Willcoxson, Lesley and Cotter, Julie and Joy, Sally (2011) Beyond the first-year experience: the impact on attrition of student experiences throughout undergraduate degree studies in six diverse universities. Studies in Higher Education, 36 (3). pp. 331-352. ISSN 0307-5079
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03075070903581533
Identification Number or DOI: doi: 10.1080/03075070903581533
In the face of difficult economic circumstances, increased competition and student diversity, attrition and retention have become issues of great significance to higher education institutions seeking to survive. A large body of work has explored the relationship between attrition and the first-year experience, but there has been little focus on students’ experience of university in subsequent years despite the fact that later year attrition counts for approximately half of all attrition. This empirical research study examines students’ experience of university in six diverse universities, across the three years of business degree studies. It finds that the factors correlated with intention to withdraw from university studies are differentiated by year of study, and further differentiated by the university attended. The implications of these findings are discussed and a framework for institutional action is subsequently used to outline the dimensions of a relevant retention program.
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