Photo by Maddie Flisher, Photography Editor

Michaelmas dropouts fell 45% while suspensions rose

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Only 55 undergraduate students dropped out in the first term of this academic year, which is almost half the average over the previous four years.

For each of the last five years, the number of first-year students dropping out has been significantly higher than among those in later years of their degree.

This trend has continued, with the fall in dropouts mostly accounted for by a fall in dropouts among first-year students, only 45 of whom dropped out in the first term. That is compared to an average of 80 for the previous four years.

The data for Epiphany term returned to the levels of previous years with 40 undergraduates dropping out in the second term of this academic year. That is only slightly below the average for the previous four years of 55.

Michaelmas term saw Covid-19 outbreaks in some colleges as well as a national lockdown, while Epiphany was taught entirely online because of government restrictions.

The gender ratio of dropouts was almost exactly equal between men and women for this academic year, with 50 females and 45 males (rounded to the nearest five). To the nearest five, there were no students listed as “Other” gender who dropped out this year. The proportion of dropouts among White and BME students is roughly equal at both postgraduate and undergraduate levels.

However, while dropouts are down this year, suspensions have significantly risen. Suspensions here are not disciplinary but rather students who have gained concessions to take time out of their studies.

As of the start of Easter term this year, 320 undergraduates had suspended their studies, with 245 of them repeating a year. That is the highest figure in the last five years, despite it covering only two of the three academic terms.

The previous highest figure was 305 for 2018-19. From the start of the 2016-17 academic year to the end of this year’s Epiphany term, the sum of the number of students (rounded to the nearest five) who dropped out was 1,170.

All data given here is rounded to the nearest five. Averages and totals are calculated based on this rounded data.

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