US urged to look across Atlantic for tips on how to cut dropout rates

April 9, 2004

British universities excel at managing the transition of students from school to degree courses, and US universities could learn from them in order to cut dropout rates, a conference heard last week.

Thomas Weko, a British Council Atlantic fellow in public policy, said: "For the past 40 years, federal higher education policy in the US has focused on helping students enter higher education, annually providing billions of dollars in grant and loan assistance. What happens after students enter post-secondary education has received far less attention.

"US state policy-makers should carefully study England's experience at joining upper secondary to university education."

About a third of US students fail to complete courses; in Britain only 16 per cent of students drop out.

US dropout rates are also far higher for students from low socioeconomic groups than they are for those from higher socioeconomic groups. Some 60 per cent of students from poor families drop out, compared to 20 per cent of those from the richest families.

Dr Weko examined international figures to see if greater student participation rates prompt higher dropout rates in Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development countries, but he found no correlation between the two.

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