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Determinants and timing of dropping out decisions: evidence from the UK FE sector

Research output: Working paper

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Abstract

This paper investigates whether the hazard of dropping out for both male and female students changes over the duration of study. Using duration modelling techniques wend a certain degree of non-monotonic duration dependence for both males and females. However this pattern for female students aiming at high level qualifications is sensitive to attempts to control for unobserved heterogeneity. For these students the extended models show a flattened hazard function, suggesting that the hazard is basically constant over time. For males introducing controls for unobserved heterogeneity does not change the pattern of the duration dependence, suggesting that they might be at higher risk of dropping out during the first semester of their studies. In addition, we examine variations in drop out hazard patterns for students enrolled on courses which confer different qualification levels. We provide evidence of distinct hazard patterns between students pursuing 'high level' and 'low level' qualifications.