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An econometric analysis of student withdrawal and progression in post-reform Italian Universities

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Author Info

  • G. Boero

    ()

  • T. Laureti
  • R. Naylor

    ()

Abstract

As in much of Europe, and in the particular context of the Bologna Convention on tertiary education, the Italian university system has experienced substantial reform in recent years, the major aims of which include increasing the participation, progression and retention rates of students in higher education. Reform has reduced the length of undergraduate degree programmes to three years with the intention that students should be able to graduate at an earlier age than in the past, in line with graduates from other European countries. This paper offers a first econometric analysis of student withdrawal and progression three years after the introduction of major reform. We use administrative data on students of two Italian universities in a probit model of the probability that the student drops out, and an OLS model of student progression. Our analyses suggest that, notwithstanding the reforms, the drop-out (withdrawal) rate is still very high and only a small proportion of students are likely to complete their studies within the institutional time. In particular, we find that differences in students’ prior educational background and performance have remarkably large effects on their withdrawal and progression probabilities. We infer from our results that poor retention and completion rates of Italian university students are unlikely to improve without further significant institutional change.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia in its series Working Paper CRENoS with number 200504.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cns:cnscwp:200504

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Related research

Keywords: dropping out; student progression; probit models; university reform;

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References

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  1. Arulampalam, Wiji & Naylor, Robin & Smith, Jeremy, 2002. "Effects of In-Class Variation and Student Rank on the Probability of Withdrawal: Cross-Section and Time-Series Analysis for UK University Students," IZA Discussion Papers 655, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Smith, Jeremy & Naylor, Robin, 2001. " Determinants of Degree Performance in UK Universities: A Statistical Analysis of the 1993 Student Cohort," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 63(1), pages 29-60, February.
  3. McNabb, Robert & Pal, Sarmistha & Sloane, Peter, 2002. "Gender Differences in Educational Attainment: The Case of University Students in England and Wales," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 69(275), pages 481-503, August.
  4. G. Boero & A. Mcknight & R. Naylor & J. Smith, 2001. "Graduates and graduate labour markets in the UK and Italy," Working Paper CRENoS 200111, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
  5. repec:att:wimass:9217 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. L. Biggeri & M. Bini & L. Grilli, 2001. "The transition from university to work: a multilevel approach to the analysis of the time to obtain the first job," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 164(2), pages 293-305.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Di Pietro, Giorgio & Cutillo, Andrea, 2008. "Degree flexibility and university drop-out: The Italian experience," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 546-555, October.
  2. Carmen Aina, 2010. "The Determinants of Success and Failure of Italian University Students. Evidence from administrative data," Working Papers 131, SEMEQ Department - Faculty of Economics - University of Eastern Piedmont.
  3. G. Marletto, 2006. "La politica dei trasporti come politica per l’innovazione: spunti da un approccio evolutivo," Working Paper CRENoS 200605, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
  4. Massimiliano BRATTI & Chiara BROCCOLINI & Stefano STAFFOLANI, 2006. "Is '3+2' Equal to 4? University Reform and Student Academic Performance in Italy," Working Papers 251, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
  5. CARRIERI, Vincenzo & D'AMATO, Marcello & ZOTTI, Roberto, 2013. "Selective Admission Tests and Students' Performances. Evidence from a Natural Experiment in a Large Italian University," CELPE Working Papers 0/00, CELPE - Centre of Labour Economics and Economic Policy, University of Salerno, Italy.
  6. Giorgia Casalone & Carmen Aina & Eliana Baici, 2010. "Time-to-degree: Students' abilities, university characteristics or what else?," Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación volume 5, in: María Jesús Mancebón-Torrubia & Domingo P. Ximénez-de-Embún & José María Gómez-Sancho & Greg (ed.), Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación 5, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 3, pages 67-86 Asociación de Economía de la Educación.
  7. Castagnetti, Carolina & Rosti, Luisa, 2009. "Effort allocation in tournaments: The effect of gender on academic performance in Italian universities," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 357-369, June.
  8. Lorenzo Cappellari & Claudio Lucifora, 2008. "The "Bologna Process" and College Enrolment Decisions," DISCE - Quaderni dell'Istituto di Economia dell'Impresa e del Lavoro ieil0051, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
  9. Carmen Aina, 2010. "University Drop-out in Italy," Working Papers 134, SEMEQ Department - Faculty of Economics - University of Eastern Piedmont.
  10. O. Carboni & G. Medda, 2007. "Government Size and the Composition of Public Spending in a Neoclassical Growth Model," Working Paper CRENoS 200701, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
  11. Carmen Aina & Eliana Baici & Giorgia Casalone, 2010. "Time-to-Degree: Students' Abilities, University Characteristics or What Else? Evidence from Italy," Working Papers 130, SEMEQ Department - Faculty of Economics - University of Eastern Piedmont.
  12. Carolina Castagnetti & Silvia Dal Bianco & Luisa Rosti, 2011. "Shortening university career fades the signal away. Evidence from Italy," Quaderni di Dipartimento 146, University of Pavia, Department of Economics and Quantitative Methods.
  13. Carolina Castagnetti & Luisa Rosti, 2010. "The Gender Gap in Academic Achievements of Italian Graduates," Quaderni di Dipartimento 118, University of Pavia, Department of Economics and Quantitative Methods.

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