Career guidance in schools and third-level dropout rates

 

Sir, – The detailed report published on February 14th by the Higher Education Authority on completion rates in higher education is welcome as the numbers entering the sector continue to grow (“Some third-level computing courses have 80% drop-out rate”, News, February 14th).

The fact that there is a worrying percentage of students failing to complete their course appears to raise questions about the nature of student decision-making pre-entry, and the level of advice and guidance they may be accessing to make fully informed decisions.

The issue of the level and quality of career guidance in schools is suggested as a potential significant factor in this process.

The reality, however, is that the professional activity of guidance counselling continues to be under-resourced in post-primary and further education in spite of the recent restoration of the majority of the removed guidance posts in Budget 2012.

Young people require cumulative and developmental career learning and decision making opportunities during their education to help them with their future choices.

Better resourcing of career guidance in the education sector by Government is needed if this is to be realised. – Yours, etc,

Dr LUCY

HEARNE,

University

of Limerick.