13% of university students drop out early

by Lorraine Williamson
university drop out rate

MADRID – 13% of university students in Spain drop out early. Furthermore, no less than half of this group does so in the first year. Consequently, the Spanish Ministry of Universities is investigating the causes of reducing early school leaving. 

Minister Subirats of Universities in Spain presented these figures on March 15. However, they stressed that these are figures for the academic years 2015-2016. The reason for this is that it takes at least four academic years to calculate and assess the dropout rate. 

Insufficient flexibility in Spain’s university system 

The general conclusion seems to be that there is insufficient flexibility. Often students find out during their studies that they want to study something else after all. Or students who want to continue the same study at another university. 

There are several causes that vary considerably and vary per student. For example, the support from the home front is important, the percentage of subjects through which the student passes in the first year, the price of registration for the study, and the age of the student. Because, as it turns out, the older the student, the greater the chance that the study will not be completed. A higher dropout percentage also appears to be geographically determined. For example, more students in the Balearics and the Canary Islands appear to drop out early than students elsewhere in Spain. 

There seems to be no difference in dropout rates between students at public universities and private schools. However, it appears that students with a study grant quit prematurely more often than students without a grant. 

nederlandse orthopeed

Identify and reduce the causes of university drop out 

The aim of this study and the conclusions drawn from it is that the Ministry is working hard to reduce the number of students who drop out of the chosen study program prematurely. Knowledge of processes and personal situations will lead to better initiatives and programs so that students make the right choice the first time or can continue studying in difficult times. Some examples of initiatives include mentoring and guidance programs at the university itself. 

Lowering tuition fees to prices before the economic crisis of 2012 is also one of the Ministry’s goals. “In the past five years, we have increased the total number of scholarships by 45% and there are almost 400,000 students who now benefit from this,” said Minister Subirats. 

Still a long way to go 

Despite this development, several professors report to TVE that the policy of awarding scholarships is far from being equal for everyone. For example, the policy should be relaxed for students in a vulnerable financial situation, so that it becomes easier for them to study in addition to a possible job or care for the family. 

Interesting read: History of the University of Granada

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