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Posted on 04 August 2017

Education

Tackling university drop-out rate 'is vital'

More must be done to tackle a steady rise in the number of students dropping out of universities in England, the Social Market Foundation (SMF) says.


The national drop-out rate rose from 6.6% in 2011-12 to 7.4% in 2014-15, an SMF report finds, with each dropout representing "a loss of potential". Out of all the regions in England, London performs the worst, with a drop-out rate of 9.3% in 2014-15.
The government said new laws would make universities publish drop-out rates.
The SMF study notes that many of the disadvantaged groups targeted through widening access programmes are also the groups most likely to drop out. It says institutions with a higher in-take of black students, students whose parents work in lower level occupations or students who come from low university participation areas are more likely to have higher drop-out rates.
Statistics released by the Office for Fair Access in June showed that, in 2014-15, 8.8% of young, full-time, disadvantaged undergraduates did not continue their studies beyond the first year - up from 8.2% the year before.
The SMF says it is "futile to direct significant efforts to widen participation if the same students subsequently drop out".