Dropout and completion in higher education in Europe
Main report - Study
Improving completion and reducing dropout in higher education are key concerns for higher education in Europe. This study on dropout and completion in higher education in Europe demonstrates that national governments and higher education institutions use three different study success objectives: completion, time-to-degree and retention. To address these objectives policy makers at national and institutional level apply various policy instruments. These can be categorized under three main policy headings: financial incentives; information and support for students; and organizational issues. The... evidence indicates that countries that have more explicit study success objectives, targets and policies are likely to be more successful. Particularly if the policy approach is comprehensive and consistent. As such, it is important that study success is an issue in the information provision to (prospective) students, in financial incentives for students and institutions, in quality assurance, and in the education pathways offered to students. Furthermore, increasing the responsibility of higher education institutions for study success, for example in the area of selecting, matching, tracking, counselling, mentoring and integrating students in academic life is clearly effective. Finally, to support the policy debate and monitoring of study success evidence, there is a need for more systematic international comparative data and thorough analysis of the effectiveness of study success policies.