Wednesday, 13 January 2016
Order of Business
The figure is as high as one in three for maths related courses such as computer science. There have been a number of questions asked about why this is happening. One is why do students make ill-informed choices. It is very late in the day to call for a debate, but if it was possible, it would be beneficial to have a debate with the Minister for Education and Skills on this issue. There are enormous costs to society, which have been identified in terms of the need for computer science, maths, construction and engineering graduates, but I am more concerned about the cost to individual students and their families. A number of students cited such reasons for not progressing as poor health, cost and the lack of accommodation.It is very sad to see students who find themselves, after just one year of an educational experience, effectively removed from the opportunity of pursuing a third level education. There needs to be a national consultation on why this is happening in which second level students and students in universities through the Union of Students in Ireland will be engaged. It is not enough for the HEA to simply produce a report; a lot more needs to be done. The debate and discussion needs to be extended to really discover what can be done to prevent this dropout rate which is very high by international standards.