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Front Psychol. 2016 Oct 18;7:1610. eCollection 2016.

Comparison of Personal, Social and Academic Variables Related to University Drop-out and Persistence.

Author information

1
Psychology Department, University of Oviedo Oviedo, Spain.
2
Department of Education, University of Oviedo Oviedo, Spain.

Abstract

Dropping out of university has serious consequences not only for the student who drops out but also for the institution and society as a whole. Although this phenomenon has been widely studied, there is a need for broader knowledge of the context in which it occurs. Yet research on the subject often focuses on variables that, although they affect drop-out rates, lie beyond a university's control. This makes it hard to come up with effective preventive measures. That is why a northern Spanish university has undertaken a ex post facto holistic research study on 1,311 freshmen (2008/9, 2009/10, and 2010/11 cohorts). The study falls within the framework of the ALFA-GUIA European Project and focuses on those drop-out factors where there is scope for taking remedial measures. This research explored the possible relationship of degree drop-out and different categories of variables: variables related to the educational stage prior to university entry (path to entry university and main reason for degree choice), variables related to integration and coexistence at university (social integration, academic integration, relationships with teachers/peers and value of the living environment) financial status and performance during university studies (in terms of compliance with the program, time devoted to study, use of study techniques and class attendance). Descriptive, correlational and variance analyses were conducted to discover which of these variables really distinguish those students who drop-out from their peers who complete their studies. Results highlight the influence of vocation as main reason for degree choice, path to university entry, financial independency, social and academic adaptation, time devoted to study, use of study techniques and program compliance in the studied phenomenon.

KEYWORDS:

academic adaptation; academic performance; higher education; social adaptation; university drop-out

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