The primary objective of this project is to examine dropout from higher education, with special focus on previously under-studied professional programmes, and to develop theories on student completion and dropout, to enhance the understanding of discipline and programme differences.
This project examines higher education (HE) dropout, with a particular focus on professional education, such as in nursing, teaching and social work.
The project consists of four work packages:
- WP1 analyses register data to chart differences and similarities across programmes and disciplines in completion and dropout, and to provide in-depth knowledge about the professional degrees in focus. Further, through comparative analyses of Danish and Norwegian register data, we will improve the understanding of differences and similarities across HE-systems.
- WP2 aims to test Tinto's paradigmatic model for student departure, by using StudData to explore issues of commitment and integration. Commitment will be operationalized as professional commitment and job values, which is measured both at the start and at the end of the program. Hence, providing a unique opportunity to investigate how well Tinto's model work in other HE-settings other than the US one.
- WP3 has a qualitative approach, focusing on students' academic experience, their experience of professional placement and possible implications of their experiences for retention and completion. By mirroring a similar project in the UK, interviews with students and academic staff will be used to identify concerns and challenges nursing students face, prior to entry and during their HE-career. To ensure comparability we will collaborate closely with the researcher who conducted the UK study.
- WP4 compares labour market outcomes of programme completers and non-completers, and we assess labour market implications of non-completion. Register data makes possible analyses of the outcomes labour market status, employment, income and occupation. These analyses will be compared to similar analyses of Danish register data, to examine whether country differences in completion rates may be partly explained by labour market differences in the two countries.
Secondary objectives are to:
- Enhance knowledge by publishing empirical and theoretical articles on student completion and dropout, with particular emphasis on comparisons of educational fields and programmes, and countries (i.e. Norway, Denmark, & the UK).
- Develop international and national research networks.
- Collaborate actively with researchers from England and Denmark.
- Prepare a promising post-doctoral researcher for an academic career in the field.
- Provide knowledge that may help HE-institutions develop adequate retention and dropout policies relevant for the programmes the institutions are providing.
- Analyse unique data (StudData), making it possible to test and improve Tinto's theoretical model.