It is proposed that the transition from secondary to higher education can be facilitated by improving secondary school students’ capabilities for independent, self-directed, and self-regulated learning (SRL). University learning places high demands on students for complex and independent learning, namely learning that requires the ability to plan, monitor and evaluate one’s work and to control one’s motivation and emotion. A major stream of educational research has shown the beneficial impact of self-regulated learning on student motivation and has concluded that self-regulation is a significant source of achievement differences among students. However, many secondary school students lack the skills of an independent and self-regulated learner when they enter higher education, something that contributes to considerable student attrition during the first year of university study. In this article I argue that more attention should be paid to the promotion of self-regulated learning in secondary schools. This can be achieved by helping teachers understand how to enrich students’ knowledge about learning and strategies to manage it. Some exemplary practices developed at secondary schools are discussed as a means of providing examples of effective learning environments for SRL.