The International Foundation Year and first year transition: building capital, evolving habitus, developing belonging, preparing for success

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article focuses on research into international undergraduates’ transition experiences when starting UK higher education (HE). The study explored ways in which combined experiences of university learning, teaching and support and International Foundation Year (IFY) attendance at a pathway international college influence first year international undergraduate students’ transition. The research adopted a mixed-methods approach including in-depth interviews and a survey that compared groups including previous IFY and non-IFY students and pre and post 1992 UK universities. The Bourdieusian constructs of ‘capital’ and ‘habitus’ are presented as a theoretical lens that highlights ways in which attending an IFY helps first year international undergraduates to develop belonging, resilience, student identity, academic confidence and success.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTeaching in Higher Education
Publication statusPublished - 7 Nov 2018


Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Teaching in Higher Education on 7/11/2018, available online:


  • International Foundation Year
  • first year transition
  • habitus
  • belonging
  • capital

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