The challenge of university dropouts

university student and mentor

Some of the causes of university dropouts are the lack of counseling, anxiety, lack of learning skills and the inability to concentrate, according to a survey.

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In Latin America, only half of the students between 25 and 29 years old finish university, according to the World Bank Group. To make matters worse, half of these dropouts happen during the first year.

A recent survey carried out by the Civitas Learning educational consultancy to 1,500 university students, reveals some of the reasons why students quit higher education and identify areas of opportunity that are rarely addressed.

What discourages students?

When asked about dropout reasons 36% of students state it happens because of poor time management, 35% blame anxiety and fear of failure, 31% say being overwhelmed by responsibilities is the primary concern, 25% state that it happens due to the lack of learning skills and 24% blame the inability to concentrate.

Lack of support

74% of respondents feel secure when making school decisions supported by academic advisors, 53% value family support, 43% favor friends aid, and 37% prefer online help.

70% of university students would like to stay in touch with academic advisors at least once a month. However, only 20% contact a university advisor during that period and one in three has not contacted them in the last six months.

44% of students prefer to get face-to-face coaching or mentoring, while 56% favor interaction through digital means (mail, text message, video conference, etc.)

As an example, until 2016, only 17% of adults between 25 and 64 years of age in Mexico had completed higher education studies -the lowest proportion among the OECD countries (37%). Dropout rates amplify this problem.

In the face of university desertion, there are simplistic answers such as the excessive cost of education or the lack of opportunities. Perhaps critical issues like academic counseling, the development of learning skills or the socio-emotional well-being of students are overlooked.