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Why Doctoral Students Drop Out

VU International News and Reviews No. 119 September 10 2018

July 2019

Who Are the Doctoral Students Who Drop Out? That is the title of an article in the International Journal of Higher Education. The researchers analysed factors associated with doctoral completion among 1509 doctoral candidates in two Francophone Belgian universities.

They found that four factors (marital status, master grade, research field and funding) are directly associated with dropout rate when all factors are considered jointly in the same model. Furthermore, results indicate that some of these factors, such as the marital status and gender, interact. In addition, we found that an accumulation of risk factors leads to a massive increase in dropout rates. Finally, a time course analysis revealed that the highest dropout rate occurs during the first two years and is related to the absence of funding or scholarship. The results, limits and futures perspectives are discussed.

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