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100,000 students drop out of university

This month will see about half a million students start a university course in the UK. This is the last entry year before many universities will introduce higher fees (some at £9k or more a year) and the number of applications to universities rose sharply. Many missed out on places but did you know every year hundreds of thousands of students drop out of university? A 2008 study estimated 100,000 students left their course after the first year.  Almost a quarter of students, around 22%, failed to complete their course.

There are probably lots of different reasons that students drop out of university – they didn’t want to be there in the first place, they chose the wrong course, they miss friends or home, they can’t cope with the change. Lots of people think that widening participation (getting more people into university) is one of the main causes of drop out rates and that may be a contributing factor as students might not have the support of people at home or struggle financially.

We tutor lots of students, in all kinds of subjects from Maths to Spanish, who are about to apply for university. Here are some questions to ask yourself before you make that final decision.

  • Why are you going to university? Is it for you? Are you doing it to make your parents happy? This is probably the first adult decision you will have to make that could have a real impact on the rest of your life – it has to be right for you.
  • How have you chosen your course? Did you decide on it because your mates are doing it or because you did an A Level in it? Sit down with a piece of paper and make a list of the things you enjoy and are interested in (and would be willing to study for at least three years). That’s a good starting point to choose a course.
  • And the same goes for university locations – choose carefully, visit each campus. Remember you will be living there for at least three years – think about how easily you can get home, get around the city and see people so you don’t feel isolated.
  • If you are the first person in your family to go to university then make sure your friends and family understand that you’ll need financial and moral support. It’s great if you have someone to talk to who has been to university.
  • Think about what you want after uni. This will help determine if it’s right for you. University does give you some great life skills (and general transferable skills like research) but it can be a confidence knock if things don’t go well. If you really want to be a writer then is going to Aberdeen to study Engineering the right thing?

If you are applying for university this year and need help with your UCAS form or tutoring for A Levels including Maths, English and Science in Manchester and Cheshire then contact 121 Home Tutors.





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