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Disadvantaged students are more likely to drop out of university

New figures reveal that students from disadvantaged backgrounds are more likely to drop out of university. 

The university drop out rates for students from poorer backgrounds are much worse in comparison to students from wealthier upbringings, official data has revealed.

Last academic year (2016/17), 8.8% of the most disadvantaged students dropped out of university. This is an increase from the previous year with 8.6%, according to figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).

Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU) has always prided itself for admitting students from a wide range of backgrounds and academic capabilities. However, the university’s drop our rates have increased by a massive 34% in the last two years, as Unified reported last year.

The top three UK universities with the worst student retention rates are London Metropolitan University (18.6%), Bolton University (15.6%) and Bedfordshire University.

Cambridge and Oxford have the lowest student drop-out rate in the country.

The prestige establishments of Cambridge and Oxford university ranked the best for student retention rates, with only 1% of their students failing to complete their degree.

Education secretary, Damian Hinds, warned that an independent regulator may intervene if universities continue to fail addressing the rising student drop-out rates.

Despite universities making a ‘huge progress’ in accepting students from disadvantaged backgrounds, Mr Hinds said that this can be overshadowed if the drop-out rates increase year by year.

He said: “Universities need to look at these statistics and reduce drop-out rates.

“If they don’t, we have given the Office for Students power to take action. I expect them to do that and challenge institutions to look at what support they can offer, particularly to disadvantaged and underrepresented groups, to turn these figures around.”

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Claisse Opulencia

Editor-in-Chief of Unified. Claisse is a third year multimedia journalism student at CCCU. Amnesty Media Award Finalist 2018, IRN Awards Runner-up 2018 and nominated for two SPA Awards 2018.

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