The Times is reporting that the proportion of students abandoning their degrees in the first year is rising for the first time in three years, and it is rising fastest for students from poorer families.
The paper reports that 6% of first-time degree students who started university in autumn 2013 had left their course by the following summer (compared to 5.7% the year before).
Amongst students from disadvantaged backgrounds, the proportion leaving from was 8.2% (7.7% the previous year).
The paper also note the figures were higher at newer universities, saying they are more likely to take students who are the first in their family to go to university. At the University of Bolton, 17% of undergraduates did not make it to their second year.
The paper also reports that the overall Higher Education Statistics Agency forecast that is that 10.2% of the 2013 cohort would leave without a qualification. It says this is a marginal increase from the previous year but well down on the 14.9& rate from ten years earlier.
Les Ebdon, director of fair access to higher education, is quoted:
“I am disappointed to see that the trend of improvement has not continued.”
More at: More students are dropping out of degrees (subscription may be required)
See a breakdown of the figures from HESA at: UK Performance Indicators in Higher Education 2014/15 – Non-continuation rates
It looks like relatively small moves year-on-year, but they are clearly in the wrong direction.
What do you think is behind this? Is there a mismatch between expectations and reality? Is it because of increased financial concerns? Are too many people being encouraged to go to university in the first place?
Please give us your feedback and insights in the comments or via Twitter…
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