The Summary Of Dropping Out Of Master’s Degrees: Objective Predictors & Subjective Reasons

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The Summary of “Dropping out of Master’s Degrees: Objective Predictors & Subjective Reasons”.


This study was carried out using multi-method research in order to identify the predictors & subjective reasons of student dropouts from master’s degrees. The population was taken from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

The increasing demand for postgraduate courses (Morgan, 2014) around the world has become one of the major development in the higher education sector. However considering the fact where there was a study carried out on “Reasons for the success in the graduate schools (Nikhil Swaminathan, 2012), the retention was overlooked.

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Therefore in this journal was made an effort to predict and understand the reasons for students drop out of master’s degrees.

The two main questions were identified in this study to address this issue were,

  • · What are the objective predictors of attrition from postgraduate studies?
  • · What are the subjective reasons and justifications that led master’s students to depart before graduation?

The literature review was carried out to understand the past research related to this subject area. The following facts were identified.

  1. Tinto (1987) identified the reasons for dropouts as pre-academic variables in his study such as socioeconomic background, minority status, extra-institutional consideration and student experience in the university.
  2. M Cohen & Greenberg (2011) identified that personal factors make more impact over institutional factors for dropouts.
  3. The key predictions for dropouts in doctoral studies were identified in different researches such as Financial aid (Ampaw & Jaeger, 2012), academic and social integration (Golde, 2000, 2005), work-life-school balance (Castelló, Pardo, Sala-Bubarē, Suńe-Soler, 2017), a positive departmental and institutional climate and advisor-advisee relationship (Blanchard & Haccon, 2019; Lovitts, 2001).

Data Collection and Method

The data was collected by identifying five factors linked to departures.

  • · Work Obligations
  • · Institutional Difficulties
  • · Family and Personal Obligations
  • · Degree’s Economic Feasibility
  • · Harassment 

The study was conducted by asking who dropout during the past six years from the former master’s students. The less visible aspects of the subjective reasons & justification for dropping out was considered.

However, the medical and international students were omitted from this study as they were considered as unique groups.

The Results and Findings

The overall dropout rate was calculated as 12.33%. According to the analysis of model –I, the zero contribution to prediction of drop out due to the background variables were identified. Such as socioeconomic background, gender and pre-academic achievements.

The model – II, analysis identified the academic progress during the master’s degree contributing major impact on dropouts. In this analysis three variables were identified i.e. taking fewer courses than full program, low grades and having failed the examination.


The study was carried out using the limited scope considering the only home students those who were in master’s degree except medical students. The following results were identified from this study.

  • · Background variables have no impact in predicting dropouts from master’s degrees.
  • · The dropouts from the master’s degree were mainly due to the academic performances i.e. failures, low grades and partial program of study during the initial stage of the master’s program.


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