1 Department of Science Education, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet2 University Science Education, Department of Science Education, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet3 Department of Science Education, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet
The paper presents results from a longitudinal study of students’ decisions to enrol on a higher education science programme and their experiences of it. The aim is to give insights into students’ transition process and negotiation of identity. This is done by following a cohort of 38 students in a series of qualitative interviews during a 3-year period starting as they were about to finish upper secondary school. We find that the students’ choice of study is an ongoing process of meaning-making, which continues when the students enter higher education and continuously work on their identities to gain a sense of belonging to their science or engineering programme. The use of a narrative methodology provides understanding of choice of study as involving changes in future perspectives and in the interpretation of past experiences. Further, we gain access into how this meaning-making process over time reflects the students’ negotiations in terms of belonging to higher education and their coping strategies when their expectations of their new programme interact with their first-year experiences.