Written Answers. - Third Level Institutions.

Wednesday, 7 March 2001

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 532 No. 2

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  47.  Mr. Wall  Information on Jack Wall  Zoom on Jack Wall   asked the Minister for Education and Science  Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods   if he will give details of the drop-out rates for adult education in third level institutions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6927/01]

Minister for Education and Science (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  Two studies of non-completion in third level institutions have recently been completed by the Educational Research Centre. The report relating to the university sector, a study of non-completion in undergraduate university courses, was published last week by the Higher Education Authority. A parallel report, commissioned by the Council of Directors of the Institutes of Technology is also available.

The reports outline the extent of non-completion in third level institutions and highlight variation by gender, institution and field of study. However, they do not provide data on non-completion by category of student, including mature students.

The reports recommend that comprehensive research should be undertaken to examine a range of issues relating to completion in the universities. The aim of this research would be to identify factors which contribute to non-completion and the reasons why students do not complete their courses. These studies will also enable the identification of appropriate preventive action. I would anticipate that the research will also indicate whether non-completion rates for mature students differ significantly from the overall non-completion rate.

Limited information is available in a further report, No Room for Adults – A study of Mature Students in University College Dublin, published in 1999, which indicated a drop-out rate among mature students in the university of 31%.


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