When students get into difficulty with their study, it is often assumed to be a problem with academic skills. Whilst this may be part of the truth, there are generally other issues involved, especially those concerned with expectations of, and orientation to, HE. This is especially true as more first-generation students enter higher education. The first 4–6 weeks of the academic year can be very stressful and unsettling for students in any institution: homesickness, loneliness, acclimatisation to what can seem strange sets of customs, performance anxiety and self-doubt mean this can be a difficult time, and it is, indeed, a key period of student loss. A positive and appropriate induction experience can help to orientate students, build up their sense of belonging, and prevent some difficulties from developing later in the year. As such, induction can serve as a main plank in an institution’s retention policy.
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