The transition from school to college is a change every student has to make in their pursuit of higher education. The transition phase is a difficult time for many students, especially to the rural students, many of whom are from a disadvantaged background. However, little literature exists in our state and the country on the transition of rural students into higher education, especially on the challenges they face and the coping strategies they have adopted. This qualitative exploratory study, therefore, aims to explore the challenges rural students in Meghalaya faced when making the transition into higher education, along with the strategies they adopted to cope with the challenges. The participants of this study consist of 68 rural students selected by the use of purposive sampling technique and the data was collected by the use of a semi-structured interview schedule. The thematic analysis method was used to analyse the interview transcripts. The study revealed rural students faced two main challenges, which are academic challenges and socio-emotional challenges, and they had adopted task-oriented coping and emotion-oriented coping strategies in coping with these challenges. The study concludes by suggesting that rural students need additional support when making the transition into higher education.


rural students, transition, higher education, challenges, coping strategies

Author Bio(s)

Dr. Euodia B. Myrthong is presently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Education, NEHU, Shillong. Her specializations are Research Methodology, Mental Health Education, Educational Psychology, and Guidance and Counselling. She has presented and written papers related to these subjects and has conducted workshops on innovative teaching practices. She has also provided lectures in UGC-HRDC NEHU, Shillong as well as in various schools and colleges concerning the innovative teaching practices and Research Methodology. Please direct correspondence to eubahun@gmail.com.

Ferrando Lyngdoh Nonglait is a Senior Research Fellow (SRF) in the Department of Education, NEHU, Shillong. His area of interest is the Education of Rural Students. He is the recipient of S. C. Dutta Memorial Award for academic excellence from Shillong College in 2014 and is also the recipient of U Kiang Nongbah Memorial Award for excellence in academics and for rendering service to people from North-Eastern Hill University in 2016. Please direct correspondence to ferrandolyngdoh@gmail.com.

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