22 SES 08 A, Internationalisation and Student Mobility Part 2
Paper Session continued from 22 SES 07 A
The percentage of young people with Higher Education (HE), at the bachelor level, in Portugal grew significantly. It increased by 2.7 times from 2000 to 2016, as was, in general, the case all over the world (Marginson 2016). However, the rate of loss at this level of education is still quite high. For a gross enrollment rate of more than 40% in Portuguese youth until the age of 25 the corresponding completion rate was just 35% in 2016 for young people aged 25-34 (OECD 2017).
Academic Dismissal policies were enforced by law since 2003. However the Lisbon School of Economics and Management (ISEG) didn’t do it until 2012/13 academic year in spite of the high failure and dropout rates. During the severe economic crisis in Portugal from 2011 to 2015, causing a retrenchment of the already small State Budget for Education, the increase of the private and social costs with Higher Education (HE) [2nd and 1st authors (2016)] and the persistent demand's increase by the young candidates, forced ISEG to apply the law.
The law that regulates academic dismissal is in Portugal much different from the one applied in northern countries and USA.
In this paper we present Law n.º 37/2003 that regulates academic dismissal in Portuguese HE and we criticize the way it is implemented according to this Law. We aim to find evidence that the academic dismissal in Portugal is not effective neither as a selective function nor as a referential function. Having this goal in mind, we will focus on the effect of academic dismissal on academic trajectories, which until now and as far as we know has never been done in Portugal.
Research on the impact of academic dismissal policies is scarce. Most of the studies on this topic concern the Netherlands and USA's HE realities. The research about this topic in Portuguese HE is important because it enlightens academic dismissal’s impact on dropout and completion rates.
Because this research needs individual and longitudinal data on student's HE trajectory and it is hard to get this kind of information for most HE institutions in Portugal, we use the available data on ISEG's students.
Following previous research in the field, we intend to find evidence about the effects of academic dismissal policies implementation on:
- time to complete the bachelor (or 1st cycle);
- final grade;
- dropout rate.
We are also interested in comparing students who have been dismissed or not, in what concerns their socioeconomic characterization in order to analyze if the signal and intensity of the above mentioned characteristics’ impact on academic success\failure change between these two groups.
The relatively scarce literature available on students' academic dismissal shows us that these are recurrent research questions [Arnold (2014), Ost, Pan & Webber (2016), Sneyers and De Witte (2015)].
In our research we will not consider any kind of behavioral characteristics such as academic satisfaction, motivation, among other. The impact on these student's characteristics will necessarily be country-specific due to the specific cultural and social constraints [Pinheiro & Antonowicz (2014)]. In the present research phase we don't have information enough to follow this path although we are aware that this is a limitation of our study in what concerns comparisons with academic dismissal experiences in the northern Europe and USA.
We will use, mainly, the results of the EC Report (2015) - Dropout and Completion in Higher Education in Europe when comparing the Portuguese reality with that of other European contries.
Following a methodology similar to that of De Köning et al. (2014), in this research we will work with control groups, selecting student cohorts before and after the introduction of prescriptions. So our data base covers two cohorts: one of students who enrolled in HE for the first time on 2011/12 which we follow throughout 2015/16 and another of students that enrolled in HE for the first time in the year when academic dismissal began to be fully implemented 2014/15 and is followed until 2016/17. We have a database with information on 800 students enrolled in Economic and Management majors for both cohorts. For the second cohort we have 126 students who have been dismissed under academic dismissal law. Both data bases have, for each student, information about individual (gender, age, civil status), socio economic status (parents’ school level, qualification, employment situation, status in employment), previous school trajectory (access score, upper secondary scientific track), higher education trajectory (1st time, academic year, dropout, number of enrollments, major, part-time vs full time) characteristics. We start doing an exploratory data analysis to find the main differences in time to graduation, graduation and dropout rates before and after the implementation of academic dismissal policies and between the characteristics of students dismissed or not. After that we do, for some variables, t-tests for the proportion or mean differences between the two students’ cohorts and the two types of students, to measure the statistic significance of the differences found.
In line with previous research on this field we expect that the implementation of academic dismissal reduces dropout and average time to graduation and increases final grade. We also expect to be able to outline the profile of the student who prescribes in terms of the above mentioned characteristics as well as to identify the curricular year associated with higher rates of academic dismissal. Given the limitations of the information used, our findings are not generalizable to the whole universe of institutions of higher education in Portugal. Nevertheless we hope that our study will contribute to a better understanding of the academic dismissal policies’ implementation effects and how it helps in the fight against failure in HE trajectory at ISEG.
-1st. author & 2nd. author (2016). Does the economic crisis have an influence on the higher education dropout rate? MPRA Paper 76862, University Library of Munich, Germany https://ideas.repec.org/p/pra/mprapa/76862.html -2nd author & 1st. author (2011). Interruptions and Failure in Higher Education. MPRA Paper 34227, University Library of Munich, Germany. https://ideas.repec.org/p/pra/mprapa/34227.html ; -1st. author & 2nd.author (2010). Success/Failure in Higher Education: how long does it take to complete some core 1st. year disciplines? MPRA Paper 21953, University Library of Munich, Germany. https://ideas.repec.org/p/pra/mprapa/21953.html -Belley, Ph. & Lochner, L. (2007). The changing role of family income and ability in determining educational achievement. Journal of Human Capital 2:1, 1-31; -De Köning, L. S., Rikers, R., Smeets, G. & van der Molen, H. (2014). Impact of binding study advice on study behavior and pre-university education qualification factors in a problem-based psychology bachelor program. Studies in Higher Education, vol 39, Nº5, 835-847. https://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2012.754857 ; -EC (2015). Dropout and Completion in Higher Education in Europe. http://supporthere.org/sites/default/files/dropout-completion-he_en.pdf ; -Hassink, W. & Kiiver, H. (2007). Age-dependent Effects of Socio-economic Background on Educational Attainment – Evidence from Germany. Tjalling Koopmans Research Institute, Discussion Papers nº 07-26; -OECD (2017). Education at a Glance. http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/education/education-at-a-glance-2017_eag-2017-en#.Wm5aWP_ctMs ; -Parri, J. & Aas, K. (2006). National examination scores as predictors of university students’ performance in Estonia. University of Tarty, Trames,10(60/55), 3, 255-267 http://www.kirj.ee/public/trames/trames-2006-3-4.pdf; -Pronzato, Ch. (2008). Why educated mothers don’t make educated children? ISER Working Papers 11/2008. http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ese:iserwp:2008-11&r=edu; -Rómulo P. & Antonowicz, D. (2015). Opening the gates or coping with the flow? Governing access to higher education in Northern and Central Europe. Higher Education, nº 70, 299-313. DOI 10.1007/s10734-014-9830-1. -Simon M. (2016). High Participation Systems of Higher Education. The Journal of Higher Education, vol. 87, nº2, http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00221546.2016.11777401. -Vandenberghe, V. (2007). Family Income and Tertiary Education Attendance across the EU: An empirical assessment using sibling data. London, CASE-LSE W/P, nº123; -Yorke, M. & Longden, B. (2008). The first-year experience of higher education in the UK - Final Report, London: The Higher Education Academy.
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