Factors that intervene in the change of institution of dental students in Chilean universities

Imagotipo CRIEDO
Any: 2020

The high dropout rates in higher education have motivated countless studies for several decades. However, dropout does not only contemplate dropout, but this concept integrates others academic trajectories, among which we find the transfer of students between institutions. It has been seen that the change of institution in careers of​​health sciences is becoming more and more frequent, which is why the following research work aims to analyze the factors involved in the institutional change of dentistry’ student in Chilean private universities.

To approach this study, a mixed method three-stage methodology has been used. The first qualitative stage, exploratory in nature, sought to investigate the possible causes that a student would have to decide to leave an institution and enroll in the same career at another university, which was carried out from interviews with key subjects. The second phase of a quantitative nature was the application of a questionnaire, called "questionnaire of transfer factors of university students", which allowed, on the one hand, to collect the sociodemographic and academic data of the transfer students and, on the other hand, assess the importance of each of the possible reasons for change, at this stage 114 students participated. The third stage, also of a qualitative nature, sought, through discussion groups, to investigate and explain the findings of the previous stages.

The results of this research show that the reasons that can lead a student to decide to change university are different. The model obtained in this research yielded seven causes: general satisfaction, teaching and classroom, university support, university environment, previous academic preparation, level of demand and stress, and economic cost. However, depending on the characteristics, mainly the socioeconomic characteristics of the student, some of these factors may be more or less relevant. Regardless of the above, the most important factor is the level of demand and stress to which the students are subjected, which culminates in significantly reducing the levels of satisfaction towards their university, deciding to break the link and look for a new institution. Another important finding reveals that sociodemographic characteristics are more relevant when deciding to change universities compared to academic characteristics. First-generation students to attend university and students who move, having to move to another city in order to attend university, are the ones who are most affected, especially by the teaching and classroom factor and by the support (or the lack of support) university. In addition, very much in line with the international literature, it was observed that students with a lower family economic support suffer more from the economic factor. It can be concluded that the analysis of the factors that intervene in the institutional change of dental students, is not presented only as a list of reasons, on the contrary, there are a series of elements that interact in the process, either dependent factors of the universities or social, economic or academic factors of the students.

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