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Write a literature review about the dropout from the university.

Literature Review

In this current era of modernization and technology, education still holds a very strong place. Students are trying really hard to get themselves enrolled in their desired courses under the top universities. This entire process beginning in enrolment and ending in graduation is much more complicated than it seems. The major issue that is faced by the universities is the high rate of dropouts. A number of studies have been conducted in this field and the results show that this phenomenon is on the verge of increasing. Students’ desire to study abroad and in western universities has severely increased the number of dropouts in such universities as the students leave before the completion of the course. Researches have shown that there are a number of reasons that lead to such dropouts. Certain issues that can be highlighted are that of financial crisis, increased level of stress, economic condition and need for a job, failure to cope up with the course and many other (Peterson’s 2015). Despite all these reasons there are universities that have a lesser dropout rate. In this paper we would be exploring all those universities that have a higher dropout rate and even those that have a lower dropout rate.

Education is undergoing a huge change with respect to quality and work is under progress to make it accessible to more number of students. Still, the level of dropout is persistent, when looked at from the global level, the rates are quite high (De Witte et al. 2013). University education like all other higher educations is termed as tertiary education. In order to understand the global dropout rates we first need to understand the rate of graduation across the world.

There are a number of factors that lead to such dropouts from universities (Dupéré et al. 2015). These factors can be enlisted as follows:

Monetary Issues – Financial stability turns out to be the most important factor when it comes to higher education. Studies have shown that the higher rates of dropout have been a result of unemployment or not being able to pay for education at the right time. This is more common in the US where the students are dependent on their loans to continue their courses. Once they fail to payback the debts, they are bound to leave the universities (Heublein 2014). As it continues in this manner hence they fail to continue their education thus raising the number of dropouts. One other reason of this financial crisis is wrong estimation and by the time the students realize that they do not have the necessary funds, time passes away.

Lack of Preparation – There are universities that try to prepare their students but a lower score at the level of secondary education is another reason that leads to dropouts (Patrick, Schulenberg and O’Malley 2016). The students fail to cope with the pressure when it comes to higher education or the graduation courses (Peterson's, 2015). The pattern of education too can turn out to be a hindrance when it comes to university education. The students fail to take up this major change and that too at such higher level and they eventually leave the courses without completion.

Global Rate of Dropouts

Unsure of the Major – Choosing the major is a really important task when it comes to university education. There are two types of divisions that have been noticed in this section among students. It is often noticed that the major failed to satisfy the need of the student and hence the student takes up the decision of leaving the course (Paura & Arhipova, 2014). The other trend that is generally observed is that the choice of major is unintentionally made by the student and the student is not interested in the major. These two factors generally lead to students dropping out from colleges.

Work Pressure or Family Issues – A majority of students do work besides continuing their higher studies. In these cases the students need to cater about three things, one their job, second education and third their family (Crawford 2014). This tends to increase the stress levels and the students fail to keep a track of all these three things at a time. Both family and the job become their priority which ultimately forces them to leave the courses incomplete.

Repetitive Failures – A student always has the chance to return back and complete the course even after failure. There is one issue that remains attached to it and it is the huge syllabus that keeps on piling up with each passing semester (Metzger et al. 2015). This creates a huge pressure for the students and hence they fail to maintain their stance in such a difficult situation. This is one reason that triggers the rates of dropout among university students across the world.

 There are a number of universities across the world that tops the list when it comes to education or that of faculty. In a much similar fashion there is another category that helps in ranking the universities. The top three universities with the highest rate of graduates include MIT, Stanford University and Harvard University. All these three universities do have an approximately above 90% of graduating rates. All these three universities are situated in the United States. Harvard University has a four year term in graduation. In the year 2017 98.3% of the students who had enrolled in the graduation courses had completed their graduation (Harvard University 2018). The average rate of retention in the entirety of the United States is 72% but these three universities stand out in these terms. Stanford University had 96.1% of its students graduating in the year 2017 (Stanford University 2018). Massachusetts Institute of Technology even had a 98% graduation rate in the year 2017. Both Harvard and Stanford university has a four year graduation program while MIT has a six years graduation program. MIT too keeps its average graduation program of four years but it is extended to six years to facilitate the students to complete their backlogs (MIT 2018). All these universities stand out because of two reasons. The first reason is that these universities have a high global ranking. Secondly, the full time courses in all these universities have a higher retention rate. The best way to understand the student retention capacity, it is necessary to take a look at the number of students that enrolled in the first year of the course (Stewart, Lim and Kim 2015). Then to compare with the number of students that return for a second year of the course.  

Top Three Universities with Lower Rates of Dropout

In a similar fashion western countries are home to such other colleges where the dropout rates are quite high in comparison to the previously discussed universities. The main reason behind it is the disparity in the courses and even in the form of education that is provided. The top ten universities across the world according to CNBC are MIT, Stanford University, and Harvard University, California University of technology. University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, ETH Zurich, Imperial College of London, university of Chicago and finally University College London. All of these universities have an average rate of retention except the first three. The rates are much above the national average of 72%. On the contrary there is another list of colleges which tend to have the lowest retention rates. Three of the colleges with the lowest retention rate in the US are University of Wyoming, University of Tampa and University of Pace (Tampa 2018). Their retention rates are 74%, 75% and 76% respectively. The poor level of preparation among the students is being thought of to be one of prime causes behind these lowered rates of retention in all these three colleges. The other reason that can be attributed to be a cause of this deterioration in retention rates is the added cost that is incurred when a student fails to complete a degree within the given period of time. The Pace university maintains the average rate of 77% but all the other universities in New York has an average retention rate of 79% (Pace University 2018). The retention rate helps in measuring the number of dropouts from these colleges.

It is not only in the US, the trend remains same in UK even. A study conducted by (HESA) Higher Education Statistics Agency (Weale 2018) released a figure of 26,000 students who dropped out of colleges all across UK after completion of the first year of their course. So it can rightly be said that the rates of students dropping out from universities is rising at a faster pace among the western countries. This tends to put pressure on the university to sort out the issues that might be causing these. It has been noted that full time courses have a higher rate of retention in comparison to online courses (Ryan and Zuber-Skerritt 2017). Hence the western universities are concentrating on all these factors to ensure that this trend can be disrupted. The higher rates of dropout even have a negative impact on the position and the reputation of the university (Doll, Eslami and Walters 2013). The universities with the higher rates of retention do follow a particular trend and it can be thought of that if the universities with lower rates of retention could follow a similar pattern then they too might see a better future.

Conclusion

This literature review tries to address the issue of dropout. This paper shows the global rate of dropouts that is being experienced in the western world. Then there is a mention of the reasons that generally lead to such dropouts. The western countries are the ones that are extremely developed but still students in universities from these countries tend to dropout. The two countries that have been highlighted are the US and the UK. The paper then moves ahead and elaborately mentions the names of the top three universities with the highest rate of dropout and the names of three other top universities with the lowest rates of dropouts. It has even been recommended that if the pattern of those with a lower rate of dropout is followed by those having a higher rate of dropout then they too can avoid the situation.  

References:

Crawford, C., 2014. Socio-economic differences in university outcomes in the UK: drop-out, degree completion and degree class (No. W14/31). IFS Working Papers.

De Witte, K., Cabus, S., Thyssen, G., Groot, W. and van den Brink, H.M., 2013. A critical review of the literature on school dropout. Educational Research Review, 10, pp.13-28.

Doll, J.J., Eslami, Z. and Walters, L., 2013. Understanding why students drop out of high school, according to their own reports: Are they pushed or pulled, or do they fall out? A comparative analysis of seven nationally representative studies. Sage Open, 3(4), p.2158244013503834.

Dupéré, V., Leventhal, T., Dion, E., Crosnoe, R., Archambault, I. and Janosz, M., 2015. Stressors and turning points in high school and dropout: A stress process, life course framework. Review of Educational Research, 85(4), pp.591-629.

Harvard University. (2018). Harvard University Graduation & Retention. [online] College Factual. Available at: https://www.collegefactual.com/colleges/harvard-university/academic-life/graduation-and-retention/ [Accessed 29 Nov. 2018].

Heublein, U., 2014. Student Drop?out from G erman Higher Education Institutions. European Journal of Education, 49(4), pp.497-513.

Metzger, M.W., Fowler, P.J., Anderson, C.L. and Lindsay, C.A., 2015. Residential mobility during adolescence: Do even “upward” moves predict dropout risk?. Social science research, 53, pp.218-230.

MIT. (2018). Massachusetts Institute of Technology Graduation & Retention. [online] College Factual. Available at: https://www.collegefactual.com/colleges/massachusetts-institute-of-technology/academic-life/graduation-and-retention/ [Accessed 29 Nov. 2018].

Pace University. (2018). Pace University - New York Graduation Rate & Retention Rates. [online] College Factual. Available at: https://www.collegefactual.com/colleges/pace-university-new-york/academic-life/graduation-and-retention/ [Accesses 29 Nov. 2018].

Patrick, M.E., Schulenberg, J.E. and O’Malley, P.M., 2016. High school substance use as a predictor of college attendance, completion, and dropout: A national multicohort longitudinal study. Youth & society, 48(3), pp.425-447.

Paura, L., & Arhipova, I. (2014). Cause analysis of students’ dropout rate in higher education study program. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 109, 1282-1286.

Peterson's. (2015). Top 11 Reasons Why College Students Drop Out: Don't Let it Happen to You - Peterson's. [online] Available at: https://www.petersons.com/blog/top-11-reasons-why-college-students-dropout-dont-let-it-happen-to-you/ [Accessed 27 Nov. 2018].

Ryan, Y. and Zuber-Skerritt, O., 2017. Quality in postgraduate education. Routledge.

Stanford University. (2018). Stanford University Graduation & Retention. [online] College Factual. Available at: https://www.collegefactual.com/colleges/stanford-university/academic-life/graduation-and-retention/ [Accessed 29 Nov. 2018].

Stewart, S., Lim, D.H. and Kim, J., 2015. Factors Influencing College Persistence for First-Time Students. Journal of Developmental Education, 38(3), p.12.

Tampa. (2018). South University - Tampa Graduation & Retention. [online] College Factual. Available at: https://www.collegefactual.com/colleges/south-university-tampa/academic-life/graduation-and-retention/ [Accessed 29 Nov. 2018].

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