What make them leave and where do they go? non-completion and institutional departures in STEM

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This chapter presents the results of a quantitative analysis of national
data covering Danish students who in the period 1995-2009 completed an uppersecondary
school programme and entered a higher-education science, technology,
engineering or mathematics (STEM) programme. The analysis focuses on identifying
variables that change the hazard ratio for (1) entering a STEM programme
and (2) leaving a STEM programme without completing it. Finally, the chapter
explores (3) the destinations of students who leave a STEM higher-education programme.
It is found that there has been no change in the relative chance of a male
or female student entering a STEM programme. The results suggest that female
students are more affected by achieving a high grade-point average and by the educational background of their parents than are the male students. The relative risk
of non-completion is higher for women than for men, but the most important factor
is GPA on entry. A disturbing result is that when student leave a STEM programme,
only one third enter another STEM programme. Slightly more enter a non-STEM programme while non-STEM leavers only rarely enter a STEM programme.
Non-completion in STEM higher education is a net loss of STEM graduates
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnderstanding Student Participation and Choice in Science and Technology Education
EditorsEllen Karoline Henriksen, Justin Dillon, Jim Ryder
Place of PublicationDordrecht Heidelberg New York London
PublisherSpringer Science+Business Media
Publication date2015
ISBN (Print)978-94-007-7792-7
ISBN (Electronic)978-94-007-7793-4
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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