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Wednesday 20 March 2019
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Varsity drop-out rates on the rise

Drop-out rates among university students in Namibia who give up their studies within 12 months have gone up for the fourth year in a row. This is according to statistics from University of Namibia (Unam) and Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST).
In 2017 at Unam, of the 9840 first-year students at the university, 6404 passed representing of 64,7%, 1825 failed while 1611 have decided to discontinue after registration. The figure was even higher amongst second-year students standing at 1636 and 1499 for fourth year students. The progression rate amongst first-years’ in 2017 stood at 65.1 percent.
The university in total had 5470 students who dropped their studies in 2017, 1094 in 2016, 1187 in 2015, 1165 in 2014 and 753 in 2013.
On a regional scale, regions Oshana, Ohangwena and Oshikoto keep competing for top-three spot annually. However, depressing drop-out figures in the regions still continue notably.
A large number of students who study on distance and online education also choose to discontinue their courses along the path, while many fail to progress with their studies. In 2017, out of 4123 students enrolled, only 1049 passed, while 1843 failed to progress. A whopping 1231students discontinued their courses after registration.
“We cannot say with certainty why students drop out. However, our data suggests that, students drop out for a myriad of reasons, but we do not have a proven way of tracking this,” said Unam’s Johannes Haufiku.
Haufiku further listed socio-economic challenges, challenging courses and realizing their passion too late as some of the reasons students drop out or change course.
Figures from the NUST show that 30.6 percent of students who registered for Human Sciences dropped out of varsity in the year 2016/2017. The figure in the same faculty was 18.4 percent in 2013/14.
More students leave varsity in the Management Sciences faculty at with just a drop-out rate of 29.9 percent in the year 2016/17.
The figure rose with 11 percent since 2013/14.
The same faculty has failed to pass the 50 percent margin pass rate since 2013.
The university’s drop-out rate sat at 17 percent in 2013/14, then increased to 18.4 percent in 2014/15, 20.9 percent in 2015/16 and increased to a whopping 26 percent in the academic years 2016/17.  Progression at NUST continues to fluctuate within set margins, dropping more than rising.
While some experts say the drop-out figures may be linked to higher fees in Namibian universities, NUST SRC President Juno Angula said the alarming statistics are a result of students who do not have support from the institutions.
“When you take five years to finish a three year program, it becomes very depressing. It is equally frustrating when a student goes to class and does not understand a thing,” said the student leader.
Angula said any student goes through the routine of going to class but not comprehending lessons. Subsequently, these students he says give up on the need to continue as they are not ready for examinations.
“We need assistance from the institutions such as tutorials.
Students try from their end but when there is no support, they are not encouraged to continue at all.
Some students are faced with a lot of hardships. Some come from far. Some are just frustrated about doing a three year degree for five years.” He also added that some of those who continuously fail modules subsequently drop out of school to avoid wasting money.




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