Factors Influencing Students' Attrition at Sultan Qaboos University (SQU)

By Ghanboosi, Salim Saleem Al | Education, Summer 2013 | Go to article overview

Factors Influencing Students' Attrition at Sultan Qaboos University (SQU)


Ghanboosi, Salim Saleem Al, Education


Introduction

Student attrition rates at higher education institutions are used to measure the internal efficiency of such institutions. In Australia, the government couples funding of higher education institutions with the number of students studying who are not on pre-allocated student places (Richardson & Hinton, 2011). Hence, the university administrations have to work hard to control and reduce their attrition rates.

Many studies have been conducted that examine the reasons for students leaving their colleges or universities. According to Gabb, Milne, and Cao (2006), the attrition rates at Victoria University in Australia have been around 25% for the period 1994-2003. Statistics from UK universities show that drop-out rates during the academic year 2003/2004 are as follows: University of London: 11.0%; University of Leeds: 8.6%; University of Manchester: 8.6%; University of Edinburgh: 22.0%; University of Ulster: 22.0% (Johnston, 2005).

The students' attrition rates at selected U.S. universities are as follows: in the University System of Georgia, the retention rate report for 2011 showed that the fall 2000 cohort, in their one-year retention rate of freshmen, was 59.8% (Mayo, Helms, & Codjoe, 2004). According to the Ohio University Office of Institutional Research (Ohio University, 2011) the rate of drop outs during the first year from the 2010 cohort was 20% and the graduation rate for the 2005 cohort was 75%. In Canada, as Fisher and Engemann (2009) pointed out, Ontario's colleges had an attrition rate of 43% between 1998 and 2003. In the Netherlands, according to Meeuwisse, Severiens, and Born (2010), the withdrawal rates are higher in higher vocational education than in universities (20% versus 10%).

The number of students who withdrew from Kuwait University was 36% in the year 1992/1993. This rate had dropped to 16% by the year 2003/2004. According to the Admission and Registration records at KU, adding some conditions to the admission process (e.g. new entry exams for specializations and revising of high school GPA requirements) helped in achieving this reduction (Admission & Registration Dean, personal communication, May 2012). In the Sultanate of Oman, the students' attrition rate at SQU during the period 1994-2001 was 12.3% (Al Ghanboosi et al., 2009). The above statistics indicate that high student attrition rates are a widespread phenomenon affecting the higher education sector in both developed and developing countries.

Factors Influencing Attrition in the Literature

Since the work of Spady (1970) and Tinto's article in 1975, there has been considerable theoretical work related to students' attrition rates in higher education. This literature debated, critiqued, and discussed the issue in depth. These works took into account economic theories (e.g., Braxton, 2003; Cabrera & Nora, 1994), psychological theories (e.g., Astin, 1984), sociological theories (e.g., Berger, Kuh, & Love, 2000), Bean's model (1980), which examined student withdrawal behavior by comparing it to turnover in work organizations, and, last of all, interaction theories (e.g., Tinto, 1993). Consequently, there is no comprehensive model developed to examine attrition rate that can be used by college and university policy-makers to reduce the attrition phenomenon, which affects many higher education institution populations globally.

However, this study focuses on four factors: socio-demographic, academic, social, and financial. These are common factors that are used by the theorists of the subject (Tinto, Astin, and Bean) and several studies (e.g., Davies & Elias, 2003; Fisher and Engemann, 2009; Gabb et al., 2006; Ishitani, 2003). The researcher of this paper developed a survey questionnaire to examine factors influencing student attrition at SQU. These factors are considered and reviewed in the literature as described below.

Socio-demographic factors

These factors include student sex, high school GPA, parents' education background, university GPA, and financial aid. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Factors Influencing Students' Attrition at Sultan Qaboos University (SQU)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.