Following on from the highest drop-out rates post, which may (or may not) have contained some surprises, we decided to investigate which UK Universities are doing the exact opposite and retaining their students. Following a recent study, it was found that the UK actually has the lowest drop-out rate in Europe, at 16%; closely followed by Norway and France, with Italy the highest at 33%... quite a big difference between the two!
To give these figures a bit more meaning, bear in mind that the UK’s highest drop-out rates ranged from 12% - 23.5%... now, take a look at the top 10 to see if your University has made it on the list!
10. University of Warwick
With a drop-out rate of 1.04%, Warwick has just made it onto the list... with over 200 societies and 70 sports clubs, it is perhaps the overall social aspect of this institution that is retaining its students; alongside the degrees offered, which require As and Bs to even be considered a place.
9. University of Nottingham
Famed for a vibrant nightlife and great shops (although, hailing from Nottingham, I can’t quite agree with that one!), Nottingham appeals to many students as a compact place offering everything that a large city does. Plus, its central location means you’re never far from the bright lights of London or Manchester, nor from the rural countryside. Perhaps that’s why only 0.88% of students attending University in the academic year of 2012 dropped out.
8. University of Bristol
It seems you’re on to a winner studying here... not only are drop-out rates low at 0.87% hinting at student satisfaction, but its employment rates are the 9th highest in the country, with 94.4% of graduates finding work or further employment! Plus, famed for its culture and arts (think Banksy), festivals and open spaces; Bristol students find they have a perfect work-life balance.
7. University of Wales Trinity Saint David
Formed in 2010 from a merger with the University of Wales Lampeter and Trinity University College, this University has campuses in Swansea, Camarthen and Lampeter. Its range of degrees – from academic subjects like accounting and history, to the more creative digital media and photography – must keep students interested, with drop-out rates extremely low at 0.74%.
6. Imperial College London
As the capital city, naturally thousands of students flock to London to study at University. Placing sixth, Imperial College London is one of the highest rated by students, with the drop-out rate a mere 0.68%. With students from 126 different countries, it certainly reflects the culture you’d expect of London; and it’s ration of 12.5 students per staff member, student needs can be met easier – no doubt playing a part in such low drop-out rates!
5. London School of Economics
With previous alumni including John F Kennedy and Mick Jagger, it’s not just celebrities who rate LSE, but current students too, with only 0.48% dropping out during the academic year 2012/13. However, like most of the Universities featured on this list, it’s tough getting a place, with straight A’s required. But once you’re in...!
4. University of Oxford
As one of the most reputable Universities in the country, it was bound to appear on the list, and with a drop-out rate of 0.4%, it’s well-deserving of its fourth position. Its social collegiate-system creates a home-from-home during students’ three (or more) years of study; and perhaps just the prestige of attending Oxford drives students towards seeing their degree through to the end.
3. University of Cambridge
Cambridge students claim their mindset is that of “work hard, play hard"; combining their studies with a choice of over 700 societies, famed graduation balls and community-feel with the collegiate system. As such, only 0.35% of students dropped out during the academic year of 2012. One thing certain to drive students to graduate is Cambridge’s impressive employment rates, with 94.9% finding employment or further education within 6 months of graduation – the seventh highest rate in the country!
2. University of Glasgow
Glasgow University’s long list of achievements – 51st top University in the world, fourth oldest University in the English-speaking world, fourth highest UK University for international student satisfaction – can now include its drop-out rate of 0.07%, second lowest in the country. Not only that, Glasgow – Edinburgh’s edgier, cooler sister – offers over 700 bars, 17 museums and a range of restaurants; making it an all-round unforgettable experience that students don’t want to leave!
1. University of St Andrews
With a dropout rate of only 0.05%; students definitely intend to finish their studies here! This may come as no surprise, considering St Andrew’s is the fifth most competitive University in the country when it comes to applying... but I wonder how many students would continue with their studies once they realise some of St Andrew’s strange traditions, such as the ‘May Dip’ – plunging into the freezing North Sea at dawn on the 1st May to bring luck in exams – or being soaked in cold water by friends after having completed their final undergraduate exam. Still, if it’s good enough for Wills and Kate...
Written by Elle Pollicott