University of Tartu (ESTONIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Pages: 5364-5368
ISBN: 978-84-606-5763-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2015
Location: Madrid, Spain
In Estonia, ICT companies lack labor. To be more precise, more programmers, analysts, and project managers are needed. Government strategies stipulate effort to be invested in making ICT related careers and curricula popular among the youth. That effort has resulted in the increased number of students applying for ICT curricula at university level. However, almost 33% of them do not manage to graduate Bachelor’s studies. Most of them drop out during the first year and first semester. In 2013, a study was launched to investigate the reasons that affect students to study ICT in Estonia. One part of the study focused on determining the reasons for students dropping out. The study was carried out among three main universities in Estonia that offer ICT related curricula. 517 students altogether were accepted that year by the three universities. By the beginning of the school year 2014/2015, 25% of the students had dropped out from the University of Tartu. It is the highest drop-out rate curricula in the University of Tartu. In order to find out the reasons and analyze the possibilities for reducing drop-out rates, phone interviews were conducted with the drop-out students. The results showed that the reasons for dropping out were related to financial, work and personal issues. Some of the students were already working in the field of ICT and expected to gain more knowledge while continuing their everyday jobs. Some of them wanted to learn something else but were not accepted to their preferred curriculum and started to study ICT as it is promoted by the media. In this paper, all cases of drop-out students are presented and reasons categorized. This work could be used by universities to understand and prevent drop-out in the field of ICT.