This project examines higher education (HE) dropout, with a particular focus on professional education, such as in nursing, teaching and social work. The project consists of four work packages. WP1 analyses registerdata to chart differences and similarities across programmes and disciplines in completion and dropout, and to provide in-depth knowledge about the professional degrees in focus. Further, through comparative analyses of Danish and Norwegian registerdata, we will improve the understanding of differences and similarities across HE-systems. WP2 aims to test Tinto's paradigmatic model for student departure, by using StudData to explore issues of commitment and integration. Commitment will be operationalized as professional commitment and job values, which is measured both at the start and at the end of the program. Hence, providing a unique opportunity to investigate how well Tinto's model work in other HE-settings other than the US one. WP3 has a qualitative approach, focusing on students' academic experience, their experience of professional placement and possible implications of their experiences for retention and completion. By mirroring a similar project in the UK, interviews with students and academic staff will be used to identify concerns and challenges nursing students face, prior to entry and during their HE-career. To ensure comparability we will collaborate closely with the researcher who conducted the UK study. WP4 compares labour market outcomes of programme completers and non-completers, and we assess labour market implications of non-completion. Registerdata makes possible analyses of the outcomes labour market status, employment, income and occupation. These analyses will be compared to similar analyses of Danish registerdata, to examine whether country differences in completion rates may be partly explained by labour market differences in the two countries.
Project leader: Håvard Helland
Institution: Senter for profesjonsstudier