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DETERMINANTS OF THE DECISION TO CONTINUE THE STUDIES BY CATALAN UNIVERSITY GRADUATES. AN EMPIRICAL STUDY ON THE INFLUENCE OF GEOGRAPHICAL MOBILITY, EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND AND ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE

S. Fachelli, L. Medir

Universitat de Barcelona (SPAIN)
This article focuses on the factors that influence the decision of graduates to continue their studies. This research is a continuation of a previous one based on issues related to social origin and employment of Catalan universities graduates since 2008. Descriptive studies made by the Catalan University Quality Assurance Agency (AQU) began in 2001 through a survey of more than 11,000 graduates. We analyzed the 2014 survey conducted to people who graduated in 2010.

The hypothesis guiding the research states that geographical mobility of graduates, parents with high educational levels and finally getting good grades in university, influence positively on the decision to continue studies after completion of university degree.

The methodology is based on contingency tables contrasting levels of association between the variables used, and multivariate statistical analysis. In this sense we used logistic regression analysis that allows us to compare the variables of interest (geographic mobility, educational level of parents and academic performance) over a set of control variables considered relevant to explain the continuation of studies such as gender, age and employment.

The results allow as to corroborate the influence of all the variables mentioned, with different weight in the decision to continue the studies and, in that sense, we can confirm the hypothesis.

From these results, the challenges and changes needed to address this situation in the area of higher education (as administrative and institutional instances that supervise them) are discussed.