Could not download file: This paper is available to authorised users only.


M.D. Rivero-Pérez1, M.L. González-SanJosé1, P. Muñíz1, J.M. Ena Dalmau1, E. Alvarez Sancho2, A. Mayoral Canalejas3

1University of Burgos, Department of Biotechnology and Food Science (SPAIN)
2Instituto de Enseñanza Secundaria Enrique Florez, Burgos (SPAIN)
3Instituto de Enseñanza Secundaria Campos de Amaya, Villadiego, Burgos (SPAIN)
Incorporation of students to the University involves numerous difficulties that are affected by the educational environment of their origin. So, the levels of knowledge and skills are different between secondary school students and vocational training students.

Therefore it is necessary to know the initial levels of students’ experience in certain subjects preferred in degrees of Food Science and Technology such as mathematics, chemistry, physics or biology, as well as basic laboratory management skills.

After finding and identifying the main problems and difficulties, it would be desirable to design strategies to facilitate and improve the educational transition.

The aim of this work was to identify the main difficulties in the transition from secondary school to University and raise joint working strategies between secondary school teachers and university lectures.

The first stage was the obtention of the actual levels of skills and abilities of University students in their first year of admission to the University through surveys.

Some of the questions were linked to communication skills, and written an oral performance before and during exhibitions. Also we collected information on study habits, organizational skills, order, etc. And because of the high degree of experimentality of Food and Technology degree studies, we obtained information about the capabilities in handling and processing analytical equipment, as well as their behaviour in laboratories and processing plants, prior knowledge of these materials, safe performance, risks and prevention, etc… We also surveyed students of 1st and 2nd year of baccalaureate and vocational training for Food Industries.

Similarly, surveys were conducted for teachers of secondary and vocational training and first year lecturers of food science studies of University in order to compare the obtained information. These data were analyzed by the type of “origin” of students. The results showed clear differences between the students of the 1st University year according to their origin. Secondary school students have many gaps in basic subjects like math or chemistry, and showed specific deficits in lab skills, while students of the vocational training students are more motivated and have higher levels of laboratory management.

The information was collected and analyzed as a basis for programming activities and strategies is to be developed.

Therefore, this study was a first step of a more ambitious project involving the development of actions for improvement in the subjects taught by the secondary teachers and University lectures involved, through problem solving, exchange of theoretical and practical application of methodologies adapted to each group.