#EAIR2019 Programme

#EAIR2019 Programme

Student dropout in Germany: A longitudinal analysis of institutional measures in the introductory phase



Institutional Research for Responsibility


Maximiliane Marschall et al, IHF - Bavarian State Institute for HE Research & Planning, Germany

Single presentation - 30 Minutes



High student dropout rates in higher education demand for research not only on individual but also on institutional characteristics which might increase student retention. However, little research is done on the effectiveness of institutional measures on students’ success probability. This study provides answers to the following questions: Can student participation in certain programs of personal and professional support contribute to a decrease in the risk of student dropout and, if so, how are these effects mediated? Are certain groups of students e.g. students from lower social-economic status more likely to benefit from them? Drawing on concepts of Bourdieu (1982), DiMaggio (1982) and Coleman (1988), we argue that institutional measures can reduce student dropout by accumulating social and cultural capital over the course of studies. We also expect students from social groups with a low endowment of capital to benefit more from participating. Using data from the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS), starting cohort 5, we apply a stepwise event history analysis with competing risks. First preliminary results suggest that attending bridging courses and orientation events to get to know fellow students can help to reduce the risk of student dropout by increasing academic performance, social integration and satisfaction. These findings emphasize the important role of higher education institutions in supporting their students from the beginning of their studies.