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Student Wastage

Volume 465: debated on Wednesday 24 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many students, aged 21 years and under, withdrew from their higher education course in each year since 2003; and for what reasons they withdrew. (155199)

The standard measure of non-completion is the proportion of UK-domiciled full-time first degree starters of all ages who are projected to neither obtain an award nor transfer to another institution. The available information for higher education institutions in England is shown in table 1.

Table 1: Proportion of UK-domiciled full-time first degree starters at higher education institutions in England, who are projected to neither obtain an award nor transfer to another institution

Percentage

2000/01

15.0

2001/02

13.8

2002/03

13.9

2003/04

14.4

2004/05

13.8

Source:

Performance Indicators in Higher Education, published by HESA

The available information on reasons for withdrawing from higher education courses is shown in table 2. This information covers students, aged 21 years and under, leaving first degree courses at English higher education institutions in each year, and includes students in their first, final and intervening years of study, irrespective of the year in which they began their course.

Table 2: UK-domiciled students aged 21 years and under, on first degree courses at English higher education institutions, who left their course

Year student left course

2002/03

2003/04

2004/05

2005/06

Successful completion of course

120,350

123,240

126,935

130,480

Transferred to another institution

2,460

2,325

2,440

2,810

Academic failure/left in bad standing/not permitted to progress

5,980

6,215

6,235

6,860

Health reasons

695

710

640

680

Death

80

60

85

75

Financial reasons

585

605

615

610

Other personal reasons and dropped out

8,190

8,035

8,370

8,605

Written off after lapse of time

1,515

1,930

1,965

2,215

Exclusion

245

355

535

555

Gone into employment

835

865

830

880

Other

4,695

4,705

5,030

4,705

Completion of course - result unknown

750

685

490

445

Unknown

1,810

1,440

1,055

1,085

Total who left course early having not transferred

25,380

25,605

25,850

26,715

Total who left in academic year

148,190

151,170

155,225

160,005

Notes:

1. Numbers are rounded to the nearest 5 so components may not sum to totals.

2. Figures are based on a session population.

Source:

Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA)

The reason for leaving information on the HESA Student Record should be treated with some caution, because the ‘Other personal reasons and dropped out’ and ‘Other’ fields are used extensively throughout the time-series. Institutions are not always able to record the precise reason for leaving. Furthermore, HESA allows only one reason for withdrawal to be recorded, however it is likely that many students leave for a combination of reasons.

Tables 1 and 2 are based on different populations of students. Table 1 covers the cohort of full-time first degree starters of all ages in each year. Table 2 covers full-time and part-time first degree students aged 21 years and under leaving their courses in each year, regardless of the year of study or which year they began their course.

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many students left university without finishing their courses in each year since 1997; and how many of these left due to financial reasons. (154964)

The standard measure of non-completion is the proportion of UK-domiciled full-time first degree starters of all ages who are projected to neither obtain an award nor transfer to another institution. The available information for higher education institutions in England is shown in Table 1.

Table 1: Proportion of UK-domiciled full-time first degree starters at higher education institutions in England, who are projected to neither obtain an award nor transfer to another institution

Percentage

2000/01

15.0

2001/02

13.8

2002/03

13.9

2003/04

14.4

2004/05

13.8

Source:

Performance Indicators in Higher Education, published by HESA.

The available information on reasons for withdrawing from higher education courses is shown in Table 2. This information covers students, aged 21 years and under, leaving first degree courses at English higher education institutions in each year, and includes students in their first, final and intervening years of study, irrespective of the year in which they began their course.

Table 2: UK-domiciled students on first degree courses at English higher education institutions, who left their course

Of which:

Of which:

Year student left course

Total who left institution

Successful completion

Transferred to another institution

Total who left course early having not transferred

Financial reasons

Other reasons

1997/98

223,200

181,680

3,360

38,155

1,225

36,930

1998/99

220,290

183,300

3,375

33,615

1,550

32,065

1999/2000

229,365

186,650

3,265

39,455

1,345

38,110

2000/01

226,020

185,075

3,160

37,785

1,225

36,560

2001/02

231,450

188,200

3,915

39,335

1,080

38,260

2002/03

237,485

194,080

2,955

40,445

1,220

39,225

2003/04

252,700

207,175

2,845

42,685

1,210

41,475

2004/05

261,385

214,295

2,900

44,190

1,280

42,910

2005/06

272,685

223,100

3,975

45,610

1,285

44,325

Notes:

1. The totals in the second column (total who left institution) are made up of the figures in the third, fourth and fifth columns; the totals in the fifth column (total who left course early having not transferred) are made up of the figures in the sixth and seventh columns.

2. Numbers are rounded to the nearest 5 so components may not sum to totals.

3. Figures are based on a session population.

Source:

Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).

The reason for leaving information on the HESA student record should be treated with some caution, because the ‘Other personal reasons and dropped out’ and ‘Other’ fields are used extensively throughout the time-series. Institutions are not always able to record the precise reason for leaving. Furthermore, HESA allows only one reason for withdrawal to be recorded, however it is likely that many students leave for a combination of reasons. The aforementioned figures are therefore likely to show an underestimate of the number of students leaving for financial reasons.

Tables 1 and 2 are based on different populations of students. Table 1 covers the cohort of full-time first degree starters of all ages in each year. Table 2 covers full-time and part-time first degree students aged 21 years and under leaving their courses in each year, regardless of the year of study or which year they began their course.

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what the dropout rate from university courses was in each of the last 15 years. (155657)

The latest available projected non-completion indicators for entrants to full-time first degree courses are shown in the table.

Proportion of UK-domiciled entrants to full-time first degree courses at UK higher education institutions who are projected to neither obtain an award nor transfer to another institution

Academic year

Percentage

1996-97

15.8

1997-98

15.7

1998-99

15.8

1999-2000

15.9

2000-01

15.0

2001-02

14.1

2002-03

14.4

2003-04

14.9

2004-05

14.2

Source:

‘Performance Indicators in Higher Education’, published by HESA

The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) publishes these projected non-completion indicators in its Performance Indicators in Higher Education publication each year. Figures are not available for earlier years.