Career Testing
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Career Testing
STUDENT LIFE / APR. 02, 2014
version 5, draft 5

Thousands of UK Students Taking Wrong Degree Courses Drop Out of University

Figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency reveal ‘worryingly high’ dropout rates for UK students.  Last year, over 26,000 students dropped out of university, as school leavers were allegedly pushed into taking wrong degree courses.

Figures shockingly indicate that:

-  Roughly one in 15 undergraduates (6.7%) failed to complete the first year of their studies and numbers reached almost a fifth at the worst-performing institution.

-  At least one in ten students at 18 universities across the UK quit higher education after less than a year.

-  18.5% of students (around 73,500) are expected to fail to complete the course they started after either dropping out, transferring to another university or graduating with an alternative qualification.

The increasing number of dropout students shows that students fail to opt for degrees that fully satisfy their needs. On top of this, Lord Baker, the former Conservative education secretary, noted that some teenagers are being encouraged to take unsuitable university courses because of Britain’s “snobbery” towards technical qualifications – leaving many struggling to find work when they graduate.

Universities With the Highest Dropout Rates

According to Telegraph, The highest dropout rate was at the University of the West of Scotland, where 19.4% of students failed to complete the first year.

In England, London Metropolitan University was the worst-performing institution, where 15.5 % dropped out. This was followed by 12.5 % at City University in London, 12.4 % at London South Bank, 11.9% at Middlesex and 11.7% at Bolton University.

Students Fail to Research University Before Applying

Despite the increase in annual tuition fees of up to £9,000, tens of thousands of students still make random applications to universities, without examining degree course requirements or attending open days before completing applications. A study by the consumer group Which? revealed that half failed to ask for advice from their lecturers before choosing their course whereas 23% did not bother visiting university open days.

The executive director of Which?, Richard Lloyd said: “Going to university is a hugely significant financial decision so it’s worrying that so many young people say they didn't do enough research before applying or that the advice they received wasn’t up to scratch…The vast majority of prospective students are going through this process for the first time, making it vital that they have proper guidance and as much information as possible to help them make the right choice”.

Overall, both parents and education institutions should ensure that students make informed decisions about their degree courses. Living in such an unstable economic environment with the global job market being uncertain, choosing the right career path is not always easy to do. It is important that students make sure they are well aware of their career prospects and figure out whether they are capable of withstanding the pressure of studying their favourite degree course.

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