Skip to main content

Higher Education: Student Wastage

Volume 479: debated on Monday 1 September 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills pursuant to the answer of 2 July 2008, Official Report, columns 1000-01W, on student wastage, if he will place in the Library a copy of Table 3, broken down by course subject. (219517)

Non-continuation rates broken down by both institution and degree subject are not available. Non-continuation rates broken down by subject are only available for the UK. The non-continuation rate is the proportion of entrants to full-time first degree courses who are no longer in higher education after one year of study. The rates for young entrants are shown in Table 1, and rates for mature entrants in Table 2.

Table 1: Proportion of young entrants to full-time first degree courses who are no longer in higher education after one year of study by degree subject. UK Higher Education Institutions—academic years 1999/2000 to 2005/06

Percentage

Degree subject

1999/2000

2000/01

2001/02

2002/03

2003/04

2004/05

2005/06

Medicine, dentistry and veterinary science

2.0

2.0

2.4

1.8

2.0

1.9

1.6

Subjects allied to medicine

6.3

6.0

5.9

6.4

7.7

6.8

6.5

Biological sciences1

8

8

8

8

7.3

6.8

6.7

Physical sciences1

86.9

86.0

86.1

87.1

6.1

6.0

7.8

Agriculture and related subjects

6.8

7.0

11.4

7.5

8.3

8.0

5.7

Mathematical sciences2

9

9

9

9

5.5

5.3

4.8

Computer sciences2

99.8

98.0

98.4

99.4

10.3

10.3

10.5

Engineering and technology

10.1

9.0

8.9

10.0

10.1

9.1

8.5

Architecture, building, planning

9.6

8.0

10.2

11.1

10.0

8.3

7.6

Social studies3

10

10

10

10

7.2

6.9

7.0

Law3

106.9

106.0

106.4

107.0

6.2

5.5

5.9

Librarianship, information sciences4

11

11

11

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Business and administrative studies4,5

116.9

118.0

118.2

12

8.8

8.2

8.4

Mass communications and documentation5

n/a

n/a

n/a

128.8

8.5

8.6

8.5

Humanities6

13

13

13

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Languages6,7

135.9

135.0

135.7

14

6.3

5.7

5.8

Historical and philosophical studies7

n/a

n/a

n/a

146.3

5.9

5.0

5.1

Creative arts and design

8.7

8.0

8.3

8.2

8.4

8.1

8.0

Education

8.6

8.0

8.1

8.0

7.5

7.6

7.3

Combined subjects

8.8

8.0

8.2

14.3

13.5

14.3

13.8

All subjects

7.8

7.0

7.3

7.8

7.7

7.2

7.1

n/a = Not applicable.

1 One figure was provided for Biological and Physical Sciences until 2003/04.

2 One figure was provided for Mathematical and Computer Sciences until 2003/04.

3 One figure was provided for Social Studies and Law until 2003/04.

4 One figure was provided for Librarianship, information sciences and Business and administrative studies until 2002/03.

5 One figure was provided for Business and administrative studies and Mass communications and documentation in 2002/03.

6 One figure was provided for Languages and Humanities until 2002/03.

7 One figure was provided for Languages and Historical and Philosophical Studies in 2002/03.

Notes:

1. Figures for 2000/01 are only available to the nearest integer.

2. There is a break in the time series between academic years 2001/02 and 2002/03 because the subjects’ JACS coding was changed in 2002/03.

Source:

Performance indicators in Higher Education, published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA)

Table 2: Proportion of mature entrants to full-time first degree courses who are no longer in higher education after one year of study by degree subject. UK Higher Education Institutions—academic years 1999/2000 to 2005/06

Percentage

Degree subject

1999/2000

2000/01

2001/02

2002/03

2003/04

2004/05

2005/06

Medicine, dentistry and veterinary science

2.0

3.0

3.1

2.9

2.8

2.8

4.0

Subjects allied to medicine

12.0

10.0

11.2

11.8

12.5

11.4

11.3

Biological sciences1

8

8

8

8

17.5

16.2

16.2

Physical sciences1

817.0

815.0

818.0

817.7

12.3

11.0

15.2

Agriculture and related subjects

16.0

13.0

18.0

14.5

16.8

17.0

16.0

Mathematical sciences2

9

9

9

9

18.7

16.4

18.2

Computer sciences2

920.0

918.0

918.4

920.3

19.0

18.9

19.3

Engineering and technology

20.0

19.0

16.9

19.7

21.3

18.9

19.0

Architecture, building, planning

17.0

17.0

16.9

15.9

17.2

14.2

14.4

Social studies3

10

10

10

10

14.3

13.7

13.1

Law3

1015.0

1015.0

1014.8

1015.4

17.7

16.7

18.3

Librarianship, information sciences4

11

11

11

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Business and administrative studies4,5

1117.0

1116.0

1116.8

12

19.2

17.4

17.0

Mass communications and documentation5

n/a

n/a

n/a

1218.0

16.7

17.8

16.5

Humanities6

13

13

13

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Languages6,7

1316.0

1314.0

1314.8

14

15.7

15.3

14.8

Historical and philosophical studies7

n/a

n/a

n/a

1415.6

15.8

14.4

14.4

Creative arts and design

13.0

12.0

13.0

12.1

14.4

12.8

13.3

Education

12.0

11.0

10.2

10.1

11.8

11.0

10.1

Combined subjects

19.0

18.0

18.2

23.2

19.9

23.9

21.2

All subjects

16.0

14.0

14.9

15.4

15.6

14.4

14.3

n/a = Not applicable.

1 One figure was provided for Biological and Physical Sciences until 2003/04.

2 One figure was provided for Mathematical and Computer Sciences until 2003/04.

3 One figure was provided for Social Studies and Law until 2003/04.

4 One figure was provided for Librarianship, information sciences and Business and administrative studies until 2002/03.

5 One figure was provided for Business and administrative studies and Mass communications and documentation in 2002/03.

6 One figure was provided for Languages and Humanities until 2002/03.

7 One figure was provided for Languages and Historical and Philosophical Studies in 2002/03.

Notes:

1. Figures for 1999/2000 and 2000/01 are only available to the nearest integer.

2. There is a break in the time series between academic years 2001/02 and 2002/03 because the subjects’ JACS coding was 2002/03.

Source:

Performance Indicators in Higher Education, published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA)

Subject rankings for non-continuation rates change over the years. However, medicine, dentistry and veterinary science consistently have the lowest non-continuation rates over the time series.

Student retention rates in this country compare very well internationally. The UK rank 5th in the OECD for first degree completion rates, out of 23 countries who report data in this area. A university education is now open to more students than ever before and the Government are totally committed to providing opportunities for all people to achieve their potential and to maximise their talent.