Top tips for preventing drop out

August 25, 2000

* Recruitment - ensure that prospective students make well-informed choices, particularly those recruited through clearing. Make sure students are clear about the demands of the subject. Check that the course meets the applicant's career ambitions, and that he or she has the skills and characteristics to complete the course.

* Induction - of those students who drop out in the first year, half do so in the first eight weeks. Engage students early.

* Support - new students need to know where and to whom they can go for help.

* Transfer - students who have previously undergone a stop-start pattern to their studies are more likely to drop out.

* Age - mature students who have had a long time lapse since previous study need extra support.

* Re-route - if you are unable to offer a student the course that is right for them, direct them to another institution that does offer it.

* Research - if a student does drop out, keep a record of the specific reasons behind the decision to help with future retention.

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