University Learning

(Part 2)


According to Oxford University (2011) a demand is ‘something that is compulsory.’ The demands of university include independent learning, time management skills and the ability to write differently in different disciplines (Ballard and Clanchy, 1988: 19; Monash University, 2010). In high school students are not required to put in a lot of effort to get high grades (Balduf, 2009: 285). The teachers and parents normally have to push them to do their work (Balduf, 2009:287). In contrast in higher education these students have to become independent learners, who are students that identify their learning requirements and are responsible for meeting these needs (Marshall and Rowland, 2006: 169; Education USA, 2009). There is no one in university who will constantly harass students about any of their work (Monash University, 2010; Burns, 2006:vii). This lack of extrinsic motivation can result in students being unable to complete assignments because they procrastinate (Cottrell, 1991:77 as cited in Snyders et al, 2005: 92). High school has a very structured climate and every moment of the day is accounted for, on the other hand university is very unstructured (Just colleges, n.d; Balduf, 2009: 287). High school does not require students to balance numerous activities: only school work and extracurricular activities. In contrast in university these students are required to `balance study, work and play’ (Monash University, 2010). In this situation time management skills are vital in order to avoid students wasting their days sleeping, and later on being stressed out about due dates for assignments looming closer and being overwhelmed by the academic workload (Balduf, 2009:285; Marshall and Rowland, 2006:22; Urquhart and Pooley, 2007: 87).

Writing in high school was the same in every subject. In higher education students must have the ability to write differently in different units (Marshall and Rowland, 2006:193; Ballard and Clanchy, 1988: 14). First year students find it challenging to write appropriately in different disciplines. They must acquire the necessary analysing skills for each unit (Ballard and Clanchy, 1988: 14). Students who are unable to understand `modes of analysis’ of particular disciplines are considered to be `illiterate’ and fail to succeed in university (Ballard and Clanchy, 1988: 16).

Social climate refers to the type of environment in which a society is based (Oxford University: 2011). Snyders et al (2005: 187) believe that alcohol intake is a part of student culture in university. In high school alcohol was forbidden and any students who consumed alcohol were expelled or suspended. Students in college are overcome with disbelief and excitement when it comes to their freedom to drink alcohol; they tend to go overboard and drink large amounts of extremely strong alcohol (Burns, 2006: v- vi).

According to research conducted by Urquhart and Pooley (2007: 83) students in high school find it easy to form friendships because they are in regular contact with the same people. However in university students will not see the same people on a regular basis, this will make it difficult for them to form relationships.




In conclusion it is evident that the freedoms, demands and social climate of universities are not simulated in education prior to university. Students in high school experience minimal social freedom because they live with either their parents or guardians. Academic freedom is not practiced because in high school there are classes all the time throughout the week. In addition the demands of higher education are not simulated because students learn passively and write the same in all subjects. Finally the social climate is not simulated because students are in regular contact with the same people and alcohol consumption is a punishable offence.



University Learning