One in three students have 'seriously considered' dropping out of college - survey

One in three students have "seriously considered" dropping out of college because of personal, financial or other reasons
One in three students have 'seriously considered' dropping out of college - survey

James Cox

One in three students have "seriously considered" dropping out of college because of personal, financial or other reasons.

A new student survey has found eight in 10 would most likely return to the same college later if they dropped out.

StudentSurvey.ie, the major annual survey examining students’ experiences of higher education in Ireland, has looked for the first time at the reasons students might consider withdrawing from degree programmes.

Of those surveyed, 63 per cent said they had not seriously considered withdrawing from their programme. However, the data show that slightly more than one in three (37 per cent) have seriously considered withdrawing. It is hoped that these findings prove beneficial for HEIs, policymakers, and students in understanding the potential barriers for students in progressing in their studies.

Reasons given for considering withdrawal included:

  • Personal or family reasons (13 per cent).
  • Financial reasons (10 per cent).
  • Transfer to another institution (9 per cent).
  • Another reason (8 per cent).
  • Health reasons (6 per cent).
  • Employment (5 per cent).

It also noticed a reduction in the number of Covid related complaints in the Student Experience category.

Dr Siobhán Nic Fhlannchadha, manager of StudentSurvey.ie, said: “The results of StudentSurvey.ie have immense value for each of the higher education institutions, as well as for the whole higher education sector. I am always struck by how students use the survey to reflect critically and constructively on their experience. For staff in the higher education institutions and organisations, these results represent an opportunity to grow, and I hope they make the most of it.

“The survey collates powerful feedback directly from students, which passes to institutions to allow them to act on challenges facing their student population. The institutions themselves have a real buy-in to the survey and actively support and promote it, which makes it even more effective. The results this year show that students are facing challenges and institutions are providing supports to help them succeed.”

Third-level institutions have said they will use the results of the survey to help to improve the experience of their students.

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