“Those entering with lower points are much more likely to not progress compared to those entering with higher points,” a new report claims.
THE MORE POINTS you get in your Leaving Cert the more likely you are to stay the course in college, a new report claims.
The study, released by the Higher Education Authority, suggests that ‘prior academic attainment’ is the strongest indicator possible as to how well a student will do when stepping up to a university course.
“Those entering with lower points are much more likely to not progress compared to those entering with higher points,” the report claims.
Altogether, for the academic year 2014/2015 on which the results are based, 86% of first year undergraduates made it to second year, compared to 85% the previous year.
The student most likely to make it into second year at third level is a female studying education or healthcare, with relatively high Leaving Cert points, compared with the student most likely not to make it through – a male with low Leaving points and studying a Level 6 or Level 7 course in computer science, construction, or engineering.
Worryingly, rates of non-progression (this phrase is used so as to acknowledge that there are myriad reasons for a student not to finish a year, other than because they ‘dropped out’) are twice as high for students from disadvantaged schools (19%) compared with just 10% for students in fee-paying schools.
Regarding these statistics, Graham Love, CEO of the HEA, said:
We have an education system that is committed to access and to equality but it is still clear that a student from a financially better off background and who may have been able to attend a fee-paying school has an advantage over those from less well-off backgrounds.
Non-completion rates for Irish higher education courses hover between 25% and 27% for levels 6 and 7 qualifications at the institutes of technology, and between 8% and 15% at ITs, universities and colleges for degree courses.
The highest levels of non-progression are 23% for construction and related disciplines.
For specific professions, medicine has the lowest level of non-completion in the country at just 2%, and architecture has the highest level at 20%, or one in five.
Oddly enough, in the ITs, mature students are more likely to make it to the next year of study than under-23s, with the opposite being true in the colleges and universities.