University dropout is a major policy concern for educators around the world. A new study looks at reasons and provides a detailed analysis why students leave without obtaining a degree.
Students have diverse reasons for dropping out of colleges and universities. The study, published in the European Journal of Education, found that the most important reasons for leaving university without a degree are mainly related to students' lack of interest in their field of study, as well as wrong expectations concerning the content of their studies.
Problems related to students' academic performance also appear to be important.
The study suggests potential counter measures that higher education institutions might use to help students at risk of dropping out as they strive to finish their education and obtain their degrees.
"The phenomenon of university dropout is a very relevant issue, and it's extremely important for the society, for higher education institutions, and of course, for the students themselves. It's associated with an inefficient use of universities' resources, personal failure, wasted time, and monetary investments," said co-author Hervé D. Teguim Kamdjou, of the University of Duisburg-Essen, in Germany.
"Providing new insights into this issue will help universities implement early warning systems and more personalised counselling services to support students at risk of dropping out during an early stage of study."