Times Higher Education,
Clearing the way to higher dropout rates? Lessons from uncapped Australia

“Data released recently by Australia’s Department of Education and Training show that the annual nationwide dropout rate rose in 2013 to 14.8 per cent, the highest level since 2005. Graduate employment prospects have also declined.”

The results will not surprise first year tutors and senior tutors.

First year tutors need to be made aware of changes in the profile and the likely impact on their students’ ability to cope with the material as previously taught. First year modules might need to change significantly to reflect changes in the cohorts’ skills and experience. While the first should be a matter of course, the month between confirming places and the beginning of teaching makes the latter a significant challenge. Universities would be better with larger financial reserves and a greater willingness to deal with year-to-year variations in student numbers.

Students should think carefully before accepting places in programmes that typically accept differently qualified students— the ideal formal study material and support resources are less likely to be available, with consequences for academic performance, retention and employability.

Read the full article on Times Higher Education website.