Steven Jerie and Remmigio Mangizvo
Geography demands good analytical and reporting skills and these are taught for application in real world situations. Geography is therefore, a natural complement to many other subjects in the physical sciences and the humanities. It can be combined with science subjects such as biology, chemistry and mathematics or with commercial subjects such as accounting, management of business and economics or with arts subjects such as history, English, sociology and development studies. Geography at degree level needs to be clearly the same subject as at A-Level and so there needs to be a substantial amount of continuity with similar issues examined and with a similar factual base using similar analytical concepts. It is also true that degree level study must offer something over and above A-Level and students should be exposed to new issues using concepts that are new to them. Balancing these two issues is a real problem in the transition to undergraduate geography. For individual students, the first year is a significant transition point, one that may affect the development of attitudes towards continuing learning at tertiary education and beyond. It may also be a line to evaluate how prepared individual students are, and whether they need to do better support in their tertiary studies. The first year has also been identified as the year in which the greatest amount of academic failure and attrition from study occurs. Students tend to find the course more difficult than they had expected and they have problems balancing personal relationships with study.
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