College dropouts - Alarming figures

FIGURES from the Higher Education Authority showing spectacular third-level student dropout rates — up to 56% in one instance — must sound alarm bells.

Almost a third of those who enrolled at the Institute of Technology Tallaght in 2007 did not begin a second year course. Computer programmes at six institutes lost at least one-third of students after the first year. Over 20% of those who started all courses at various institutes of technology never made it to second year. The attrition rate at universities was much lower at 9%.

These figures suggest our method of assessing second-level students has lost its validity. It also raises questions about committing scarce resources to a system with such a high failure rate, second-level teaching at the ambition to sending almost three-quarters of our children on third-level courses.


Dr Sarah Miller is the CEO of Dublin’s Rediscovery Centre, the national centre for the Circular Economy in Ireland. She has a degree in Biotechnology and a PHD in Environmental Science in Waste Conversion Technologies.‘We have to give people positive messages’

When I was pregnant with Joan, I knew she was a girl. We didn’t find out the gender of the baby, but I just knew. Or else, I so badly wanted a girl, I convinced myself that is exactly what we were having.Mum's the Word: I have a confession: I never wanted sons. I wanted daughters

What is it about the teenage years that are so problematic for families? Why does the teenage soul rage against the machine of the adult world?Learning Points: It’s not about the phone, it’s about you and your teen

Judy Collins is 80, and still touring. As she gets ready to return to Ireland, she tells Ellie O’Byrne about the songs that have mattered most in her incredible 60-year career.The songs that matter most to Judy Collins from her 60-year career

More From The Irish Examiner