Science dropout rates cause Irish concern

March 9, 2001

More than a quarter of students who enrol in computer science courses in Irish universities fail to complete their studies, according to the first national study of non-completion rates.

Concern over the high dropout rates in areas of key national interest in terms of job creation and retention has been expressed by Don Thornhill, chairman of the Higher Education Authority, which issued the report. He welcomed a new task force on science, which has been falling in popularity in secondary schools.

Science, technology and information technology graduates are vital for the continued health of Ireland's booming economy. United States companies invested $16.1 billion (£11 billion) in Ireland by late 1998. More than 580 US subsidiaries employ almost 86,000 people in industries from electronics and computer products, and pharmaceuticals to retailing, banking and finance.

While the overall non-completion rate for all disciplines was 16.8 per cent, this masked big variations between institutions, ranging from 12.9 per cent for the National University of Ireland, Galway, to .9 per cent for the National University of Ireland, Maynooth.

High rates in science in Maynooth drove up its non-completion rate, but the university said that the data were out of date and that they did not take into account transfers to other institutions.

The non-completion rate for medicine and other professional areas such as law, dentistry and veterinary medicine was much better -just over 7 per cent. But more than a fifth of science students (22.2 per cent) failed to graduate, as did 26.9 per cent of computer studies students.

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns