Features of adaptation of first-year students to the conditions of study at the university

The article is devoted to the problem of adaptation of first-year students to the conditions of development of educational programs at the University. The article deals with the problems of students' adaptation to higher education. It describes the difficulties that students have during their studies. The authors consider the importance of developing the level of adaptation from school, thereby preparing future students for the new system in advance. A research was conducted to determine the level of adaptation of students of the pedagogical faculty of the specialty «Preschool education and upbringing» E.A. Buketov of Karaganda University. The results of the study showed that the problem of adaptation of first-year students is one of the most important problems and is still a traditional subject of discussion, and as such, adaptation is the foundation of training in junior courses. Students enter the student team, develop skills and abilities of rational organization of mental activity, realize the vocation to the chosen profession develops an optimal mode of work, also adapts to the teaching staff. Based on the results of the study, conclusions were drawn and recommendations were developed to speed up the process students' adaptation to the system of education in higher education.


The problem of students' adaptation to the higher education system is an urgent topic not only at the theoretical level, but also at the practical level. In many ways, their adaptation in the first year of study at the University plays a huge role in the formation of future specialists who are competent in their field. Adapting students to the new system is a complex and time-consuming process, as students are faced with new goals and tasks that they were not familiar with during their studies at school.

According to the law «On education» of the Republic of Kazakhstan, «Students, students and other categories of persons receiving education are required to acquire knowledge and practical skills in accordance with the established requirements, comply with internal regulations, and fulfill other requirements stipulated by the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Charter of the educational institution» [1]. We believe that the goal of positive adaptation of students to the higher education system is to form a readiness to fulfill the above responsibilities and assimilate the system of requirements.

The relevance of our research is determined by the global tasks set by the Leader of the nation N.A. Nazarbayev in his Messages to the people of Kazakhstan. In his address «Third modernization of Kazakhstan: global competitiveness» dated January 31, 2017, the first President of Kazakhstan

N.A. Nazarbayev focused on changing the role of the education system: «our task is to make education the Central link of the new model of economic growth. Training programs should be aimed at developing critical thinking abilities and self-searching skills» [2].

In the psychological and pedagogical literature, there are many definitions of the concept of «adapta- tion». In the most General way, this concept is defined as the process during which the functioning of the system is established or maintained (that is, the maintenance of its basic parameters) when the conditions of the external and/or internal environment change. The General scientific status of the concept of adaptation also implies the need to define it in a broader sense that is invariant for specific scientific disciplines: adaptation is a special form of reflection by systems of external and internal environmental influences, which consists in a tendency to establish a dynamic balance with them [3].

Literature review

Adaptation to University education is nothing more than adaptation to various requirements of higher education. In psychological and pedagogical research, the following authors distinguish the components of personal and collective adaptation of students to the higher education system: I.V. Aglicheva, A.G. Maklakov, N.A. Zarembo [4–6]. Among Kazakhstan scientists, the study of this problem is reflected in the works of the following authors: L.S. Syrymbetova, S.M. Dzhakupov, E.K. Amirenov, G.M. Ertukeshov,

S.K. Nesipbayev.

Student adaptation is a complex, dynamic, and multi — faceted process that involves changing habits. Learning at University is different from school, in school, teachers encourage pupils to activities, at a time when University professors only give a direction. Many first-year students see this as a big problem, because they are used to getting ready-made information, and students have misunderstandings against this background. It is worth noting that it is necessary to adapt to the higher education system not only school graduates, but also College graduates.

The process of modernizing our country's higher education system has undergone a number of changes since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Kazakhstan entered the Bologna process, thus the country's higher education system switched to the use of credit technology, which is unfamiliar to College graduates. It is known that the adaptation process takes place throughout the entire period of study at the University, but the initial period of study at the University is sensitive for the development of adaptive personality traits and behaviors [7, 8].


To fully study the problem of students' adaptation to the higher education system, we used the following types of methods: theoretical and empirical research methods. We analyzed the theoretical material on the problem of research in the psychological and pedagogical literature. We also conducted a theoretical comparison of the problem in different countries of the world. During the practical part, we used an empirical research method — the questionnaire K.Rogers and R.Dymond, which determines the level of socio- psychological adaptation of people to new changing environmental conditions.

In order to determine the level of adaptation of first-year students, we conducted an empirical study, and our choice fell on first-year students who have just arrived in a new city and live far from their parents ' home. This allowed us to check the level of adaptation of 1st year students during the first three months of study at the University.

The study was conducted on the basis of the pedagogical faculty of Ye.A. Buketov Karaganda University. The sample consisted of 1st-year students of the specialty «Preschool education and upbringing», the total number of students in the group was 23 people. For the study, we used the method of diagnostics of social and psychological adaptation of K.Rogers and R.Dymond. The Rogers-Dymond method is a personal questionnaire aimed at identifying the personality characteristics of the test subject and the degree of socio — psychological adaptation, often to a new environment, conditions and rules of behavior [9].

The purpose of the study is experimental verification of the level of adaptation of first-year students to study at the faculty of education in conditions of Informatization of education; the object of research is educational process in higher school, oriented on the formation of adaptation of first-year students to training in terms of academic freedom and Informatization of the educational process.

The questionnaire contains 101 statements. 37 of them meet the criteria of adaptation of the individual, 37 — maladaptation, 26 — neutral. Statements in the latter category also include the so-called «lie scale». All statements are depersonalized and all pronouns are put in 3 l., units. The purpose of this is that the test taker does not fall under the influence of «direct identification» and that the test taker more objectively correlates the statement with their abilities, characteristics and psychological state. In addition, the test taker avoids the influence of «socially desirable responses». The classical scale of responses includes 7 points, but some experts question this division, since the gradation of values is often not significant for the average person's consciousness. The authors identified 6 integral indicators that allow analyzing the survey results:

1. Adaptation.

2. The acceptance of the other.

  1. Internality (level of subjective control).
  2. Self-perception.
  3. Emotional comfort.
  4. The desire to dominate.

The questionnaire contains statements about a person, their lifestyle, experiences, thoughts, habits, and behavior style. They can always be correlated with our own way of life.

After reading the next statement of the questionnaire, you need to try it on to your habits, your lifestyle and assess to what extent this statement can be attributed to students. In order to indicate the answer in the form, you need to choose one of the seven assessment options, numbered from 0 to 6, which is suitable, in the students' own opinion:

0 — this does not apply to me at all;

  1. — this is not typical for me in most cases;
  2. — I doubt that this can be attributed to me;
  3. — I don't dare take it to myself;
  4. — this is similar to me, but not sure;
  5. — this is like me;
  6. — this is exactly about me.

The selected answer option must be marked in the answer form in the cell corresponding to the sequence number of the statement [10].


Theoretical analysis of the material on the research problem led us to the following results, which are described below.

The need to study the problem of students' adaptation to the higher education system lies in the difference in the content, forms, methods and technologies of education in General education institutions and universities. Also, there is insufficient preparation for independent training of school graduates who are used to receiving a ready-made set of knowledge. First-year students have a destructive attitude to learning in General, being timid in front of teachers, thereby showing their unwillingness to adapt to the new system.

Many first-year students experience difficulties related to the lack of independent learning skills, inability to take notes on lectures, work with textbooks, analyze large amounts of information, and clearly Express their thoughts.

The process of successful adaptation of students largely affects the academic achievements of students. University admission often takes place at a young age, and youth is an integral part of socialization. A first- year student, entering a University, faces not only academic problems, but also enters a completely new environment of strangers. In addition to adapting to the new system, students need to adapt to their classmates and teachers.

Based on theoretical analysis, it can be concluded that first-year students do not always successfully master knowledge, skills and abilities. This is due not to the fact that they have received insufficient knowledge, but to the fact that they have not formed certain personality traits. First-year students are not ready for independent learning, they can not control themselves and conduct reflection. At the initial stage of studying at the University, social adaptation is important for them, which plays an important role in our research. In the process of communication, the individual adapts to certain patterns of behavior that operate in this microsphere, obeys social requirements and is controlled by adults. Communication is an integral part of joint learning activities.

A first-year student must adapt to the higher education system socially, psychologically, motivationally and intellectually. The curator, classmates and teachers have a huge influence on the adaptation of students, because adaptation is a «live» process.

Very often, the organization of educational activities in the first year does not ensure the proper adaptation of students to the specific conditions of higher professional school. As a result of incorrect approaches to the organization of the pedagogical process, inconsistent actions of teachers, insufficient attention to solving this problem on the part of the administration and University teachers, it is quite difficult for students to adapt to the educational process [11].

The most important time for a future specialist is the first year of University, when a student leaves one social role, replacing it with another. At this stage, great attention should be paid to the adaptation of students not only in educational activities, but also in personal and professional adaptation.

During the adaptation of first-year students, the following difficulties may arise that do not depend on the student:

  •  discrepancy between a high level of claims and a low social status, which is set by age;
  •  mismatch between the style of communication in the parent family and the need to interact with teachers and employees of the University;
  •  the discrepancy between the increased focus on independence and dependence on the opinion of peers.

Well-developed personal qualities of students determine how the future student will have the ability to communicate within the team. Thus, teachers should develop critical thinking school leavers so that the process of adaptation of students will not be so long and problematic in the future. It is worth noting that a successful specialist today is a person who perfectly knows the basics of teaching, sees the political goals of the country, has a rich scientific and practical training, is well — versed in his profession, at a high level. Teachers create a successful, competitive, critically thinking specialist by developing the best personal qualities in him, including the development of the level of adaptability in constantly changing environmental conditions.The results of the study are presented in table 1.

Results of the questionnaire





(teenagers), adults




37,3 %











42,5 %











50,2 %











45,6 %











36,3 %











29,3 %









Table 1

During the interpretation of the methodology, we found that 30.4 % of respondents have an average level of adaptation, while 69.6 % of respondents have a low level of adaptation according to the results of each of the indicators. The test results can be found in figure 1.


These results can be changed if you work with students in a timely manner and by the time of their professional activity, their adaptation within the team will reach a level above the average and high levels.

In each of the research sub-items, the results differ, but nevertheless the level of socio-psychological adaptation of first-year students is not pronounced. The total sum of the results of the sub-items is the final level of adaptability.

For all sub-items, only 13 % correspond to the results of full adaptability, self-acceptance, emotional comfort, internal control, and dominance. It follows that 87 % are not yet adapted to the new environment, new learning conditions and social structure. During the study, we had a conversation with the group's curator, who confirmed the results of the method, referring to the fact that students still miss home, do not fully understand the new credit technology for them, and often Express a desire to return home.


At this stage, great attention should be paid to all teachers, because the absolute positive adaptation of 1st-year students depends on their understanding attitude to students. Also, during the adaptation of students, a huge role is played by the curator, who can unite the team. Since adaptation is considered an active process, the administration of higher educational institutions should work together on it.

According to the results of the study, we created recommendations for teachers to improve the level of socio-psychological adaptation of first-year students.


  1. create a correct idea of the future profession of future specialists by conducting the right professional advertising;
  2. conduct conversations using visual and practical teaching methods to explain the essence of credit technology training;
  3. take into account the individual qualities and abilities of an individual student;
  4. identify the significance and features of first-year students ' adaptation to higher education;
  5. apply forms and methods of training that are aimed at group work, thereby speeding up the process of adaptation within the team;
  6. use various methods of testing knowledge, replace the oral survey with a written one, and Vice versa, to reduce the stressful situation during a public speech;
  7. pay attention to each student, control when one or another student «drops out» of the team;
  8. conduct curatorial hours and trainings that will use psychological correction methods, such as art therapy techniques for team building;
  9. develop diagnostic methods to determine the level of adaptation of students of the faculty of education;
  10. analyze the impact of the teaching staff on changing the level of adaptation of students. Conclusions

We must remember that during the adaptation of students, an important role must be assigned to the student's personality. The basis of a successfully formed team is the personality of a person, which directly depends on the level of education and independence of each student. We believe that it is necessary to develop the level of adaptability of pupils already at school, preparing students for independent learning, to analyze and synthesize information, skills of deduction and induction.



  1. Zakon RK «Ob obrazovanii» ot 27 iiulia 2007 h. № 319-III [Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan dated July 27, 2007 No. 319-III].(2007). –online.zakon.kz. Retrieved from https://online.zakon.kz/document/? doc_id=30118747#pos=406;-55 [in Russian].
  2. Poslanie Prezidenta Respubliki Kazakhstan N. Nazarbaeva narodu Kazakhstana ot 31 yanvaria 2017 h. [Message of the President of the Republic of KazakhstanN. Nazarbayev to the people of Kazakhstan, January, 31]. (2017). — www.akorda.kz.Retrieved fromhttp://www.akorda.kz/ru/addresses/addresses_of_president/poslanie-prezidenta-respubliki-kazahstan- nnazarbaeva-narodu-kazahstana-31-yanvarya-2017-g [in Russian].
  3. Iudin, B.G., & Simonov, A.N. Adaptatsiia [Adaptation] Tsentr humanitarnykh tekhnolohii. 2002–2020. www.getmarket.ru.Retrievedfromhttps://gtmarket.ru/concepts/7172 [in Russian].
  4. Aglicheva, I.V. (2006). Kompleksnoe issledovanie osobennostei lichnostnoi adaptatsii studentov vuza [Comprehensive study of the features of personal adaptation of University students]. Extended abstract of candidate's thesis. Stavropol [in Russian].
  5. Maklakov, A.G. (2011). Obshchaia psikholohiia: uchebnik dlia vuzov [General psychology: textbook for universities]. Saint Petersburg: Piter [in Russian].
  6. Zarembo, N.A. (2013). Psikholoho-pedahohicheskoe soprovozhdenie preodoleniia trudnostei vuzovskoi adaptatsii vypusknikov selskikh srednikh shkol [Psychological and pedagogical support for overcoming the difficulties of University adaptation of graduates of rural secondary schools]. Extended abstract of candidate's thesis. Moscow [in Russian].
  7. Sergeeva, S.V., & Voskrekasenko, O.A. (2008). Osnovnye napravleniia pedahohicheskoho soprovozhdeniia adaptatsii studentov-pervokursnikov k obrazovatelnomu protsessu vuza [The main directions of pedagogical support for the adaptation of first- year students to the educational process of the University]. Humanitarnye nauki — HumanitiesVol.3, 13–14 [in Russian].
  8. Krasilnikov, A., & Smirnova, A. (2017). Online social adaptation of first-year students and their academic performance. Computers & Education, Vol.113, 327–338.
  9. Rogers C. &Dymond F. (1954).Psychotherapy and Personality Change: Coordinated Research Studies in the ClientCentered Approach.Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  10. Fetiskin, N.P., Kozlov, V.V., & Manuilov, G.M. (2002). Sotsialno-psikholohicheskaia diahnostika razvitiia lichnosti i malykh hrupp [Socio-psychological diagnostics of individual and small group development]. Moscow: Institut psikhoterapii — Institute of psychotherapy [in Russian].
  11. Antipova L.A. (2008) Pedahohicheskie tekhnolohii uspeshnoi adaptatsii lichnosti studenta v protsesse obucheniia v vuze [Pedagogical technologies for successful adaptation of the student's personality in the process of studying at the University]. Kazanskii pedahohicheskii zhurnal — Kazan pedagogical journal. 2, 52–56 [in Russian].
Year: 2020
City: Karaganda
Category: Pedagogy