In brief 1

April 19, 2002

First-year students' failure to engage with their studies is a question of orientation as well as motivation ("You can't count on the carefree", THES , March 29). My research suggests that most first-years are spoon-fed at school or college. A solution would be to require prospective students to attend a two-week summer school on independent learning. This might reduce the burden on universities and the dropout rate.

Roger Ottewill
Centre for Learning and Teaching
University of Southampton

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