Variation in Student Success across Europe: Exploring the Relevance of System-Level Explanations

In: International Journal of Chinese Education

Abstract

Student success is often defined as students completing their degree, preferably within the estimated time to degree. However, if we apply this definition, student success is quite varied if we compare countries in Europe (OECD Education at a Glance 2013, Vossensteyn et al. 2015). The article identifies and discusses some system-level factors that is often mentioned as possible explanations of these differences including costs, selection and admission system differences and the structuring of higher education offerings, and the relationship between higher education and the labour market. However, based on existing data, the identified system-level factors do not correlate with the empirical variation in student success, and the article ends with some reflections about future research needs to advance the knowledge about student success.

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