Students coming from families where no one has attended University studies before them are called first in family or first generation students.

The majority of students face challenges during their studies. However, students who are the first in their family to attend University may face some extra hurdles. Sometimes family members may not fully understand the expectations and pressures associated with studying, which can make it more difficult to adjust.

Special Challenges

Some of the challenges first in family students may face include:

  • Having no one that can give them advice about University
  • Doubting their ability to study at a tertiary level
  • Finding a balance between study and family commitments
  • Having family members not approving of or supporting University studies

Nevertheless with the right information and support, anyone can overcome the challenges.

Assistance at UQ

We are dedicated to helping first year students settle into university life and especially those who are first in family students.

Specific workshops, social events and activities have been designed to meet the needs of first in family students to help them adapt easily into the university. Some topics covered include understanding academic expectations, learning your way around UQ, meeting new people, study groups, knowing who to ask for help, and providing career advice.

Student Services supports students throughout their degree, so free support and help is always available.


If you are a first in family student, do not hesitate to come and see us at 21D in St Lucia or contact us, or contact your campus Student Services office.