Transfer and dropout: different forms of student departure in Norway2 nov 2011
This article examines student departure from university, based on data from a survey of undergraduate university students in Norway conducted in 2005. The survey maps students’ progression through higher education, and the analysis focuses on the different types of departure and their causes. More than 50% of all university students left the initial institution before degree completion, but the majority of the leavers transferred to another higher education institution, and only 17% left higher education without completing a degree. Hence, student departure is perceived as being a greater problem for institutions than it is for society or the individual. Background characteristics can largely explain dropout, while students’ educational goal or motivation have no effect. Conversely, motivation, educational goal and field of study contribute more to explaining why students transfer than background characteristics. A student’s own study behaviour is, however, relevant to both events. A high level of student effort reduces the probability of either transfer or dropout.