Wednesday, 7 March 2001
Dáil Eireann Debate
47. Mr. Wall asked the Minister for Education and Science 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): 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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