22 SES 16 A, International Perspectives on Student Retention in Higher Education Part 1
Symposium to be continued in 22 SES 17 A
This paper examines the link between temporal factors, social-spatial inequalities, institutional features and student dropout in Hungary. In order to do this, a novel mixed methods research methodology is adopted. Investigation connects two large-scale comprehensive statistical databases, supplemented by a joint analysis of interviews and questionnaire survey data. The use of mixed and multiple data methods provides a better approach to understanding a widespread and complex phenomenon in education. Our purpose is to identify those programs where the risk of attrition is high and to make a comparison between persistent and non-persistent students in terms of social and demographical status, as well as territorial and regional characteristics. By investigating the main milestones and difficulties of the higher education career (requirements and success, changing majors, procrastination and inconsistency, employment, typical dropout periods etc.) we plan to identify the typical dropout scenario. Particular attention will be given to temporality. Although in Hungary there is no agreement in how to measure the number of students who drop out, a figure of 30-40% is often given (Varga, 2010). According to the 2014 data from the Admission Information System, the drop out is higher in courses that offer bachelor degrees (36-38% in 2014) while in courses that offer master degrees, the figure is half that (14-17%) (Derényi, 2015). However, time to complete is often not taken into account in this measurement. Consequently, the number who attain a qualification (50-80%) will be considerably lower if we only count those who complete within a specific time frame. The nature of the higher education experience is also related to student disengagement. In particular, negative student experiences can result from institutions which are ill-prepared for the range of student types, including those from non-traditional groups, high student/teacher ratio, relatively high tuition costs and student expenses (Tinto, 1993, Barefoot, 2004). The interrelationship between the individual risk of dropout, students’ attitudes and characteristics, activity structures and institutional environment will also be analysed. By investigating the main milestones and difficulties of the higher education career (requirements and success, changing majors, procrastination and inconsistency, employment, typical dropout periods etc.) we plan to identify the typical dropout scenario.
BAREFOOT, B. O. (2004): Higher education's revolving door: Confronting the problem of student dropout in US colleges and universities. Open Learning. 19. (1). 9–18. DERÉNYI, A. (2015): Bizonyítékokra alapozott kormányzás és a kommunikáció képzés. Jel-Kép. 2015/1KLSZ. 12–34. PUSZTAI, G. (2015): Pathways to student success in higher education. Rethinking the Social Capital Theory in the Light of Institutional Diversity. Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main. TINTO, V. (1993). Leaving College. Rethinking the causes and cures of student attrition., Chicago and London, The University of Chicago Press. VARGA, J. (2010): Mennyit ér a diploma a kétezres években Magyarországon. Educatio, 2. 370–383.
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