ERG SES D 01, Research in Higher Education
The origin of this paper arises from the discussion generated in the presentations of the papers in the ECER 16 and 17, in which were presented the results of a diagnosis performed: 1) to detect the real C&G needs of European students; 2) to know the C&G services offered by European universities, and to assess the level of usefulness of this offer. This paper completes the results from this preliminary diagnosis by disaggregating the results by gender, following the suggestions of the experts during the discussion of the results of that paper.
University dropping out is a phenomenon that has repercussions both at an individual and social level (Colás, et al., 2016; Colás, et al., 2014). In this way, reducing the rates of university dropping out is one of the objectives to be included in national and international educational policies.
The scientific literature identifies two types of dropping out: temporary and permanent dropping out. Temporary dropping out means that students, after two academic years, return to their studies, enroll in another grade or change university, while final dropping out implies leaving university definitely (Villar,et al., 2012).
Among the most relevant lines on university dropping out are: a) identification of causal theoretical models (Araque, Roldán & Salguero, 2009); and b) exploration of explanatory variables and significant factors from this phenomenon (Rodríguez,et al., 2015). These lines reveal that university desertion is a complex phenomenon caused by a large number of multidimensional and time-changing variables. That is, dropping out cannot be attributed to a single cause.
Therefore, students who fail in their university studies usually do not present a common general cause, but have detected the existence of multiple factors that play a leading role in explaining the phenomenon. Similarly, dropping out are not shown to be the same in all courses, nor are the rationales for dropouts applicable in all fields of study: sociological (Spady, 1971), adaptive (Red, 2005), psychological, pedagogical (González,et al., 2007), etc.
In addition, recent studies consider that gender is a variable that conditions the development of university life. In this sense, studies reveal that the level of stress and distrust with the institution of university women is greater than that of university men (Reyes-de Cózar, 2016). Therefore, we consider it necessary to find specialized tutoring channels that allow to respond to the individual demands, turning the university into a context that responds to the social obligation to serve as a generator of culture attending to gender inequalities (Calvo, Rodríguez & Haya, 2015; Llera & Retortillo, 2004; Luxán,et. al., 2014; Santos, 2010).
Despite the importance of university desertion, both as a complex and personal phenomenon, studies have detected a gap in the creation of interuniversity and multicultural studies that promote alternatives to alleviate this problem. We consider that the university cannot remain indifferent to the main effects of dropping out: exclusion (González, Contreras & Conde-Jiménez, 2016). For this reason, in search of an inclusive education, to improve the services of C&G provided by the universities, will allow to offer a real support that will improve the capacity of the students to make decisions in the diverse problems that arise during their studies.
 This paper is part of the European Research Project “Student Guidance at university for inclusion- Stay-In” (Ref.:526600-LLP-1-2012-IT-Ersamus-Esin). It is a two-year project co-financed by Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Commission, in which three European universities participate as associates along with other international enterprises of research and consultancy and other international networks. The results of this project have allowed the development of several doctoral theses
For this study, an online survey was created with the objective of capturing and analyzing the students' needs regarding C&G services. A self-administered questionnaire (SAQ) was developed based on the results and findings from the review of articles on policies, studies and practices based on C&G services in Higher Education. The questionnaire included an open-ended question with the aim of raising possible questions for inclusion in the SAQ. This material provided sufficient data for the preparation of a first draft questionnaire. The SAQ project was validated through cognitive interviews (Cullen, 2013). Based on the results of the analysis of cognitive interviews, a revised version of the SAQ was developed and distributed to STAY IN partners. The final version of the SAQ was later translated into Italian, Spanish and Hungarian and uploaded in these languages, in addition to English, to the 'Limesurvey' server. The target group for the survey was students involved in Higher Education, with a special focus on ‘at risk’ students and those coming from disadvantaged groups, and a focus on the needs of the students studying in the three participating universities: University of Macerata, (Italy); University of Seville (Spain); Budapest University of Technology and Economics, (Hungary) and the Association of European students. A total of 975 students of European Higher Education accessed the survey. To analyze the data collected from online surveys, the statistical program for the social sciences (SPSS v.24) has been used. Once the results of this first phase of the STAY-IN project are obtained, it is intended to continue developing the design, piloting and application of a digital ICT platform, offering an efficient and effective service for the tutoring of European students, which integrates the existing C&G services of the different universities. The main value of this online platform resides in the cultural transversality, since it is conceived as a technological tool that allows the internationalization of the European university
First, 92% of the students surveyed felt that C&G services should be improved in their universities. Regarding the differences of the answers according to the gender of the students, 64.2% were women compared to 34.8% of the men, obtaining, in addition, statistically significant differences in this distribution (χ2=8,484, p=0.037). In addition, regarding the specific services that would need to be changed, the trend observed above is maintained, in which about 65% of the female university students considered the need for change for all services surveyed, compared to approximately 35% in the case of men. Those services in which significant gender differences have been found with respect to the need for improvement have been: Organizing workshops on students problems (χ2=3,921, p=0.048), Providing training for students on recognizing and dealing with problems (χ2=7,671, p=0.006) Training for staff on how to recognise student problems and what to do (χ2=10,139, p=0.001), Better information and support on orientation (eg. for freshers) (χ2=7,506, p=0.006), Support for financial problems (χ2=5,93, p=0,015), Accommodation support (χ2=3.537, p=0.06), Better support for students with disabilities (χ2=6,111, p=0.013) and Better support for students with specific learning needs (χ2=10,628, p =0.001). On the other hand, those services where significant gender differences (χ2 <1, p> 0.05) have not been found in terms of the need to improve them are: Providing mentors for each student to help with their problems, Setting up peer support services (involving fellow students), Psychological support and counselling… In conclusion, women perceive the C&G services as more necessary and deficient. As it was seen in the theoretical framework, there are mismatches in the levels of trust with the institution and in the levels of stress according to gender, which reveals a lack of adequate and adjusted response to the individual needs of tutoring by the C&G services of the universities.
Araque, F., Roldán, C., & Salguero, A. (2009). Factors influencing university dropout rates. Computers & Education, (53), 563-574. Bean, J. P. (1980). Dropouts and turnover: The synthesis and test of a causal model of student attrition. Research in Higher Education, 12(2), 155-187. Calvo, A., Rodríguez, C., & Haya, I. (2015). Con motivo aparente. La Universidad a debate. Revista Interuniversitaria de Formación del Profesorado, 29(1), 17-33. Colás, P., De-Pablos, J., González-Ramírez, T., Conde-Jiménez, J., González, A., & Contreras, J. A. (2014). La mejora del engagement en la universidad: la e-orientación como contribución a una Europa inclusiva. In F. H. Veiga et al (Ed.), Atas do I Congresso Internacional Envolvimento dos Alunos na Escola: Perspetivas da Psicologia e Educação, pp.1431-1446. Lisbon (Portugal): Instituto de Educação da Universidade de Lisboa. Cullen, J. (2013). Guidance for inclusion. Practices and needs in European Universities. London, UK: STAY IN Consortium. González, M. C., Álvarez, P. R., Cabrera, L., & Bethencourt, J. T. (2007). El abandono de los estudios universitarios: factores determinantes y medidas preventivas. Revista Española de Pedagogía, LXV(236), 71-85. González, T., Contreras, J. A., & Conde-Jiménez, J. (2016). El abandono universitario. Claves socioculturales en los procesos de tutorización. In V Jornadas de Innovación Docente de la Facultad de Ciencias de la Educación de la Universidad de Sevilla. Seville, Spain: University of Seville. Llera, F., & Retortillo, A. (2004). Los españoles y la universidad. Primera encuesta nacional sobre la imagen pública del sistema universitario español. Madrid, España: Agencia Nacional de Evaluación de la Calidad y Acreditación (ANECA). Luxán, M., Imaz, J., Bereziartua, G., Etxeberria, G., & Lauzueika, A. (2014). Universidad y transformación social. RASE: Revista de la Asociación de Sociología de la Educación, 7(3), 673-688. Reyes-De Cózar, S. (2016). Fortalecer la implicación y el compromiso de los estudiantes con la universidad. Una visión multidimensional del engagement Tesis Doctoral. Sevilla, España: Universidad de Sevilla Rodríguez, D., Feixas, M., Gairín, J., & Muñoz, J. L. (2015). Understanding Catalan university dropout from a cross-national approach. Studies in Higher Education, 40(4), 690-703. Santos, B. (2010). La universidad del siglo XXI. Para una reforma democrática y emancipatoria de la universidad. Montevideo, Uruguay: Ediciones Trilce. Spady, W. (1971). Dropouts from Higher Education; toward an empirical model. Interchange, 2(3), 38-62. Villar, A., Vieira, M. M., Hernández, F., & Nunes, A. (2012). Más que abandono de estudios, trayectorias de reubicación universitaria. Aproximación comparada al caso español y portugués. Revista Lusófona de Eduçasao, (21), 139-162.
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