Dropout from Higher Education in Turkey: A Qualitative Study

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Gulsen F. U., AYDIN A., Gizir S.

YUKSEKOGRETIM DERGISI, vol.12, no.1, pp.39-50, 2022 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 12 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.2399/yod.21.587615
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), EBSCO Education Source, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.39-50
  • Keywords: College dropout, higher education participation, higher education policies, STUDENT, RETENTION
  • Eskisehir Osmangazi University Affiliated: Yes


The purpose of this study is to determine the factors which affect the decision to drop out at undergraduate level from the point of view of the individuals who dropped out from higher education. In this study, phenomenological research design, which is one of the qualitative research approaches, was used. The study group consisted of nineteen participants with dropout experience in higher education. The study data were collected using semi-structured interviews, and analyzed using the content analysis method. The findings of the study show that pre-college experiences affecting dropout, based on the type of graduated high school, the reasons for leaving university education, the level of vocational maturity, the lack of autonomy in department choice, parental education level and university entrance examination scores may have affected the department choice of the participants. The problems experienced during the college study leading to dropout are related to social adjustment, academic factors, organizational factors and financial difficulties. According to the participants' statements, the final dropout decision was made as a result of academic failure, evaluation of appropriateness of vocational choice, marriage, or employment opportunities after graduation.