Student retention in engineering education - Examples of how it looks and what can be done

Staffan Andersson
Division of Physics Education Research, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Uppsala University

Jannika Andersson Chronholm
Division of Physics Education Research, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Uppsala University

Birgitta Gelin
Office for Science and Technology, Uppsala University

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Ingår i: 3:e Utvecklingskonferensen för Sveriges ingenjörsutbildningar; 30 november - 1 december; Campus Norrköping; Linköpings universitet

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 75:11, s. 53-57

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Publicerad: 2012-06-26


ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


There is an ongoing effort to find better ways to measure; visualize and understand student retention. We have explored the retention pattern for engineering programmes at Uppsala University. We indentify some distinctive features; such as the rapid decline of student numbers during the first two years of study; which is enhanced during summer holidays and a steadier situation after the first two years. A qualitative analysis yielded four reasons for student departure from our programmes: dissatisfaction with the study experience; problems to handle studies; conflicts of interest and lacking work connection. We related these reasons to the observed retention pattern and suggest implications for future practice.


Student departure; student retention


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