The survey took place in Hellebore University at the Campus Repopulate in the period from January 2014 to April 2014. The data were collected personally. The respondents were the first – year students of the faculty of International Business of Hellebore University (BIB, IBIS, HIM, TM, and WEB) who started their studies in October 2013. In order to collect the required statistical information, the students were asked to fill in a questionnaire which contains 27 questions. The analysis has been carried out with the help of IBM SPAS Statistics 20.
On the basis of the analysis presented below I should admit that there are two main factors that influence the level of how challenging university life for first-year students is: academic workload ND student life imbalance. 6 1. Introduction It is always difficult to Start something new or to do something for the first time. Every year a lot of young people start studying at university. Most of them believe that their new university life will bring them a lot of fun, pleasure, new chances and opportunities for their personal and career development in the future.
They are excited because they have something new ahead. On the other hand, they understand that university life could be full of hardships. For many fritterers students, university can be their first experience of living away from home or being abroad; lectures are definitely ore difficult than high school classes; having a lot of personal freedom can feel great and dangerous at the same time, some young people are lonely, lost and depressed. Adapting to the large university workload can also be difficult.
Students have to study for long hours to keep up: at the same time some of them are working hard because of financial difficulties and lack of family support. In my project, which is called Challenges Faced by the First- Year Students of Hellebore university’ , I would like to find out what kind of challenges the first-year students of the faculty of International Business of Hellebore University have to face in adapting themselves to their new university life and what factors have a positive or negative influence on the level of how challenging their university life is.
Another very important point is to formulate suitable recommendations to make the process of adjustment for the first-year students of Hellebore University easier. The topic mentioned above is of high interest to me because I would like to find out what common problems are faced by the first-year students of Hellebore University, in order to help them to overcome the challenges they face and to make the adaptation to their new life easier. Every year, a lot Of students in Germany drop out of university.
The Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts in Baden-Wјretirement announced in its report dated 20 October 2011 that only 76 % of all the students were able to finish their studies successfully in 2009, about 25% failed (Ministering fјr Waspishness’s, 201 1, p. 3). What are the reasons for not completing studies? Why were so many students not able to graduate from university? What problems, difficulties or challenges did they have to face? The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research carried UT a survey in 2002 in order to find out why students in Germany drop out of their studies.
According to its report, 17 % of those who did not graduate from university had to change their study course because it did not correspond to their requirements or the chosen field of education was not interesting to them 7 earlier or a little bit later: “Generally, 17 % of the students confess, they have stopped their studies because of a new professional reorientation” (Hubble, et 2003, p. 7). 17 % of them did not finish their studies because of financial problems as it was impossible for the students to study at university and to org at the same time (Hubble, et al. , 2003, p. ). 16 % did not complete their studies because they had no motivation for the subject and that was decisive for their dropout from the university (Hubble, et al. , 2003, p. 7). Problematic studying conditions were a decisive reason for 8 % of the interviewees. 10 % did not finish their studies because of bad examination results and family reasons, about 5 % of the students had problems with their health (Hubble, et al. , 2003, p. 8). A lot of studies have already been carried out in this field, one of them says, ‘the majority of those who drop-out do so n their first year… ND as a result the first year has been referred to, without overstatement, as a make or break’ year Nonstop, 1 998, p. 1). 2. Literature review and Hypotheses development V©reunion Johnston (Department of Mathematics, Napier University in Edinburgh, Scotland) carried out a survey in 1996 to find out why first-year students (in academic year 1994/1995) dropped out of their studies. 775 people were interviewed. The interviews lasted between half an hour and three hours.
The data was collected from conversations with first-year and withdrawn students of Napier University in Edinburgh. The results were published in the paper called ‘Why do first year students fail to progress to their second year? An academic staff perspective Johnston, 1998, p. 1). The results revealed that the majority of first-year students failed because they had academic difficulties: “Failed students, unsurprisingly, were the most likely to have academic difficulties cited (53%)” (Johnston, 1998, p. 1).
Neil Compeller, a college marketing professor from Iowa State University in the USA admits in his article ‘Examples of Academic Challenges in College’ that a lot Of first -year students have to face a number Of academic challenges such as, “finding time to study, understanding course content and maintaining a high degree of motivation” (Compeller, 201 5, p. 1). According to him, if students do not have required academic skills, they have a lot of difficulties and problems in class: “Students who lack basic skills, such as math or reading, may have to take remedial courses that bridge the gap from high school to college-level math.
Without strong math, 8 reading and writing skills, students struggle to grow through continually challenging classes that require calculations, text readings and paper assignments” (Compeller, 2015, p. 1). Hypothesis (H. ): Academic workload has a positive influence on how challenging university life for first-year students is. It is common knowledge that a lot of first-year students are suffering from financial stress.
Most of them have to work to finance their studies, some of them are financially supported by their parents, and only few of them receive scholarships and grants. According to the survey of V©reunion Johnston, financial difficulties contribute to student stress and increase drop out rates: “12 % had cited finance as a factor in non- progression… Financial problems often lead to stress which in turn leads to illness” (Johnston, 1998, p. ). Hypothesis (H. 2): Financial stress has a positive influence on how challenging university life for first-year students is.
Craig McGinnis, Richard James and Carmela Uncaught (Centre for the Study of Higher Education, University of Melbourne, Australia) conducted a research in 1994-1995 to examine the initial experiences of first-year students. Their project First year on campus. Diversity in the initial experiences of Australian undergraduates is based on 4028 responses. The aim of their survey was to find out what kind of difficulties first-year students have, what influences the level of their adjustment to their new university life.
The scientists found out that females experienced less stress than males in the process of their adaptation to university life, they had a more positive attitude towards their courses and experienced fewer problems than males : “We found that the attitudes of first-year students towards university were associated with a range of background and contextual factors… A number of differences emerged between males and females: females tended to have stronger academic orientation and application towards their studies, a stronger sense of purpose, and were more likely to be satisfied with their courses” (McGinnis, et 1995, p.
XIV). Hypothesis (H. 3): University life is less challenging for female than for male first-year students. Craig McGinnis, Richard James and Carmela Uncaught admit that the process of adaptation to university life can be influenced by the age of first-year students. Their research shows that mature-age first-year students had fewer problems with their adaptation to university life than school leavers: “Mature-age students generally reported more positive attitudes and experiences than school-leavers. School leavers are a particularly problematic group of fritterers students.
They were relatively less certain of their roles than older students… Just over a third said they were not ready to choose a university course, two-thirds thought university was 9 more demanding than school, and 45 % believed that the standard at university was higher than they had expected” (McGinnis, et al. , 1995, p. XIV). “The younger students were less likely to agree that they enjoyed the intellectual challenge of their subjects” (McGinnis, et 1995, p. 62). Hypothesis (H. 4): Age has a negative influence on how challenging university life for first-year students is.
Social and cultural adjustment can also be a problem. It is common knowledge that international students usually experience greater difficulties at university than domestic students. The first ones have to face a number of challenges: Language difficulty, isolation, problems with fitting in the host culture. Alan C. K. Chemung (Department of Educational Administration and Policy, the Chinese University of Hong Kong) carried out a survey to find out what kind of challenges are faced by mainland Chinese students in Hong Kong. The study is based On interviews with 300 students from seven major universities in Hong Kong.
The results were published in the paper Language, academic, socio-cultural and financial adjustments of mainland Chinese students studying in Hong Kong . According to this study, the process of adjustment for international fritterers students is more challenging than for local first-year students: ‘The process of adjustment for international students could be stressful and could lead to depression and academic failure… Unlike local students in Hong Kong, these Mainland Chinese students do not have the support from families and friends and often experience more stress” (Chemung, 201 3, p. 238).
Hypothesis (H. 5): Need for cultural adjustment has a positive influence on how challenging university life for first-year students is. A lot of first-year students are said to have difficulties with their study-life balance. Maharani Double and M. V. Supra (Department of Management Studies, College of Engineering, Anna university, Achaean, India) conducted a research to find out what factors can affect student life balance. The results were published in the paper Student life balance: myth or reality? According to their research “several demands are placed during the life of a student.
These demands are environmental conditions ARQ airing effort on the part of the student to immobile and manage requisite resources. When the student is unable to do so stress occurs” Double & Supra, 2011, p. 237). Hypothesis (H. 6): Student life imbalance has a positive influence on how challenging university life for first-year students is. 10 3. Research and Hypotheses Model Academic Workload HI + Financial Stress H2O + h Gender HA Challenge Age HA Need for Cultural Adjustment HA + Life Imbalance HE + 4. Research Methods 4. Data Collection In the project which is called Challenges Faced by the First – Year Students of Hellebore university’ I would like to find out what kind of challenges the first- year students of the faculty of International Business of Hellebore University eave to face while adjusting themselves to their new social environment and what factors have a positive or negative influence on the level of how challenging their university life is. To figure that out, have carried out a quantitative research with a total sample Of 75 respondents.
I have developed 6 hypotheses. The hypotheses have been tested with the help of a survey which took place in Hellebore University at the Campus Repopulate in the period from January 2014 to April 2014. The data was collected personally. The respondents were the first – year students of the faculty of International Business of Hellebore University (BIB, IBIS, HIM, TM, and WEB) who started their studies in October 2013. In order to collect the required statistical information, the students were asked to fill in a questionnaire which contains 27 questions.
Only 81 % of the respondents have answered all the questions offered and some answers were missing. Have managed to interview 75 students: 68. 9 % of them are female and 31. 1 % are male. Most of the respondents are between 18 – 23 years old (56 people), 14 people are between 24-27 years old, and only 4 students (about 5 %) are more than 27 years old. Besides the age and the gender of the exponents, it was also interesting to figure out how long they have been living here in Germany. Most students were born here (46 people, it makes up 61. % of the total), they are followed by those who have been living in Germany for more than 10 years with 23 % (17 people), the other respondents have been living in Germany for less than 5 years (9 people, it is about 12 %) or 5 ? 10 years (3 people, it has a share Of 4 %). Most Of the respondents have never studied at university in Germany or abroad before (88 12. 2 % of the students have already had an opportunity to gain some university experience. 4. 3 Analysis Technique The questionnaire has the following structure.
The first 4 questions are used to get some background information about the respondents (their gender, age, previous experience and the duration of their stay in Germany). The other questions have been designed in such a way so that it could be possible to examine to what extent the respondents find it challenging to adapt themselves to their new university life, what difficulties they are facing now, what factors influence the level of how challenging their university life is and to verify the developed hypotheses. The analysis has been carried out with the help of IBM SPAS Statistics 20.
Besides correlation, I have applied multiple linear regression in order to examine the predictive power of the variables mentioned below and to see if the independent variables have a significant relationship with the dependent variable. Linear multiple regression could also help me to find out how strong the influence of the independent variables on the dependent variable is.