College dropout rates have fallen in the first year of Covid, but one in six freshmen still abandons computer and certain other courses.
High drop-out rates from information, communication and technology (ICT) programs and service-related courses, such as B. Traffic, are a continuous feature of the first-year experience.
New data tracks whether students who entered college in 2019 transferred to sophomore or another course at the same college in September 2020.
Overall, the non-progression for the 2019-20 first-year class was 9 percent, up from 12 percent the previous year.
It was the fourth year of downward trend, according to a report by the Higher Education Authority (HEA).
The data is based on an unusual academic year, when the pandemic forced colleges to close in March and lectures moved online.
It’s too early to tell if the data points to an acceleration in the underlying improvement in retention rates, or if students felt lockdown offered limited opportunities.
dr HEA Chief Executive Alan Wall said that while Covid appears to have had an impact on rates of progression, further analysis is needed in subsequent years to fully understand the impact.
Despite the overall improvement, some programs and certain categories of students continue to show high drop-out rates, which in some cases indicates a mismatch between study choices and student adequacy. Socioeconomic and gender differences are also evident.
Women, affluent students, and students in honors degree courses (Level 8) were the most likely to continue their studies.
At the universities, the drop-out rate was below average at 7 percent and at technical colleges, e.g. B. the teaching profession, with 3 percent and 4 percent again below.
In comparison, the 16 percent and 18 percent non-progression for new entrants in Level 6 and 7 courses (advanced certificate and ordinary degree) – at technical institutes – was at least double the 8 percent non-progression for Level 8 programs .
Courses in the service sector, which include security and hospitality, had the highest non-progress rate at 16 percent — although it was down from 22 percent a year earlier. This is followed by ICT with 15 percent and engineering, manufacturing and construction with 13 percent.
As for the gender gap, 11 percent of male first graders did not continue into second year, compared to 7 percent of females. Disadvantaged students were the most likely to drop out (12 percent), while the wealthiest were the least likely to drop out (7 percent).
Leaving Certificate Points are an important indicator of non-progress. Even when comparing comparable students, students with under 200 points have a 25 percent non-progress rate, compared to 4 percent for students with over 500 points.
The analysis treats students who have transferred to another course at the same college as progress. Those who have started at another university are not counted in the same way.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/education/dropout-rates-fall-in-first-year-of-covid-but-remain-high-in-tech-and-services-courses-41540083.html Dropout rates fall in first year of Covid but remain high in technology and services courses