Table 1

Data recorded for each student
Source and type of data
University Admissions Office · Age at course entry
· Student number (unique student identifier generated at university entry). · Age when left course
· Year started programme · Total number of years on programme
· Name · Type of programme (Direct-Entry, Graduate-Entry, Mature student).
· Address (country of origin) · Previous degree
· Date of birth From University Examinations Office
· Date of exit · Last exam passed
· Year of programme student left · Exam grades
· Gender · Number of repeat years
· EU/non-EU · Number times sat Autumn repeat examinations
· Other degree awarded
· Enrolment on another UCC programme (modules registered for examination)
· Completed Medical Foundation Year (6 year programme)
From Student File Comment
Marital status Not usually documented.
Living at home Not usually documented.
Evidence of English fluency problems Likely to be under-reported.
Wrong course choice Identified from exit interview, student comments and timing of withdrawal.
Parental influence in career choice Unlikely to be documented. May be a ‘personal’ reason.
Student opinion that course too academically challenging
Difficulty with programme as did not study science subjects previously Because of course entry requirements, all Direct-Entry students have studied Higher Level Chemistry and at least one other science subject.
Documented evidence physical ill-health Likely to be under-reported.
Documented evidence psychological illness Depression, anxiety, personality disorders, eating disorders, stress-related illness.
Likely to be under-reported.
Documented evidence financial problems
Documented evidence substance abuse Includes alcohol abuse. Likely to be under-reported.
Documented evidence family problems
Evidence of home-sickness/not settling in Likely to be under-reported.
Evidence of relationship problems Likely to be under-reported.
Availed of student welfare service Student visits to the student welfare service are recorded in student files. The student welfare service makes confidential referrals to the Student Health Centre (has a psychiatry clinic) and counseling services.
Proposed plans for the future Identified at exit interview, file comments, or subsequent registered modules.
Formal exit interview
Evidence of absenteeism Likely to be non-reported or under-reported.
Evidence of academic difficulty Examination failure. Low grades.
Left due to Two-Year Rule
Staff comments/observations Valuable observations were obtained from inter-staff correspondence/file entries.
Student comments Identified from student correspondence/exit interview/file entries.
Reason for withdrawal The specific over-riding reason for dropout was recorded if available.

Maher et al.

Maher et al. BMC Medical Education 2013 13:13   doi:10.1186/1472-6920-13-13

Open Data