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Heerden, A. van: Dropout of four-year bachelor programmes: who is at risk and when?

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Working Paper


This paper uses data on students from a large university of applied science in the Netherlands. It analyses which student and programme characteristics are related to dropout of four-year bachelor programmes. It is demonstrated that students at risk of dropping out, despite the year of the programme, are mostly male students, older students, and, remarkably, also students who enter the university with a regular entrance quali cation (havo). Additionally, students with an ethnic minority background are found to be at risk; especially students who come from the Dutch Antilles. Besides student characteristics, programme features, such as academic discipline and type, appear to be related to dropout. These relations changed during the past decades. Alarmingly, the gender and the ethnicity gap widened over the past seventeen years. Finally, the impact of changes in an academic dismissal (AD) policy were analysed. An increase in the dismissal standard is found to be associated with a lower risk of dropout in the long run. To an even greater extent this is observed for males, students between 20 and 30 years, students with a post-secondary vocational degree (mbo), and students who enrol a dual programme.

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