Education Minister Jo Johnson warns universities over 67% dropout rates

Sky News reports that Jo Johnson said the institutions urgently need to review the “value for money” of some courses after research by Sky News found withdrawal rates of up to two thirds.

Dropout rates per course are not published by universities, but according to data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act:

:: At Wrexham University, a BSc course in Entrepreneurship had a 50% withdrawal rate while 67% dropped out of a degree in Marketing and Consumer Psychology at the same university

:: 67% dropped out a Human Resources Management course at Middlesex University and 28.5% left a BA in Business Management

:: At the University of East London, the dropout rate for a BSc course in Computer Games Development was 58%

Lord Adonis, the former Labour education minister and “architect” of the fee rise to £3,000-a-year in 2004, said: “But it’s very telling that the universities where individual courses have drop rates of 40, 50, 60% are the same universities are the same universities that have overall drop rates of more than 10 percent. So it’s clear that there’s something systematically going wrong.”

Tory MPs are urging action over fees, and the 6.1% interest rates students pay on them, in this autumn’s Budget, to try and win back younger voters.

But ministers are alert to concerns about students’ living costs at university, which can contribute to drop-out rates, and the salary threshold at which loans are paid back which has been frozen at £21,000-a-year since 2012.

Universities will soon have to publish data on their applications, drop-out rate and attainment, and prove they are boosting access for disadvantaged students, under new laws aimed at holding institutions to account.

Read more Education Minister Jo Johnson warns universities over 67% dropout rates

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