Dropout rates fall, but show variation between universities
According to figures published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), 5.3% of young students taking their first degree who entered UK universities in 2019-20 were no longer in higher education a year later. It marks a fall of 1.4 percentage points on the previous year, and represents the lowest rate on record. The national statistics mask considerable variation between different institutions, however. The highest dropout rate was at Arden University, where 32.3% were not at university one year after entry.
HESA said the increase in retention rates “cannot be directly attributed” to the COVID-19 pandemic but added: “There is often a trend for increased higher education enrolments in periods of economic uncertainty and perhaps this behaviour extends to a desire to continue degree courses when other paths outside higher education are less certain.”
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