Challenges facing new students in transition from high school to university discussed

WAM ABU DHABI: Issues and challenges facing new students in their transition from high school to university, how student affairs can support students in their transition, and what collaboration is needed between student affairs and academics to support this transition were among the topics discussed at a forum organised by the Student Affairs Deanship at United Arab Emirates University (UAEU).

The “First Student Success Forum” which brought together all higher education institutions across the UAE, was organised to assist educators and administrators in institutions of higher education in the planning, implementing, and refining of programs designed to enhance the first-year experience. The forum aims to promote a comprehensive and engaging community open to the diversity of ideas, in which all attendees were given the opportunity and resources to grow personally and professionally.

University life is a completely different environment in which the students and the higher education institutions need to be prepared to overcome the challenges and ensure students success.

Specialists in the field of education were invited to give presentations, along with workshops and discussion sessions in order to enrich the forum program and provide the participants with an opportunity to clarify any questions they may have. The keynote speaker for the event was Dr. Patricia A. R. Martinez, Director for Residential Communities at Northern Illinois University.

“This forum aims at providing faculty members and staff within the higher education institutions with the necessary skills, knowledge and assistance as well as implementing programs designed to foster the first year experience for students. The forum is also organized to develop a comprehensive community and provide opportunities for participants to elevate their personal and practical skills,” The UAEU Provost and Chief Academic Officer, Prof. Mohamed Yousif Baniyas, said in his opening speech.

UAEU’s Dr. Abdulrahman Al Shayeb expressed his satisfaction with the forum and indicated that the forum is essential for those working in the education sector.

“Moving from high school to university is a very vital step where the students face many difficulties and have to make big decisions such as selecting majors that will eventually lead him/her to graduation and their dream job. It is a gradual stage in the educational process in which our role is to provide advice, support and consultation to students in order to enable them to confront those difficulties and achieve the desired goals which is success and distinction. We strive to set a standard of excellence for supporting student transitions and facilitating educational success for a diversity of students in the 21st century.” WAM/MMYS

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