Conceptualising success: A holistic view of a successful first-year undergraduate experience

Kannass Chan, Jo Rose

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book


Student success continues to be an important topic in the higher education literature as students often struggle with university transition. Success is typically measured through the lens of retention or grades. However, retention in particular may not always be the best indicator, especially in universities with minimal drop-out rates. The present study was conducted in a Hong Kong government-funded university and seeks to understand first-year students' perspectives on what constitutes success. Three focus groups with 31 first-year students explored this topic. This study presents a new conceptualization of first-year success, positioning it as a holistic concept that encompasses overlapping domains of social, personal, and academic success. The findings extend the common focus on retention and grades in the student success literature and show that success is influenced by multiple aspects of student encounters in their first-year life. Implications for policy and practice are also identified.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPerspectives on Enhancing Student Transition Into Higher Education and Beyond
EditorsD Willison, E Henderson
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781668481998
ISBN (Print)9781668481981
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by IGI Global. All rights reserved.

Structured keywords

  • SoE Centre for Psychological Approaches for Studying Education


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