The Higher Education Authority published a report on February 14th outlining the dropout rate among students in third level education.
The results followed a study of 34, 059 over a ten-year period which began in 2007. The report examined the dropout rate of college students across all universities, institutes of technology and college in the country. The report concludes several factors that lead or cause students to dropout in higher level education.
One of the main findings of the report noted that students with higher Leaving Cert grades along with higher CAO points were more likely to complete their college degree. Just over half of students who scored between 205 – 250 points completed their course in comparison to 85 percent who scored between 405 – 450 points.
The highest completion of courses was those in education along with health and welfare with over 90 per cent of students finishing out their course. Arts and humanities along with business and law had only a 23 percent dropout rate.
One of the most significant results was the rate of students dropping out in institutions of technologies. Third level courses that are tech focused or based saw the lowest completion in courses such as engineering, computing, manufacturing and construction. Furthermore, the report attributed the high dropout rate in regard to students struggling with maths at Leaving Cert level and seeing it carrying through to third level. University College Cork has a dropout rate of 16 percent in comparison to Cork IT where a third of the students have dropped out. The high dropout rate amongst institute of technologies is common throughout the country with an overall average of a 34 percent dropout rate.
The study showed that female students were more likely to attend level 8 courses, while there are more male students in level 6 and 7 courses. The results highlighted that 81 percent of female students finished out their college courses in comparison to 71 percent of male students.
In an article with the Irish Independent, the director general of the Irish Universities Association Jim Miley commented on how “there is still more work to do”.