Course organisational structure as a determinant of academic success. some evidence from the University of Padova (Italy)


This work is part of a research project funded by the University of Padova, focusing on the main learning difficulties encountered by university students, and on the most suitable strategies to overcome and/or prevent them. We present an analysis by students cohort and by degree courses using data from the administrative archives of the University of Padova. Our aim was to examine the influence of the contextual characteristics of the degree courses on educational failure/success. The analysis is in two steps. First we use Multiple-decrement life tables to describe, by means of survival rates and cumulative decrement rates, levels of withdrawal, change of course and delay, to segment the courses into homogenous groups.Then, by means of hierarchical regression models, we examine the effects of contextual variables which, together with personal characteristics, influence withdrawal.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i2037-3627v3n1p1

Keywords: University drop-out; cohort analysis; multiple-decrement life tables; hierarchical regression models

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