The first year is the most critical for college freshmen

22. 10. 2020 | Study in the Czech Republic

freshman at the universityIf you manage to pass your first year at a university, the chance that you actually reach your finals (and hopefully even pass them successfully) doubles. At least the statistical data released by the Ministry of Education say so.

Over the last 13 years, the number of students who successfully finish their first year at colleges decreased by one fourth—only 60 percent of them actually finish their freshmen year. It applies to students of bachelor programmes as well as five-year long master programmes. Therefore, it’s evidently the first year that is the most critical for the freshmen.

What’s the main cause? “It’s mostly the clash between one’s expectations and the reality of studying at a university,” said Šimon Stiburek, the former analyst from the Ministry of Education, for the website iRozhlas.cz.

CzechUniversities.cz interviewed three students and graduates from Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Charles University and Masaryk University. The students confided that they see the weakest spot mainly in study plans for the first year which is filled with general introductions to subjects that are compulsory for all. It means that even if students intend to specialise in a specific field, they still have to pass all of these unrelated subjects which they won’t use in future. Many students leave because they simply lose their motivation to study further.

“Many very intelligent, talented and ambitious young people leave after their first year because they are dissatisfied with what the school offers, they don’t feel comfortable at the university grounds or they feel forced to study nonsense,” Stiburek confirms.

Not all students who leave have to end their studies completely. Some of them switch to a different school or they continue with just one study programme in case they originally took several of them. Nevertheless, the drop rate around almost 40% is still very high.

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