Dropout why worry

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Category: Education
     
 

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Student dropout from conventional and distance education is a serious problem with substantial financial and health consequences for students and society as a whole. This presentation tries to put a figure on these consequences and argues that not nearly enough attention is being paid to them. www.ormondsimpson.com

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Slide 1: 

‘Student retention – why bother?’ Ormond Simpson Visiting Fellow CDE ormond.simpson@googlemail.com

‘Distance student dropout’ : 

‘Distance student dropout’ How can we measure student dropout? What are the effects of student dropout? - on students? - on institutions? - on society as whole? Examples from UKOU student dropout – the current picture

UKOU in brief : 

UKOU in brief 220,000 students No entry qualifications needed 500 course modules lasting between 6 to 12 months Students take 6 - 12 course modules for a degree Modules assessed by: continuous assessment + final exam - both have to be passed

Long term % pass rates on OU technology foundation modules : 

Long term % pass rates on OU technology foundation modules

Long term % pass rates on OU technology foundation modules : 

Long term % pass rates on OU technology foundation modules

Cumulative OU graduation rates (%) by year of entry : 

Cumulative OU graduation rates (%) by year of entry

Current OU graduation rate : 

Current OU graduation rate 1996 entry cohort over 11 years (HEFCE, 2009) = 22% So current dropout rate = 78%

Graduation rates full/part-time/OU % : 

Graduation rates full/part-time/OU %

Graduation rates full/part-time/OU : 

Graduation rates full/part-time/OU ‘Distance learning deficit’?

Student flow – assignments : 

Student flow – assignments

Student rivergram – course modules : 

Student rivergram – course modules Module start Mid module End Module Module start etc

Slide 13: 

Course module start 35% drop out at or near course start - course material arrives? or - first assignment due?

Slide 14: 

Course module end ~ 40% Finish but do not re-register for next module

Re-registration rates (%) of new students completing the previous year : 

Re-registration rates (%) of new students completing the previous year

Variations in module retention : 

Variations in module retention MU120 W300 K224 60 65 70 75 80 85 90 95 100 70 % getting to exam % passing exam 40 50 60 80 90 100 Knock backers Heavy goers Sifters Fair rides

How much does it cost UK government to produce successful graduate? : 

17 How much does it cost UK government to produce successful graduate? Production cost of a car known Production cost of a graduate?

Costs of success to UK government - graduate production costs compared : 

18 Costs of success to UK government - graduate production costs compared

Costs of success to UK government - graduate production costs compared : 

19 Costs of success to UK government - graduate production costs compared

Sustainability (Roy et al 2007) : 

20 Sustainability (Roy et al 2007) Energy use CO2 production 13% 18%

Costs of distance education to students : 

21 Costs of distance education to students

Financial implications for students - returns on investment (RoI) : 

22 Financial implications for students - returns on investment (RoI) Full time students – increased income of £220,000 over lifetime (‘graduate premium’) (Warwick UK, 2003) = RoI = 550% (in 2008 = 150%) Part-time OU students – increased earnings by 15% after graduation (Woodley, Simpson 2000). = RoI = 2200% (in 2008 = 1000%?)

Financial implications for students - returns on investment (RoI) : 

23 Financial implications for students - returns on investment (RoI) For both full and part-time students – there are gains in health and longevity (Wilkinson, 1996) = RoI unestimated

Financial implications for students - investment risk : 

24 Financial implications for students - investment risk Risk of losing investment = risk of dropout Conventional UK institutions – average dropout 18% OU – up to 45% dropout on some modules

Slide 25: 

25 ‘Investing in higher education is riskier than wildcat oil well drilling’

Slide 26: 

26 ‘Educational Paeschendalism’?

Health implications - dropout from f/t UK higher education Relative odds of depression in men (Bynner, 2003) : 

27 Health implications - dropout from f/t UK higher education Relative odds of depression in men (Bynner, 2003)

Health implications of dropout- relative odds of depression in women : 

28 Health implications of dropout- relative odds of depression in women

Health implications of dropout- odds of violence against women : 

29 Health implications of dropout- odds of violence against women

Health implications of dropout- body mass index (bmi) age 44 cohort age 33 cohort : 

30 Health implications of dropout- body mass index (bmi) age 44 cohort age 33 cohort

Health implications of dropout- odds of excellent health in women : 

31 Health implications of dropout- odds of excellent health in women

Health implications of dropout- odds of unemployment amongst men : 

32 Health implications of dropout- odds of unemployment amongst men

Overall implications of student dropout in UK : 

33 Overall implications of student dropout in UK 1. Assume 50% participation with 20% dropout: 2. Then 10% of each age cohort in the UK will be: in debt (upto £25,000) with no graduate premium to pay it off more likely to be unemployed so less able to pay off debt more likely to suffer health problems, particularly depression.

Overall implications of student dropout : 

34 Overall implications of student dropout “The more successful [we] are in growing participation and achievement, the greater the gap between those who stay on the ladder of educational achievement and those who drop off. “....[There is a] negative effect – particularly on young working-class males - of enrolling in, but then dropping out, from higher education” (Watson, 2004)

Financial implications of student dropout for institutions in UK : 

35 Financial implications of student dropout for institutions in UK ‘Willing to Pay’. Recruitment issues - ‘Given risk will students or parents be willing to pay investment? ‘Value for Money’. Tuition fees in UK = £3000. How much tuition does that buy? (15 hours/wk in groups of 10 for 30 wks/yr ‘Grant income’ – dropout reduces Government grant. Eg loss of grant to OU due to dropout ~£12m per year

Financial implications of student dropout for UK government : 

36 Financial implications of student dropout for UK government Inefficiency – 20% of grants to universities ‘wasted’? (although savings in grants) Social expenditure – cost of increased unemployment and worse physical and mental health Losses in income tax and GNP Estimate £3 to £5 billion per year? NB German estimate €7-8billion /yr

Student retention - ‘Why should we care?’ -implications of student dropout in UK : 

37 Student retention - ‘Why should we care?’ -implications of student dropout in UK dropout students – financial losses and worse health institutions – financial losses and possible recruitment problems government – financial losses in tax and GNP and increased health expenditure - all amounting to several £billions a year

Does this apply to: : 

38 Does this apply to: distance or part-time students?

Student retention - ‘What can we do?’ 1 Estimate the maximum possible increases in retention without affecting standards : 

39 Student retention - ‘What can we do?’ 1 Estimate the maximum possible increases in retention without affecting standards International comparisons – eg UK better than US, Germany, France, worse than Japan selection procedures – reduce the ‘false positives and negatives’ Data analyses – eg maximum possible increase in retention in OU 12-15 % points? (Simpson, 2005)

OU Student Dropout - ‘maximum possible increase in retention’ : 

OU Student Dropout - ‘maximum possible increase in retention’ ‘Unavoidable dropout’ ‘Avoidable dropout’ - about 15% points

Student retention - ‘What can we do?’ 2. Make the financial case for institutional investment in retention : 

41 Student retention - ‘What can we do?’ 2. Make the financial case for institutional investment in retention Return on investment in student retention to institutions depends on financial structures: Costs – mostly student support services (?) Benefits: - increased student fee income - savings on recruitment costs - increased recruitment - (for UKOU) increased Govt grant income

Funding learner support (1) – increasing funding from Government : 

42 Funding learner support (1) – increasing funding from Government £ Fund student support Increases student retention Generates funds from Government

Funding learner support (2)- increasing funding from students : 

43 Funding learner support (2)- increasing funding from students £ Fund student support Increases student success Students willing to pay more

Slide 44: 

44 44 Out there… Newsweek August 07 ‘Global education: race is on. Rivalry among top schools is fiercer than ever – and West may be losing its lead”. The Times June 07 headline ‘Coca-Cola promises its retail university will be the real thing’. Singapore’s Global Schoolhouse aims to attract 150 000 international students by 2015 China aims to be a net importer of students within ten years. Malaysia seeks to become educational hub in Asia and set up a campus in London THES September 07 ‘Private college to award degrees’ Corporate universities fastest growing sector of US HE with ~ 1800 institutions And: A new industry ranks both institutions and individuals eg Ratemyprofessor.com ….

‘Future directions…. : 

45 ‘Future directions…. Where to from here? The distance education institution of the future will have: Have credible qualifications on offer Retention-friendly learning materials – online and hard copy High quality proactive student support based on the latest evidenced findings from learning psychology Not necessarily the latest and most expensive web-based gizmos

Slide 46: 

46 “Civilisation is in a race between education and catastrophe” - H. G. Wells

Thanks very much!Some further reading on www.ormondsimpson.com : 

Thanks very much!Some further reading on www.ormondsimpson.com

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