Study smart - Study skills and university preparation for upper secondary students

The Study smart project focuses on study skills and university preparation for upper secondary students.

Of special interest is students’ transition from upper secondary school to higher education and their experiences and challenges during their first year of study in higher education with specific attention given to the First year experience, academic emotions, academic self-efficacy and self-regulated learning.

The empirical data include a questionnaire answered by 480 students in ten upper secondary schools in Finland, questionnaires answered by rectors, study counsellers and subject teachers in the same schools. In addition semi-structured interviews with 23 teachers and study counsellers were conducted and 267 reflective journals written by university students were analysed qualitatively. The aim with Study smart is to develop interventions for upper secondary schools to support students’ transition to further education, and to develop interventions that support and promote students’ study skills and learning in higher education.

Cooperation and funding

The project is financed (2014–2018) by the Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland.


Videoclips about study skills (in Swedish):

  1. Medier och lärande (Media and learning)
  2. Att börja studera på universitet (Starting at university)
  3. Tidshantering (Time management)
  4. Studiefärdigheter (Study skills)
  5. Föräldrastöd (Parental support)

The videoclips in Swedish with Finnish subtitles:

  1. Media ja oppminen (Media and learning)
  2. Opintojen aloittaminen yliopistolla (Starting at university)
  3. Ajanhallinta (Time management)
  4. Opiskelutaidot (Study skills)
  5. Vanhempien tuki (Parental support)
Project team

Project Leader: University Lecturer Monica Londen, University of Helsinki

Professor Gunilla Holm, University of Helsinki

Doctoral student Katarina Perander-Norrgård, University of Helsinki


Perander, K., Londen, M., Holm, G. Policy and practice in Finland: teachers’ and study counsellors’ gender stereotyped perceptions. In: Gender and Education in Politics, Policy and Practice – Transdisciplinary Perspectives. Carlson, M., Spehar, A. & Holm,  A-S. (Eds). Springer. In press.

Perander, K., Londen, M. and Holm, G. (2020), "Supporting students' transition to higher education", Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education

Perander, K., Londen, M., Holm, G., & Tiihonen, S. (2020). Becoming a university student: An emotional rollercoaster. Högre Utbildning, 10(1), 1-12.

Perander, K., Londen, M. & Holm, G. (2019).  Anxious girls and laid-back boys: teachers' and study counsellors' gendered perceptions of students. Cambridge Journal of Education, 50:2, 185-199, DOI: 10.1080/0305764X.2019.1653825

Conference presentations

Perander- Norrgård, K., Londen, M. & Holm, G. (September 2017). Teachers’ and study counselors’ perceptions of learning strategies and self-efficacy among upper secondary students. European Educational Research Association (ECER), Copenhagen.

Londen, M & Perander-Norrgård, K. (March 2017). "Too much at the same time, don't know how to find time and what to focus on". Self-efficacy, study challenges and gender differences in the transition from upper secondary to higher education. Paper presentation at the Nordic Educational Research Association Conference (NERA), Copenhagen.

Londen, M. , Perander-Norrgård, K. & Holm, G. (March 2017).  Studera smart- högskoleförberedande åtgärder för gymnasiestuderande. Learning Adventure,  University of Helsinki.

Perander-Norrgård, K. (March 2016). Evaluations of factors predicting interest in higher education. Paper presentation at Nordic Educational Research Association Conference (NERA) 2016: Social Justice, Equality and Solidarity in Education


Gunilla Holm, visiting Stanford University November-December 2017

Monica Londen visiting Uppsala University, October 2017

Monica Londen, visiting Stanford University November-December 2017