22 SES 05 E, Governance in Higher Education
Dropout is of the most importance in higher education. University dropouts is a phenomenon with impact at social (in a broad sense), institutional and individual levels. Literature stresses the impacts of dropout as it affetcs the future of personal lives (Ribeiro,2014), those who drop-out but also their families as much as it affets the future of a country in a socio-economic perspective, if it is a larger phenomenon. (Ulriksen, 2010 at al; Raviv & Bab-Am, 2014) At Institutional level it is usualy related with quality descriptors as it could mean that Institution is not doing enought to perform its mission – to fully graduate students (Bollaert ,2014; Lachká, et al,2014) .
When students dropout they stepped out, they were pushed out or they fall out the system (Doll, Eslami & Walters, 2013; Jordan, Lara & McPartland, 1994; Watt & Roessingh , 1994 ). These three expressions mean that reasons of dropout are diverse and usually aligned with different factors that explain dropout : socioeconomic factors; institutional factors, academic factors and personal ones. These three expressions also mean and relate the main agents of dropout ; student; Institution or other contextual circumstances (Doll, Eslami & Walters, 2013).
It is understandable that economic welfare plays an important role in student’s environment and Portugal, as other countries in Europe (Aina, C. 2013), is under important financial constraints due to the rules imposed as a consequence of the international bailout loan from 2010 to 2014.
This research article will study the effect of the economic crisis in academic performance (retention) and Higher Education dropout in a single but huge Faculty of Engineering that gets, each year, about 1000 new students enrolled in their several graduation and post-graduation programmes.
Following some Faculty policies taken to improve quality of courses, retention rates changed due to Bologna process from 2006 on and figures show a diminishing rate of dropout in the same period. The approval rates are related with pedagogical changes introduced in the courses, namely the more centred student approach that characterizes curricular development at Engineering Faculty. Tutoring, fewer students in each laboratory and practical classes, distributed evaluation, are key features of such curricular changes. In addition, social and psychological aid available to some problematic cases, express the larger concern of Institution regarding students learning effectiveness.
Therefore, dropout is less than previous to Bologna process but it is not equal to zero.
The main approach is, traditionally, centred on figures and rates of retention and correlation one can establish with institutional or courses experiences launched to improve such rates (Suhre, et al , 2007). However it is difficult to do such correlations when there are several variables involved, or even if the phenomenon is not studied with similar descriptors (Rodríguez-Gómez et al, 2014).
So, this proposal intends to present a research that aims to study the dropout phenomenon in Higher Education from the perspective of ex-students who, effectively, drop-out after economic crisis.
Aina, C. 2013. Parental background and university dropout in Italy. Higher Education 65:437–456 Bollaert, L. 2014. Quality Assurance (Qa) in Europe (2005–2015). Journal of the european higher education area, 4. Doll, J. J., Eslami, Z., & Walters, L. (2013). Understanding Why Students Drop Out of High School, According to Their Own Reports. SAGE Open, 3 Jordan W. J., Lara J., McPartland J. M. (1994). Exploring the complexity of early dropout causal structures.Baltimore, MD: Center for Research on Effective Schooling for Disadvantaged Students, The John Hopkins University. Lachká,L. , Hašková, A.& Pilárik, L. 2014. Information and Internal Quality Assurance in European Higher Education Institutions. European Higher Education Area, 4, pp 2-20 Raviv, A& Bab-Am, R. 2014. A model for minimizing dropouts International Journal of Educational Organization and Leadership.20(4), 11-24 Ribeiro, A. 2014.Why am i less than the others? A biographical study of first Generation students’ vulnerability in portuguese higher Education. Social Work & Society, 12 (2). ISSN 1613-8953 http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:hbz:464-sws-602 Rodríguez-Gómez,D. ,Feixas,M. Gairín, G. & Muñoz, J.M.2014. Understanding Catalan university dropout from a cross-national approach, Studies in HigherEducation, DOI: 10.1080/03075079.2013.842966 Suhre,C., Jansen, E.& Harskamp, E. 2007. Impact of degree program satisfaction on the persistence of college Students. Higher Education. 54,207–226 Ulriksen, L.Madsen, L. & Holmegaard, H.2010. What do we know about explanations for drop out/opt out among young people from STM higher education programmes?, Studies in Science Education, 46:2, 209-244. Watt D., Roessingh H. (1994). Some you win, most you lose: Tracking ESL dropout in high school (1988-1993). English Quarterly, 26, 5-7.
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