Freshmen drop out if not in top major

One in three university students is enrolled in a major that was not one of their top picks, a fact which likely contributes to a high dropout rate among freshmen, according to a study seen by Sunday’s Kathimerini. Giorgos Papaconstantinos, an associate professor at the University of Ioannina, directed the research, which questioned 3,057 first-year students over a three-year period at eight universities around Greece. About 30 percent of those students who did not matriculate into a course that was one of their top choices consequently dropped out, a trend which may indicate that they did not want to continue in a profession that held no interest for them, the study said. Additionally, 38 percent of the total number of students surveyed said they would not have selected their assigned major course of study if they had other options. Papaconstantinos’s research also hinted at sociological trends at work in the country’s tertiary education system, especially in coveted courses such as medicine. For instance, just over 45 percent of students in medical schools belong to families where at least one parent is an executive or from a scientific field, but such households represent only about 21 percent of the population. On the other hand, only 3 percent of medical students said they hail from farming families, a social group whose households makes up about 17 percent of the population.

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