The present study explored possible differences in reasons for withdrawing from higher vocational education between ethnic minority and majority non-completers in the Netherlands. Tinto’s model on the departure process was used as a theoretical framework. A total of 1017 non-completers filled in a questionnaire regarding their reasons for withdrawal. An exploratory factor analysis resulted in six factors representing these reasons. Multivariate analyses of variance showed no main effect for ethnic background of non-completers, but interaction effects with type of withdrawal (drop-out versus switching course or institution), and moment of withdrawing (early or late). Ethnic minority drop-outs withdrew more often than majority drop-outs because of a perceived poor quality of education. A lack of ability was more important in the decision to withdraw for majority dropouts compared to ethnic minority drop-outs. Ethnic minority switchers withdrew more often than majority switchers because they were disappointed with the educational content. This factor also appeared to be more important to minority non-completers who had left higher vocational education after more than one year in comparison with the late majority non-completers.

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Studies in Higher Education
Department of Psychology

Meeuwisse, M., Severiens, S., & Born, M. (2010). Reasons for withdrawal from higher vocational education: A comparison of ethnic minority and majority non-completers. Studies in Higher Education, 35(1), 93–111. doi:10.1080/03075070902906780