When Aristotle developed the first educational academy, where people could study and gain knowledge, the philosopher had in mind the significance of learning in education, what he defined as a growth of both the physical and non-physical entities of a human person. Since then, education has been a fundamental pillar for the proliferation of the society, and has transitioned in various robust structural configurations such as elementary, secondary, and tertiary levels of learning.
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Transverse all these stages of learning, higher education in universities have faced enormous problems over the years, with students grappling to gain knowledge that will help them contribute and prosper in the society. One rudimental attribute that kindles problems in higher education and particularly that of university, is the cost of university education (DIANE Publishing Company and Diane Books 10). The dream of most parents is for their children to have university education. However today, with the financial crises that has been overwhelming across the globe, with the skyrocketing of university education, most students are dropping out of university at a high rate in their first two years in college (DIANE Publishing Company (10). Most universities are hiking fees every year and before a student gets even to third year, the struggle has already became too much to bear, until the only alternative is to drop out of school. According to Forsyth and Furlong, less affluent students are likely to drop out of university because of financial constrains with the increased and unaffordable cost of university education (2). Conversely, the high cost of university education is the primary and remote cause of increased rates of university student-dropouts in relation to other proximal causes such as poor performance, average marks, and substance abuse, among others.
Rather than looking at immediate causes that appear to influence students to drop out of university education, it is essential to illuminate on the remote causes that invigorate tremendously the immediate causes. Initially, the essence of university education in enlightening and shaping a person’s career had aggravated the corporate nature of this kind of education in the contemporary world. Most university institutions have become business oriented rather than revitalizing the transfer of knowledge for the growth of the society. The rise of university education, many students from less affluent families have suffered drastically from struggling to pay for their studies, a stance that has tremendous impact on their performance in the university. Conversely, various studies attribute the increase of student drop out in university to failure in class performance and learning constrains, however, these studies seem to fail to examine the various factors that make these students to lack concentration in class. More fundamentally, most students become stressed up when they face financial constrains for their education, feeling disadvantaged in relation to their colleagues from affluent families (DIANE Publishing Company and Diane Books 18). The exorbitant cost of university education whether in public or private universities therefore, is the primary cause aggravating student dropouts in university.
When most students are struggling financially owing to the fact that their parents are unable to afford the dynamically increasing course unit fees and other costs, and such an experience makes students to lose concentration in their courses, resulting to poor performance and possible dropouts. BBC News reported that in Wales alone, 2,025 students did not return to continue with their education as Prof. Hughes the Higher Education Chair in Wales and the vice-chancellor of Bangor University attributed this to financial problems. Despite the fact that there is a global economic crisis, university interests in gaining more money from students without considering their economic background is really a big blow to most of the students from poor families. A student might have the potential to study, however, thoughts of failing to pay fees curtails the ability to concentrate on academics. Albeit, the generous education grants that governments have endeavored to offer students from poor families, a large number of students have not been able to access them. Furthermore, most grants are highly competitive and limited to a certain number of beneficiaries. Therefore, the only option to reduce the number of students dropping out of universities is to make education affordable. Otherwise, the dropout crisis will continue to aggravate, denying unfortunates students from poor families an equal right to access education like those from affluent families.
The BBC News reported that the academic registrar of Swansea University argued that they are trying to curb the rate of student dropout through enhancement financial support and encouraging personal tutors in order to give students financially constrained a chance to study. Moreover, DIANE Publishing Company and Diane Books suggest, “departure from the conventional approach to dispersing student financial aid – relatively proportionate amounts each year – could further improve low-income students’ dropout rates (10).” In the study by Araque, Roldan and Salguero, the trios ascribe university student dropout rates to factors such as academic performance, start age, average mark, father’s and mother’s studies, and the number of rounds needed to pass (563). However, a logical examination into the various factors hypothesized in this study presupposes an association of the problem to the immediate or proximal causes that are realized by students wallowing in a financial crisis with the hefty cost of education. For instance, academic performance can be influenced by fees stress. A student must have been admitted to this university following ones past performance. Therefore, it is ultimately perverse to think that a potential student who has shown good performance at the past can suddenly become dumb and fail to continue with education. Nevertheless, factors such as start up age, average mark or university pass mark are variables that have another form of causality, otherwise in order to address the issue; one must focus to the root cause of poor performance, student substance abuse or failure to attend lectures. Off course, in as much as professors are demanding to receive high salaries across the globe, governments must take a primary requisite to subsidize university education so that every willing and potential student can access it in order to improve life in the society.
Conversely, students drop out of university because of failure to meet the high cost of university education. The fact that a student joined a university at the first year presupposes the willingness to learn and any dropout ought to be assessed and explained completely by going back to the remote cause rather than the immediate cause. Moreover, universities admit these students through a competitive process where a student has to demonstrate the ability to learn under the standards of the university. After a student is admitted and despite the financial constrains and the lofty fees, parents struggle for the first year to ensure that their child joins the university. However, as parents struggle to raise fees for the following year, they realize that the university has already hiked fees. If this student was not able to receive grants that can support one in continuing, one is likely to drop out of university (DIANE Publishing Company and Diane Books 24). Therefore, inasmuch as various factors may be thought of influencing university student dropouts, most of them are revitalized enormously by increased cost of education truth.
Araque, Francisco, Concepcion Roldan, and Alberto Salguero. Factors Influencing University
Drop Out Rates. Computers & Education 53. 3 (2009): 563-574. Print.
BBC News. University Drop-out Rises: Economy a Factor, Says Higher Wales Chair. Higher
Education Statistics Agency, 11 April. 2012. Web. 21 Sep. 2012.
DIANE Publishing Company and Diane Books. Higher Education: Restructuring Student Aid
Could Reduce Low-income Student Dropout Rate. Washington DC: DIANE Publishing, 1995. Print.