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Drop out rates among college students reach high levels

Posted by Elizabeth Clarke, on 14/07/2014. Drop out rates among college students reach high levelsTags: Education And Politics

According to The Irish Independant, recent report findings have led the Higher Education Authority (HEA) to question whether students are adequately prepared for the adjustment from second to third level education.

The report, based on a study of students who made the transition into third level during the year 2010/2011, found that nearly 17% of students did not progress on to their second year of study.

HEA chairman John Hennessy questions the reasons behind the high dropout rates; "There is increased emphasis by the colleges on support in first year but we need to ask are some students sufficiently prepared for college life? Do they pick the wrong course and therefore, need greater guidance at second-level?"

The students in which the report is based left school before 2012, when there was a cut to guidance services in schools. This is cause for concern as the percentage of students leaving college may have increased since then due to these cuts.

The number of students failing to progress into their second year of study varies greatly, with institutes of technology found to have extremely high dropout rates at 17%, compared with 9% in universities and 4% in other colleges, including teacher training centres.

Regardless of the type of college, students with low Leaving Cert points are less likely to continue to carry out their courses in full, with males also more likely to drop out of their courses before second year.

The report found that dropout rates vary from course to course, with engineering and construction related courses suffering the most, with non progression rates of 39 and 40% in level 6 and 7 courses, respectively. Profession oriented courses are the least likely to suffer from early leavers, with science courses also more likely to see higher progression rates.

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