An investigation into student non-completion of courses

Scott, R.W. (1996) An investigation into student non-completion of courses. Masters thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

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Non-completion of full-time further and higher education courses has become an issue since the incorporation of colleges in 1993. Prior to this time there was much complacency and an acceptance that it was inevitable and the responsibility of the student. National concern regarding levels of expenditure on education and the need for colleges to be financially viable with new funding systems had changed this.
Information on non-completion is still scarce but increasingly publications are being released. Previously those available were less likely to have been published. Linked with the availability of information is the variation in the way figures are
calculated; drop-outs may be related to total enrolments or those existing on specific dates. Should students transferring courses within the college be included or excluded.
Questions have been raised regarding the reliability of information collected from different sources and whether it is preferable to research this issue in a traditional maimer. To investigate both the. research problem and the levels and causes of non-completion, a case study was undertaken at a small land based college.
Information was collected from the College FEMIS student record system, course USERS/SESEI uwoRn/RwsDlss I
Managers and a questionnaire to students who had withdrawn. Following a pilot study of the 1994-95 students, a more comprehensive census was carried out with 1995-96 students.
The information obtained was collected and analysed to identify the level of withdrawal, the factors involved and the reasons. Potential remedial action is also discussed.

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