Students arriving from secondary schools or further education colleges have been found to struggle with transition in teaching methods.
Often these students expect to be taught (Cotterell, 2017, p.12) and this can be a barrier to develop skills such as critical thinking.
There is an expectation that university programmes will deliver teaching excellence, ensuring that programmes are well designed, supportive to students, enabling the development of skills that will lead to employment, such as working in teams, and notably critical thinking (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, 2016, p.43).
These elements are measured via metrics such as employability, under the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF); and are therefore of great importance to higher education providers aspiring to achieve Gold status (Department of Education, 2017, p.68).
This, in turn makes it difficult to achieve academic success within higher education.
Some studies suggest this is common with non-traditional students, those studying alternative studies to A’levels (Moon, 2008, p.108).
Therefore, if secondary schools are failing to develop critical thinking skills, then universities need to ensure these skills are developed.
It therefore could be judged that the quality of an academic programme will equate to positive academic success.
Critical thinking is an important skill for students studying occupational therapy.
Healthcare professionals are often working in challenging environments that require a critical way of thinking (Aveyard et al; 2015, p.102).