Universities face “drop-out rates challenge”

  1. Pareto Law Review

Pareto Law has recently read that the vice-chancellor of Nottingham Trent University has said that addressing the issue of graduate employability is crucial in improving student retention rates.

One of the “biggest challenges” for universities

According to the University’s vice-chancellor, Professor Edward Peck, with a record number of schools leavers apply for university in the UK, the rate of retention and progression will become an ever increasing challenge. In his own words, these varied “enormously across the sector, across disciplines and across student groups.”

Speaking to the Telegraph about the future of higher education in the country, Prof. Peck warned against “impersonal” approaches to student recruitment. He argued that if universities gained a better understanding of applicants as individuals, they’d be better placed to assess whether prospective students would flourish or not.

Setting up students for the world of work

The vie-chancellor also suggested that connecting students with the world of work and meeting their career ambitions would improve universities’ retention rates overall. The number of students dropping out have sparked concerns that many feel obliged to attend university despite not being inclined or ready to do so.

He said: “At a number of universities, graduate employment statistics are not as strong as perhaps we’d like them to be. It strikes me that if we are saying to students that coming to university will improve your job prospects, then we have to deliver that.”

New figures released by the Higher Education Statistics Agency have shown that more than 32,000 students dropped out of university after a year of study in 2012-13. Of this number, 7,420 transferred to another university whilst the rest were no longer involved in higher education.

Solving the problem of university dropouts

According to the vice-chancellor, considering a student’s personal ambition as well as requiring candidates to come for interviews are two major ways of ensuring that prospects are right for what university entails.

Addressing graduate employment issues however is becoming perhaps the greatest challenge for universities. To tackle this many universities are seeking to increase the number of work placements that are assessed as part of students’ overall degree.

Pareto Law are the UK’s largest sales development company providing sales recruitment, sales training and sales consultancy to 1000s of companies nationwide. 

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