22 SES 13 C, Higher Education Drop-Out: Reasons and Risks
Portuguese non-graduation rates in tertiary education have been persistently higher than among EU countries, and have increased during the economic and financial crisis. Nevertheless, no concrete policy decisions have been made as yet. Our aim in this paper is to reassess dropout in HE in Portugal. As the main research question we set the hypothesis that its recent evolution is mainly due to families’ and individuals’ budgetary constraints which came along with the crisis. From the theoretical point of view, the above factors have been contributing to deeply change the individual, and eventually social, decision rules to invest in human capital, either on account of direct cost increasing or because of diminishing expectations related to future extra income associated with increasing graduates’ unemployment. Our methodology encompasses the actualization and administration of a 2009 survey to ISEG ex-students. Besides budget constraints, situations towards work and family’s scholar and economic background, questions relative to dropout also include study motivation, future expectations and identification with school and study program. Using pre crisis results as a control, we expect to confirm that the severe income restrictions, in the absence of an adequate social policy, play the most important role in promoting dropout increasing.
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