Transition to university: students know best

Ms Debora Jane Lee1

1Massey University Of New Zealand, North Shore, New Zealand


Massey University of New Zealand operates an online transition site for all new-to-Massey students called Getting Started. One of the aims of the site is to promote student/student and student/staff relationships. A key element of the Getting Started site’s recent success has been the involvement of current students in planning, resource creation, and facilitation of the site. Students who work collaboratively with other students and staff bring a vital perspective to the work, experience a sense of being part of a learning community, and are therefore likely to be more engaged (Kahu & Nelson, 2018).

This presentation highlights the role student partnerships have played in increasing interaction and involvement on the site. I will outline the steps taken to ensure a strong student voice is present and share observations from both new students and the senior students who have contributed to the site. I will explore the aspects of the site that build a sense of being part of the university community, and those that require further work. Participants will be encouraged to share their experiences of successful student transition partnerships.

Kahu, Ella, R. & Nelson, K. (2018). Student engagement in the educational interface: understanding the mechanisms of student success. Higher Education Research & Development, 37:1, 58-71, DOI: 10.1080/07294360.2017.1344197.


Debora Lee works as a Student Success Adviser at Massey University. Her work focuses on transition to university, and supporting students to be successful in their study.


The Australian and New Zealand Student Services Association Inc. (ANZSSA) is a professional association for people with an interest in the role of support services in post secondary education. We are focused on: The quality of the student experience Supporting and empowering students to achieve their educational and life goals Enhancing student wellbeing and development Improving student success and persistence Providing outreach to students at-risk Raising institutional student retention rates For more information, please visit the ANZSSA website at

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