The invitation to contribute a short reflective piece on the policy and practice of the first year experience is a welcome, if challenging, task. The complex set of personal, social and academic factors involved in successful progression through the first year of tertiary education provide ample scope for commentary and debate. Thus, drawing upon my own research focus and interests, and my experience of working with first year students and those who teach them, this commentary is centred in the need for care in recognising and defining the “First Year Experience”.





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