This publication is the first in a series of scholarly reports on research-based practice related to the First Year Experience in Higher Education. This report synthesises evidence about practice-based initiatives and pragmatic approaches in Aotearoa (New Zealand) and Australia that aim to enhance the experience of commencing students in the higher education sector. Trends in policies, programs and practices ... examines the first year experience literature from 2000-2010. It acknowledges the uniqueness of the Australasian socio-political context and its influence on the interests and output of researchers. The review surveyed almost 400 empirical reports and conceptual discussions produced over the decade that dealt with the stakeholders, institutions and the higher education sector in Australasia. The literature is examined through two theoretical constructs or “lenses”: first, a set of first year curriculum design principles and second, the generational approach to describing the maturation of initiatives. These outcomes and suggested directions for further research provide the challenges and the opportunities for FYE adherents, both scholars and practitioners, to grapple with in the next decade.