About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4580-4585
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-02709-5
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2018.1143

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


Absenteeism in university classroom is an increasing problem. The existing literature has attempted to identify the main reasons of absenteeism in academic contexts and to determine possible classifications of theses causes. Non-attendance has negative consequences because it may reinforce low performance of students, lectures’ discouragement or a waste of economic resources, already scarce in the public university system. In addition, previous studies show a positive relationship between attendance and academic performance of the students. However, there is not a clear agreement on the reason neither on the origin of them.

Thus, the main aim of this study is to analyse and compare the students’ absenteeism reasons in different degrees (Business, Economy, Sociology, Law and Earth Science) taught at three different faculties of the Universitat de Barcelona.

To conduct this research, a qualitative research method has been used. Data was gathered through a survey with 18 closed questions and a final open question, which is used in this study. The absenteeism phenomenon has been analysed indirectly, as respondents were asked to answer for their classmates’ reasons for not attending lessons. The final samples analysed were 458 literal answers, specifically 276 answers of the Faculty of Economics and Business, 119 answers of the Faculty of Law and 63 answers of the Faculty of Earth Science. A difference and contingency tables analysis were done to analyse the data. ATLAS.ti software was used to perform the analysis.

After an iterative process to review the literal answers, identify themes, and build a list of codes; sixty codes have been found which were summarized in eight families through interpreting and understanding the discourse beyond and across literal answers.

These eight reasons of students’ absenteeism are:
(1) evaluation,
(2) teaching methodology,
(3) teaching staff,
(4) students’ motivation,
(5) students’ planning,
(6) students’ characteristics,
(7) teaching organization of the faculty and (8) infrastructure or logistics.

Using the Pearson's Chi-squared test (X-squared = 63.871; df = 14; p-value = 2.43e-08), the findings show that students identify the same reasons of absenteeism, although the level of importance given is different. However, there are differences among degrees. According to the students, the reasons for absenteeism of the degrees in social sciences are the same (students’ motivation, teaching methodology and teaching staff) but they differ in the given importance. But the reasons are quite different from those studying Earth Science (evaluation, students’ motivation and students’ planning), although there is a common motive (student’s motivation). The profile of the students could contribute to the reasons to be absent. While both profiles are quite conscious of their responsibilities, one group tends to perceive that lecturers have much of the blame for absenteeism.

The results of this research would contribute to extend knowledge on absenteeism, which contradicts the basic premises of the European Higher Education Area model, to apply educational strategies and policies to deal with this situation and to prevent it. The university should involve more the students in the learning process, and lecturers should adapt their methodology of teaching to be more engaging.
author = {Triado-Ivern, X. and Guardia-Olmos, J. and Presas, P. and Bernardo, M. and Aparicio-Chueca, P. and Elasri-Ejjaberi, A. and Maestro-Yarza, I. and Turull, M. and Roca, B.},
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.2018.1143},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2018.1143},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Palma, Spain},
month = {2-4 July, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {4580-4585}}
AU - X. Triado-Ivern AU - J. Guardia-Olmos AU - P. Presas AU - M. Bernardo AU - P. Aparicio-Chueca AU - A. Elasri-Ejjaberi AU - I. Maestro-Yarza AU - M. Turull AU - B. Roca
SN - 978-84-09-02709-5/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2018.1143
PY - 2018
Y1 - 2-4 July, 2018
CI - Palma, Spain
JO - 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN18 Proceedings
SP - 4580
EP - 4585
ER -
X. Triado-Ivern, J. Guardia-Olmos, P. Presas, M. Bernardo, P. Aparicio-Chueca, A. Elasri-Ejjaberi, I. Maestro-Yarza, M. Turull, B. Roca (2018) STUDENTS’ ABSENTEEISM IN HIGHER EDUCATION: AN EXPLORATORY QUALITATIVE STUDY, EDULEARN18 Proceedings, pp. 4580-4585.