22 SES 13 C, Higher Education Drop-Out: Reasons and Risks
By profiling possible drop-out risk groups higher education institutions can better influence on student retention. We utilize a model of the patterns of progression (Robinson 2006; 2009) and concentrate especially on the problematic progression patterns. We try to figure out, among others, what are the proportions of so-called opt-out, stop-out and prolonged patterns of study progression in Finnish universities. By combining data of two empirical studies we are creating an overall picture of the students who are likely to belong at high drop-out risk group. Our study utilizes a multi-method approach by combining qualitative and quantitative approaches. In addition to nationally representative register data from Statistics Finland, we have qualitative interview data collected from group of students in Universities of Tampere and Jyväskylä. The results suggest that opt-out and prolonged study patterns are much common in Finnish universities than stop-out pattern. The proportions of problematic study patterns seem to differ remarkably between study fields and by student age group. The qualitative interviews revealed further five general student types (self-developers, qualification-oriented, uncertain, tacticians and jaded) which represent the meaning of studying for students belonging in different drop-out risk groups.
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