Report finds engineering and built environment students among those most likely to quit courses

The drop-out rates for undergraduates on built environment courses are among the highest in the UK.

The first-year drop out rate for engineering students is almost three percentage points below the national average. Nearly 12% of engineering students dropped out in 2004-2005, while architect, building and planning courses saw a 10.7% drop-out rate.

A report from the Commons Public Accounts Committee revealed that 100,000 students quit after the first year of higher education. The average first year drop-out rate was 9% for all courses. After two years 22% of full-time students had left their courses.

The drop-out rate has not improved in five years despite a £800m injection in cash from the government to support students unable to afford the cost of taking a degree.

The report said that science, technological, engineering and mathematical courses were vulnerable because of low demand. It said that many students in these subjects required additional academic support in maths skills.

The report suggests that universities could run summer schools for prospective students to help them prepare for college.