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Chapter 4 : Looking Deeper - Are quality of interactions important in the evaluation of college life among first year’s?


Students holding Student Survey props

We find that just over 2% of first year students rated the quality of their interactions as low, 44% rated this as medium, while 54% rated this as high.

Those in the nhigh quality of interaction group were more likely to have had a positive overall evaluation of their institution, more likely to say that they would attend the same institution again if they had their time over, and less likely to have seriously considered withdrawing from their programme, compared to either the low or the medium quality of interaction group.

After adjusting for covariates within the logistical regression model, results suggest that there were large differences between the interaction groups in the odds of having a positive overall evaluation and the odds of affirming that they would choose the same Higher Education pathway again.

For the third outcome, not having seriously considered withdrawal, there was statistically significant differences between the groups, but the effect was weaker compared to the two other outcomes measured.

Previous research in Irish Higher Education found a number of legacy factors related to a students’ socio-demographic and prior academic performance were predictive of the likelihood of first year students continuing at their institution in the year following.

This study adds a distinctive form of evidence by accessing students’ intentions contemporaneous to their student experience, identifying how they view their college life interactions, showing how this relates to their overall evaluation of their institution, and finding additional sources of information for what may influence a students’ decision to continue or otherwise with the Higher Education journey.

Second year undergrad students reflect on 2021 results