The first year of study in higher education is a time of major transition for students. While the importance of induction has been widely demonstrated, there is evidence to suggest that not all students benefit equally from participation in induction. This study examined attendance rates at induction, the relationship between induction attendance and first-year attainment and, finally, whether this relationship differed as a function of demographic factors, entry qualifications and the number of credits attempted. Data from students enrolled in the first year of full-time undergraduate study in a UK metropolitan institution of higher education in 2011-12 was collected from an internal cross-sectional survey and from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. Results showed that attendance at induction differed as a function of a number of demographic characteristics. In line with and extending previous research, ethnicity and previous entry qualifications predicted unique variance in attainment, as did the number of credits attempted and attendance at induction. The attainment gap related to attendance at induction was greater for students who attempted fewer than 120 credits. Overall, the results emphasise the importance of attendance at induction and the need for early engagement with new students, which may be particularly beneficial to those unable to attend induction.
- higher education
- entry qualifications