The number of students dropping out of uni actually went down during the pandemic

There were four per cent fewer dropouts in 2020/21 compared with the previous year

The number of students dropping out of uni actually went down this year, despite all the unprecedented pressures placed on students by the pandemic.

The Tab requested data on dropouts from all 24 universities that comprise the Russell Group. 13 unis were able to provide a full response.

From the start of the 2020/21 academic year up to May 4th, the total number of students who dropped out was down four per cent in comparison with the previous year, and down 17 per cent when compared to the year before that.

Director of the Higher Education Policy Institute Nick Hillman told The Tab: “This good news is almost certainly down to two things, above all. First, more people got their first choice place last year.

“Secondly, dropping out in the middle of a pandemic comes with all sorts of extra challenges because the alternatives to university are worse than normal.

“The numbers also reflect the hard work of university staff to ensure the student experience is okay despite all the upheaval.”

In 2020/21 there were 284 fewer drop-outs at Cardiff University and 222 fewer at the University of Nottingham, in comparison with 2019/20.

Some universities such as Liverpool, Queen Mary and York saw increases in the number of students who have permanently withdrawn from study, but they were only slight, and unsurprising given that university populations tend to rise every year.

The full results can be found below:

This table shows the number of students who dropped out of 13 Russell Group universities from the start of an academic year until May 4th of that same year


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