About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 7864-7869
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-02709-5
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2018.1829

Conference name: 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2018
Location: Palma, Spain

PREVENTIVE MEASURES TO REDUCE THE DROPOUT RATE IN HIGHER EDUCATION

J. Fernandes

ESACT-IPB (PORTUGAL)
This paper is grounded on the human capital theory, a concept that has a basic premise that the individuals that belong to a society are a form of capital in which the society can invest in the same way has they invest in physical capital (Williams & Swail, 2005).

The human capital theory analyses the effects of education in economy in general and in the individuals’ earnings in particular (Schultz, 1961). For a country to develop it is important to have an educated and qualified population (Becker, 1993). However, Portugal in 2015 was in the top five countries of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) with the highest percentage of adults (54.9%), with ages ranging from 25 to 64 years that did not complete secondary education while the OECD average is 23.5% (OECD, 2016). Portugal also belongs to the top three countries of the OECD with the lowest percentage (23.9%) of adult population with a higher education degree, almost 40% below the 35.7% of the OECD average (2017).

There is also an increasing tendency in the number of young people that do not study, do not work or are “parked” in higher education until they dropout. It is relevant to understand students’ motivations and expectations in order to prevent dropout and also to increase the success rate in concluding their degrees (Silva, 2015). In this study we understand dropout according to Tinto definition as a process that results from a failed interaction between students as well as between the academic and social system at the higher education institution and ultimately results in the students leaving the academic system (Heublein , 2014; Tinto, 1975).

The main objective to the research was to plan and develop measures to prevent dropout. In order to achieve that we established other objectives, namely we intended to understand the students, who they are and how are they perceiving their academic path, and how are they currently regarding the prospect of abandoning tertiary education.

To do so, a study was conducted in a Portuguese higher education institution (ESACT – School of Public Management, Communication and Tourism from the Polytechnic Institute of Bragança) developed in collaboration with the 2nd year undergraduate students.

The methodology followed was a sequential mixed methods approach. We began the research using a qualitative approach supported by in-depth interviews to students of all the years and all the degrees lectured in ESACT. These students were selected by appointment of the degree director, and the students selected were the representative students of each year of the different degrees and 19 in-depth interviews were conducted. The interviews were conducted by the students using the same script.

Following the qualitative analysis a discussion took place to debate the results and to propose some preventive measures. Afterwards, a quantitative analysis was conducted. Here we tried to identify some variables that would allowed to signal students’ propensity to dropout of university and we also wanted them to consider the measures developed.

The results obtained, led us to believe that a better and more personal contact with the students could make them feel less alone, more integrated and more motivated to attend classes. As such, a pilot support system is being prepared to be implemented next academic year regarding personal support and new methodologies. We expect that with these measures the dropout rate would be reduced.
@InProceedings{FERNANDES2018PRE,
author = {Fernandes, J.},
title = {PREVENTIVE MEASURES TO REDUCE THE DROPOUT RATE IN HIGHER EDUCATION},
series = {10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN18 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-02709-5},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2018.1829},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2018.1829},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Palma, Spain},
month = {2-4 July, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {7864-7869}}
TY - CONF
AU - J. Fernandes
TI - PREVENTIVE MEASURES TO REDUCE THE DROPOUT RATE IN HIGHER EDUCATION
SN - 978-84-09-02709-5/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2018.1829
PY - 2018
Y1 - 2-4 July, 2018
CI - Palma, Spain
JO - 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN18 Proceedings
SP - 7864
EP - 7869
ER -
J. Fernandes (2018) PREVENTIVE MEASURES TO REDUCE THE DROPOUT RATE IN HIGHER EDUCATION, EDULEARN18 Proceedings, pp. 7864-7869.
User:
Pass: