The impact of a pre-registration transition programme (Transition to Leeds) on international PGT students’ sense of belonging

This research study focuses on the impact of a transition programme on international postgraduate students’ sense of belonging. In the School of Education, Transition to Leeds was a six-week programme of live online activities and asynchronous recorded talks and resources for postgraduate students about to start their taught programmes. The transition programme’s main aim was to promote students’ feelings of social and academic connections to the university, school and their programmes, as well as to staff and fellow students. Feelings of belonging are thought to shape student learning, motivation and engagement, as well as influence any shift in student identity in the higher education environment.

Through a series of focus groups, interviews and extracts from student reflective audio journals, the project aims to identify what factors can foster a sense of belonging for international students on a transition programme and the longer term impact that a sense of belonging has on aspects of student learning and identity beyond the transition programme.

This research study comes at an opportune time when developing a sense of belonging has become even more significant for students learning in a remote online environment. The findings will help us to create a pedagogic strategy for future transition programmes for our students and help us to understand the longitudinal implications of transition for our PGT students.