Abstract for: A System Dynamic Model to Examine Students' No-continuation Trends: A Mexican and British Cases

Universities (and funding bodies) have been trying to tackle high rates of no-continuation of students in higher education. This paper presents the results of a preliminary investigation into the different factors affecting ‘non-continuation’ (or its other side, ‘retention’) of students in higher education institutions. For this purpose, we sketch a systems dynamics (SDy) model and we plan to use data from Universidad de las Americas, Puebla, Mexico and Manchester Metropolitan University, UK, to run the model. We report on relevant literature in the area of the managing retention by assembling a list of retention-related terms; then, relevant models developed to map students’ satisfaction, are reviewed. A SDy model that captures the factors affecting the transit of students’ from enrolment to graduation is proposed; these factors are synthesised into four sectors as the core of the SDy model: Introduction; Retention; Motivators; and Finance sector. The study is in a developmental stage, we expect to implement the model when data is collected. In this paper, we only report on the literature reviewed and we sketched the SDy model. This investigation, when completed, will provide a tool to understand the factors affecting students’ non-continuation and will help education administrators to manage their retention.