High level of completion among Irish undergraduate students, study finds

High Level Of Completion Among Irish Undergraduate Students, Study Finds
Female students were more likely to complete their studies and also, on average, achieved higher graduating grades than their male classmates.
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Muireann Duffy

Third level students in Ireland are more likely to graduate than drop out according to data published by the Higher Education Authority (HEA).

A study of undergraduate students between the 2008/2009-2010/2011 academic years found three in every four students completed their studies.


The completion rates varied across subjects, with education recording the highest number of students graduating, ranging from 92-94 per cent.

Health and welfare, social sciences, agriculture, and veterinary studies also had high levels of completion, while computer courses had the lowest graduating rate nationally, between 55-56 per cent.

Areas such as engineering, manufacturing, and construction also noted lower completion levels.

Gender divide

Female students on average outperformed their male counterparts, both in terms of the number of women graduating and their graduating grades. The percentage of female students completing their studies was found to be 81.1 per cent, compared to 69.7 per cent of male students.

Students who achieved high points in the Leaving Certificate were more likely to graduate. 93 per cent of students who received more than 500 points went on to finish their undergraduate course, while only 49 per cent of those who earned less than 300 points made it to graduation.

It was also found that results from Leaving Cert Maths and English were strong predictors of a student's subsequent performance in further education.

Following the students who did not complete their studies initially, over 17 per cent later went on to graduate from another Higher Level Institute in the State.

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