psychological Society ltd


Computing, Health and Science






This article was originally published as: Urquhart, B. A., & Pooley, J. (2007). The Transition Experience of Australian Students to University: The Importance of Social Support. The Australian Community Psychologist, 19(2), 78-91. Original article available here


The transition to university for many university students has the potential to be stressful requiring the student to make significant adjustments to their personal, social and academic lives. Research identifies the importance of social support in easing the transition for these students however much of this research has implied the role of social support through their use of social support scales rather than from understanding the transition experience from the students themselves. In addition few studies understand the experience of transition in the Australian tertiary sector. The present study sought to redress this by interviewing Australian students about their experience as a new first year university student. Five themes emerged from qualitative interviews (social support, expectation, time management, transition issues and emotions) indicating they are important contributors in enabling these participants to successfully adjust to university study and life. A number of avenues exist for programs to support first year students and future research in this area.