National ForumStudent non-completion is a significant issue for higher education internationally and has been intensively researched in a range of international contexts. This is evidenced by the four decades of research that has grown from early studies in the 1970’s and 1980’s focused on individual characteristics of students, to more holistic studies from the 1990’s onwards which have examined the wider set of factors within and without the classroom in higher education (Tinto 2006).

Large scale national studies have generated a broad understanding of the various factors affecting student non-completion, retention and progression in higher education,indicatively: lack of preparation for higher education (HE), incompatibility; between the student and the academic programme; academic challenges and poor academic progress (Yorke & Longden 2008).

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