IRELAND: More than 20% quit S&T courses

Huge numbers of university students are dropping out of science and technology courses after their first year in college, according to new figures obtained by The Irish Times. At Dublin City University, regarded as a leading 'hi-tech' university, 39% of students who began a science and technology degree course failed to progress to second year in their chosen course, report Sean Flynn and Grainne Faller.

At University College Dublin, the non-completion rate in science and technology courses was 26%. The drop-out rate from science, technology, engineering and maths courses was high across the seven universities in the state, averaging more than 20%. The high drop-out rates will raise fresh questions about the so-called 'dumbing down' of school-leaving examinations.

While grades have improved dramatically in the past decade, Tom Boland, Chief Executive of the Higher Education Authority, recently voiced fears of declining standards, with what he called "spoon-fed" second-level students struggling to cope in higher education.
Full report on The Irish Times site