Ipswich: UCS student drop-out rate second worst in the country

UCS, which has one of the highest drop-out rates in the country

UCS, which has one of the highest drop-out rates in the country - Credit: Archant

AROUND one in seven students quit their courses at University Campus Suffolk within 12 months – giving the university the second worst drop-out rate in the country.

Figures published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency reveal that 14.6% of full-time degree students – a total of 165 people out of 1,140 – dropped out of their course after just a year.

The only university which posted a higher drop-out rate was at London Metropolitan University, where 16.6% of students failed to complete their studies.

UCS defended its position, stating that many of their students are mature or part-time with personal commitments.

Sarah Tattersall, head of student recruitment at UCS, said: “These figures do not reflect a true picture of the excellent work that goes into student support and retention at UCS. A high proportion of our students are mature or part-time students who are often combining higher education with work, family life or other personal commitments.

“However, almost half this figure represents students who left with an award of credit and many of those that did so had always planned to leave at this point, and may well return to complete their studies when personal circumstances permit.”

The Higher Education Statistics Agency findings showed an improvement in the overall drop-out rate nationally over the last year, with numbers down by around 4,500 in 12 months.

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It is hoped that figure will drop further in coming years as a result of the introduction of tuition fees of up to £9,000, which education bosses believe will cut down on the number of students enrolling on inappropriate courses.

Drop-out rates were lower at Britain’s most select universities. Cambridge had the lowest rate, with just 1.3% of students failing to complete the first year.

Last week it was revealed that UCS is on the verge of gaining independent status, which is likely to result in a name change.