One in four students in Norway dropped out of education, new report warns

StudentsPhoto: Håkon Mosvold Larsen / NTB

One in four students who began university and college education in 2012 dropped out. 

The figures are from the Frafall report about changes in university and college education, from Statistics Norway (SSB). The researchers have followed the student cohort that began a degree program in 2012, up to 2020.

Of those who dropped out of education, 38% never returned to the university and college sector. 32% returned but dropped out again and didn’t end up completing it.

Seven out of ten did not get a degree

In total, this means that seven out of ten who dropped out at some point never got a degree.

“This can affect the individual’s future job opportunities and life income. For society as a whole, it can mean lost knowledge and skills that could have been utilized in the workforce,” Maj-Lisa Lervåg, one of the authors behind the report, warned.

Many returned

At the same time, a significant proportion – a total of 27% – of the students returned and eventually completed either the original degree education or a new education program.

“It is good that many students return. The costs of dropping out are significantly less both for the individual and for society if the student succeeds in returning and completing another education,” Lervåg said.

Many who studied for a long time got a job

Less than 29% of the students who dropped out during the first year of study were in full-time employment towards the end of the following academic year. The corresponding figure for students who dropped out after the fifth year of study was 39%. For those who dropped out during the sixth year of study or later, the figure was 49%.

“The societal costs will be less in cases where the students leave a degree education in favor of going straight to a job,” the researcher said.

Parents’ education comes into play

Researchers know that parents’ level of education still means a lot to students’ risk of dropping out. The report also shows that the trend is the same when it comes to people returning to higher education after a dropout.

Those who returned and completed an education after initially dropping out had parents with higher education to a greater extent than those who did not return.

“It is disturbing that students who have parents with a low level of education, more often permanently drop out from higher education,” Statistics Norway researcher Maj-Lisa Lervåg said.

Note: The picture used is for illustration purposes only.

Source : © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayEducation

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