Learning to know each other, the key to choosing what to study


“The two most important days in life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”

Mark Twain.
According to the indicators of academic performance of undergraduate students in Spain, one in three new students for the 2015–16 academic year dropped out of the undergraduate degree.

Of this percentage (specifically 33.2%), 12.4% changed degrees and 20.8% permanently left the university system.

Dropout Factors

There are numerous studies that show what the factors of university dropout are. These are usually classified into three large blocks:

  1. Individual factors: Demographic, such as gender and age; socioeconomic, such as the social, economic and cultural situation of the student’s family or their degree of emancipation; and academics, specifically previous educational experience and academic expectations.
  2. Environmental factors: such as integration into the university and academic performance, and the degree of institutional commitment.
  3. Institutional factors: Type of university (public or private, face-to-face or online); resources and quality.

In March 2022, the Ministry of Universities launched the “ Analysis of the dropout of undergraduate students in face-to-face Universities in Spain ”.

These investigations show that the main risk of dropping out occurs at the beginning of studies, affects men more than women and students from families with a lower socioeconomic and cultural level.

The price of tuition for the degree is a crucial factor: the higher the price, the greater the probability of dropping out.

When are you most likely to quit?

These dropout rates also affect non-face-to-face universities, large universities, degrees in the branches of Arts and Humanities, degrees that are not preferred and with lower access grades, as well as double degrees. . Scholarship students with lower economic resources are more likely to drop out than scholarship recipients with a higher income level.

These are alarming data that glimpse an inefficiency of the educational system in Spain and that affect the reputation of the university system. They should be the object of public concern, and we should not blame it on “the youth of this age.”

For example, some universities have already launched mentoring programs to interact, integrate and support first-year students, such as the Faculty of Law and Social Sciences of Ciudad Real of the University of Castilla-La Mancha.

Pre-College Soft Skills

Society is not going through a time of change, but a change of time. We define it as a knowledge society by the volume of knowledge generated, the use we make of it and its dissemination through numerous media. There are thousands of possibilities to acquire knowledge, and all this can make us doubt the path to follow, even the most experienced.

Some of the phrases we hear regularly have to do with this feeling of “excess” knowledge:
“Studying is useful for something?”

“What study if I don’t know what I want to do?”

“I don’t like this race, but it has many starts!”

“With this scenario, why am I going to study?”

“A title is worth nothing, just to hang it on the wall!”

“If rich people haven’t studied, why should I?”
The pre-university stages are essential to educate in effort, resilience, discipline, productivity, planning, intelligence and emotional management. Even on a more spiritual level, in search of a meaning in life , as well as other soft skills .

A subtle change of perspective

Changing the way you see your college career can also help you make the right choice. Instead of considering the title as a goal, it is better to see it as a means to find our reason for being, what we will contribute to society.

We must learn to analyze our aptitudes, but our attitude and our work of internal analysis, self-knowledge and self-observation from the educational stages prior to university will also influence.

Author Bio: Consoli Quintana Redis a Doctor in Economics and Business. Professor and researcher in the area of ​​Applied Economics at the Faculty of Law and Social Sciences of Ciudad Real at the University of Castilla-La Mancha