22 SES 08 B, Management and Governance in Higher Education
Parallel Paper Session
The access of a greater percentage of the population to higher education and the need for greater levels of educational quality has increased the interest of universities in gaining a deeper understanding of access policies, university dropout and retention strategies, as key indicators for measuring performance (Beaupère et al, 2007; Cingano & Cipollone, 2007; NAO,2007).
Much of the research has pointed on factors determining students’ dropout and retention of university students. However, efforts to understand factors that influence students’ re-enrollment to the university system have been more limited and mainly focused in the Anglo-Saxon context (Ahson et al., 1998; Schatzel et al,2011).
Based on a review of the literature, we identify two types of studies about re-enrollment. A first approach based on national databases, which analyzes stopout from variables such as age, gender, ethnicity and academic performance (Horn & Berger, 2004, Stratton et al., 2007). The second one based on survey studies of small samples from one or more higher education institutions (Herzog, 2005; Woosley et al, 2005). In both cases, factors associated with re-enrollment are common to the factors in the study of university dropout: demographic, contextual, institutional and personal (Schatzel, 2011).
The differences between the Anglo-Saxon and Spanish university system (Spanish university is crowded, much more homogeneous and with lower students’ mobility (Hernandez, 2010)), recommend strengthening the study and understanding of factors determining students’ re-enrollment to the Spanish university system. The purpose of this research is to develop and test a model of some of the factors that explain students’ re-enrollment, specifically, in the Catalan public university system.
In this sense, we explored the contribution of some of the common factors (eg. gender, age, nationality, subject area). Furthermore, we analyze the specific effects of previous academic performance (percentage of credits achieved by students in their degree of origin in relation to total credit) over university dropout. In many studies about dropout and re-enrollment, variables related to academic performance are key elements to explain the likelihood of re-enrollment (Schatzel et al, 2011).
Ahson, N.L., Gentemann, K.M. & Phelps, L. (1998). Do Stop Outs Return? A longitudinal Study of Re-enrollment, attrition and Graduation. Paper Presented at the Annual Forum of the Association for Institutional Research (386h, Minneapolis, MN, May 17-20, 1998. Retrieved from http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/contentdelivery/servlet/ERICServlet?accno=ED424800 Beaupere, N., Chalumeau, L., Gury, N. & Hugree. C. (2007). L’abandon des études supérieures. Rapport réalisé pour l’Observatoire national de la vie étudiante. París: La Documentation Française. Bruneforth, M., Motivans, A., &Zhang, Y. (2004). Investing in the future : financing the expansion of educational opportunity in Latin America and the Caribbean. Montreal, Quebec: UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Cingano, F. & Cipollone, P. (2007). University Drop-Out: The Case of Italy. Temi di Discussione del Servizio Studi, 626 (April). http://www.bancaditalia.it/pubblicazioni/econo/temidi/td07/td626_07/td626/en_tema_626.pdf (accessed November 4, 2010). Gairín, J., Figuera, P. & Triadó , X. (coord.) (2009). L’abandonament dels estudiants a les universitats catalanes. Barcelona: AQU Hernández, J. (dir.) (2010). La Universidad española en cifras. Información académica, productiva y financiera de las universidades españolas. Año 2008. Indicadores Universitarios. Madrid: Conferencia de Rectores de las Universidades Españolas. Herzog, S. (2005). Measuring determinants of student return vs. stayout/stop-out vs. transfer: a first-to-second year analysis of new freshmen. Research in Higher Education, 46 (8), 883-928. National Audit Office (NAO). 2007. Staying the Course: The Retention of Students in Higher Education. London: NAO http://www.nao.org.uk/idoc.ashx?docId=f2e92c15-d7cb-4d88-b5e4-03fb8419a0d2&version=-1 (accessed September 26, 2010). Schatzel, K., Callahan, T., Scott, C.J. & Davis, T. (2011). Reaching the non-traditional stopout population: a segmentation approach. Journal of Marketing for Higher Education, 21 (1), 47-60. Stratton, L.S., O’Tool, D.M. & Wetzel, J.W. (2007). Are the factors affecting stayout behaviour related to initial enrolment intensity for college undergraduates? Research in Higher Education, 48 (7), 453-485. Woosley, S., Slabaugh, K., Sadler, A.E. & Mason, G.W. (2005). The mistery of stop-outs: Do commitment and intentions predict reenrollment? NASPA Journal, 42 (2), 188-201.
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