According to a new survey, more than one in three students has “seriously considered” dropping out of their studies.
While not all follow, the survey results highlight the reasons why students might drop out of a course.
It is the first time that a major survey examining the experiences of students with higher education in Ireland has asked a question about whether one is seriously considering dropping out.
It turned out that on average 37 percent of the students had seriously considered dropping out.
In the early years it was 35 percent, but by the time students reached their senior year, 45 percent had considered dropping out at some point.
The latest data from the Higher Education Authority (HEA) on college graduation rates shows that 75 percent of incoming college students graduate, although some may switch majors in between.
Almost 43,000 freshman, final year and teaching postgraduate students from 25 colleges have taken part in StudentSurvey.ie’s Irish Survey of Student Engagement.
Among the students who had seriously considered dropping out, personal or family reasons were mentioned most frequently (13pc), followed by financial reasons (10pc).
Other reasons given were transfer to another university (9 items), health (6 items) and employment (5 items), with 8 people citing “other reasons”.
Age was one of the factors that played a role in the decision-making process. First graders aged 24 and older were the most likely to cite funding as a reason, while first graders aged 23 and under were the most likely to cite transfer to another college.
Female students were more likely than male students to have considered dropping out of a course, a gap that was most pronounced in the early years (37 percent versus 33 percent).
Undergraduates pursuing graduate degrees (level 7) also considered withdrawing from their courses more seriously than those in honors programs (level 8).
Among freshman students, arts and humanities students were the most likely (38 percent) to consider dropping out, while students in education programs were the least likely (30 percent) to consider dropping out.
However, by the time they reached their final year, information and communications technology (ICT) students were more likely (51 percent) than all others to have considered dropping out.
Other results included that 84 percent of students would “probably/certainly” attend the same institution. However, only 43 percent rated the quality of interactions with academic staff as “excellent.”
The survey, launched today at a Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) conference, also showed that the student experience in the 12 months to spring this year was much better than last year when colleges were closed due to Covid.
From February to March this year, the experience of the first years had not returned to pre-Covid levels, but there was a marked improvement compared to what students reported in early 2021.
dr StudentSurvey.ie manager Siobhán Nic Fhlannchadha said it collected strong feedback directly from students, which was passed on to institutions so they can respond to challenges faced by their student population.
It is funded by the HEA and co-sponsored by the Irish Universities Association (IUA), the Technological Higher Education Association (THEA) and the Union of Students in Ireland (USI).
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/education/one-in-three-seriously-consider-dropping-out-of-college-survey-finds-42074245.html According to a survey, one in three is seriously considering dropping out of college