Vol. 1 No. 1 (2019): Persistence and Dropout in Higher Education
Education is an investment in the future of individuals and communities. Student dropout in higher education causes a relatively large-scale loss in human and economic capital on national, individual, and institutional levels. The topic of the study is the most dynamically improving area of higher education research, and the questions proposed by the study are directly connected to the international discourse on the phenomenon of dropout, its causes, and controlling its risk. International studies divide the causes of dropout into three categories: dissatisfaction with the students’ HE experiences, family and work responsibilities and economic difficulties. Presumably, the causes of dropouts are more diverse depending on the major and year of study. By reviewing studies of the current issue you can gain insight into the social and organizational causes of student dropout in higher education both on the micro and macro level.
Policy Against Drop-out in Italy1-9Views:479
In this essay I set out the current situation of Early School Leaving (ESL) in Italy by considering both data provided by institutional sources (national and international) and a review of the most recent contributions from the educational work that have been done intensively to fight against ESL over the last 20 years. I will argue that the way followed so far will not lead to surprising results, due to deep and structural persisting factors of inequality. After a short overview on the position of Italy in the European rankings, the article recalls the main interventions that took place in the country by different investors (public and non-public), setting up a multiplicity of fragmented macro-politics. Then I will look at the mechanisms of differentiation and unequal distribution of educational opportunities and I will conclude with suggestions on how to make the fight against ESL more efficient and forward-looking.
The interaction of meso and macro contexts with students’ careers. Three applied analysis10-21Views:183
This paper presents three applied analysis. Our principal interest is to understand how meso (university level) and macro (national level) contexts interact with micro phenomena such as students’ careers. To achieve this aim, the paper shows a secondary analysis of longitudinal administrative data by means of Sequence Analysis and Event History Models. Furthermore, it shows the results of an additional analysis using a quasi-experimental research on longitudinal data.
The paper examines typical pathways of Italian students, by means of administrative information’s on student enrollment from Sapienza University of Rome. The aim of this paper is triple: 1. describe students’ careers in higher education by building a typology of pathways using Sequence Analysis. 2. Identify how socio-economic and macro level characteristics affect students’ careers by multinomial logistic regression model where clusters are used as dependent variables and focus on the study of the “event” by using Event History analysis. 3. Evaluate the Italian Higher Education reform policies and their main outcomes throughout a quasi-experimental research.
Mainly, the outcomes show the importance of the warming-up period, the individual choice and the exogenous events after enrolment in determining the success/failure of each career. Our outcomes suggest that Italian universities should rethink the mechanisms available to manage failure and guide student choices.
For the Sake of the Cause – Persistence of Romanian Higher Education Students in Finishing their Studies22-30Views:182
As a consequence of the expansion in higher education, the number of students has increased and the academic population has diversified but at the same time the university dropout has become a general problem since the last century (Trow, 2005; Kozma, 2010; Barro & Jong, 2013; Stanciu, 2014; Berei, 2018). In this paper, I proposed to analyze the persistence of students from 5 universities from Romania. We examine at institutional and individual level the perspective of their willingness to finish their studies. In partnership with the Center for Higher Education Research and Development - Hungary, named CHERD – H, from the University of Debrecen, was collected dates among students in 2012 (N=1323) and in 2014 - 2015 (N=323). Through a quantitative analysis, on a longitudinal perspective, I used SPSS statistical program to analyze data. The question of the research was: is there any difference between students` intentions to graduate on private and state institutions? Who is intending to finish and who is preparing to abandon his study? I concluded that students with unfavorable family background have nearly two times lower chance to enroll at state university and in private institutions students intention to enter into possesion of diploma was significant lower. With logistic regression I found also, that low financial status or low schooling of parents is not a significant obstacle on student academic path if they make every effort to participate in educational programs, submit assignments on time and are able to prepare for exams.
Dropped-out Students and the Decision to Drop-out in Hungary31-40Views:495
The interpretation of the phenomenon of student dropout, which represents a waste of a relatively large proportion of human and material capital in the social, individual and institutional domain, is impossible without examining dropout students. In this study, we analysed the DEPART 2018 database, which contains data from 605 Hungarian dropout students. We tried to identify higher education dropout scenarios and pointed out that higher educational dropout is a complex phenomenon. Based on the students' reports on their interpretation and evaluation of their dropouts, four student clusters were created. We compared the groups with their socio-cultural background and their decision to drop out from higher education, and their assessment of that decision. The most important result of the study is that it identifies a new group in addition to the international dropout types, and provides a detailed picture that calls our attention to the diversity of dropout groups, thereby moving beyond the over-generalised image of the dropout student.
Different Forms of Civil Activity and Employment in Hungary and Abroad, and the Development of Student Drop-out41-54Views:264
Young people involved in higher education have created a specific culture, to which, in addition to their studies, social and cultural activities associated with university life are also related (Kozma, 2006). Among these activities, student employment and participation in civic organizations should be highlighted. Voluntary and paid work among higher education students is increasing. These activities have several advantages in terms of future benefits; however, the attracting role of the labour market is one possible reason for dropout. In our current research, we emphasize the role of employment and civil activity in the development of student dropout. Masevičiūtė et al. (2018) found that a quarter of students stopped studying for work-related reasons. In addition, a negative perception of the marketability of the course they are on may lead to the interruption of university studies. In our study, we analysed the extent to which students are willing to interrupt their higher education studies in exchange for voluntary work. In our current research, we examined how often and for what reasons students who dropped out did paid work and volunteering during their studies.
The Connection between Extracurricular, Leisure Time Activities, Religiosity and the Reasons for Drop-out55-67Views:250
The interruption of tertiary education and the reduction in the dropout rate have been a central issue in educational sociology and education research. Exploring the possible reasons for dropping out can significantly contribute to reducing the trend. Our aim is to map the links between students dropping out and individual factors. Consequently, we investigate the connection between extracurricular and leisure-time activities, health behaviour and religiosity in relation to dropout. This is explained by the fact that one of the axioms of the literature on dropout is that belonging to civil networks usually strengthens the commitment to the successful completion of studies. In our analysis, we used the database created during the research carried out in 2018 by the Center for Higher Education Research and Development (CHERD-H) in the framework of project No. 123847 of the National Research, Development and Innovation Fund of Hungary, entitled The Role of Social and Organisational Factors in Student Dropout (DEPART 2018, N=605). Our results show that the neglect of study obligations among those who are disappointed in the course and further education is closely related to the shift in value preferences and an increase in the time spent with entertainment activities and partying. It can also be stated that students take part indifferent types of extracurricular activities only to a limited extent, and the different forms of participation in activities and religiosity are not related to the causes of dropout.
At the Crossroad of Cultures: Education and Identity of Hungarian Deaf Learners in Romania68-78Views:175
Deaf people living in ethnic-national minority situation form a social group whose members have multiple cultural backgrounds. Starting from interpretations which are viewing the deaf child as a member of a distinct cultural and linguistic minority, I studied the education of Hungarian deaf pupils in Romania graduating from the Hungarian Special School in Cluj/Kolozsvár/Klausenburg, with particular regard to the relationship between formal and informal language use in school, communication culture and identity. Methodologically the research is based on life path interviews with Hungarian Deaf Special School graduates, family case studies of two or three generation deaf families and structured interviews with experienced educators. The research results reveal that the educational practice of the concerned educational institution strengthens the pupils' identity awareness and sense of belonging to the Hungarian nation in two distinct, still interconnected ways: on the one hand, through oral language acquisition, nursing the oral Hungarian language skills, and on the other hand through cultivating the Hungarian Sign Language embedded in the deaf culture within the learner community. Nowadays, the conditions and modalities of exercising this role are changing in several respects. The positive educational effects achieved so far can be reinforced and strengthened by educational policies based on the recognition and cultivation of cultural diversity, in all its complex and multifaceted manifestations, including the peculiar needs of ethnic minority deaf learners.
Non-completed Studies: What Factors Affect Academic Success or Failure?79-89Views:238
The ratio of early school leavers is 12.5 in Hungary, which means 22nd place within the EU28. Early school leaving is an important issue in all European countries, because those who finished their studies after primary education are more likely unemployed and it causes problems for both them and the society. Higher educational drop-out also an important issue, although for other reasons than early school leaving. It is even more difficult to find precise data on this: we don’t know what proportion of the students is affected by this in Hungary. In this study I analyze the database of the Hungarian Youth Research 2016. This survey was conducted on a representative sample of 15-29 year olds, questioning 8,000 people, therefore, early school leavers and higher educational drop-outs should be found among the interviewees. The results show that early school leavers have significantly worse status both financial and cultural. Some of those who had finished only primary school think that they have successfully completed their studies. They answered that despite 18.3 percent of them have started a vocational training, which didn’t finish. Despite the expectations, not much is known about the higher educational drop-outs. 4.5 percent of the interviewees did not answer the question of whether they had completed their studies: they are probably the drop-outs, but we can just assume that. The results show that they have better cultural status than the others.