What are the barriers for being successful at university?

I attended an interesting and informative national HEI conference recently where we shared our pedagogic practices to support students and educators to get the best experience of being at university. The themes and presentations covered a vast range of topics including diversity, assessment, active learning, students support etc, etc; one presentation included a demonstration of a gaming app to support student learning which was good fun!

In fact, I was there to share a short presentation of our success story about the significant impact the integration of the SEJ had, in supporting Foundation Year Level 3 students (one of the hardest groups to support due to the breath and variety of their previous learning history), to make an empowering and smooth transition into university. The full version which was presented at an internal conference under the theme of compassionate and inclusive pedagogy at Kingston University in Nov 2021 can be accessed on our website. (https://thesej.co.uk/education-services/)

The HEI conference I attended, also covered any barriers that affects some students to disengage and become passive learners. There were many talks and workshops where there has been quite extensive research varying in degree in complexity and a range in subjects and students background. Common barriers discussed and shared includes (but not exclusively); lack of confidence, juggling of jobs and family life, financial worries and concerns, lack of support from families, unfamiliarity of how HEI works, lack of skills, and topically Covid-19…

They are all valid and indeed we must have in place support and interventions to enable these young people to succeed and receive the best opportunities. Each workshop and talk was inspiring and worthwhile but… I pondered about some students who I have met who seemingly have impossible barriers yet manage to juggle family/job/health conditions/commuting/deadlines, to thrive and graduate with first class honours degree. Not one or two but in good proportion. What differentiates them from others who struggle??

Is it simply that these barriers are just beliefs played over and over in their minds manifesting as situations and people which prevent these students to reach their full potential? Is it simply that they are suffering their thoughts ABOUT these life situations?  When we study the SEJ Process  we learn this powerful Truth that we do not suffer life, but we suffer our thoughts about life. The SEJ process is a transformative and transferrable life skill students can learn easily, proven to be effective in supporting transition into university.

If you are interested in how this simple Process can empower your students to succeed, please get in touch via https://thesej.co.uk/education-services/

Dr M Howard-Kishi

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