New report paves the way to lower absence levels at vocational schools

A new research report identifies the common causes of absence in students at the Danish vocational institutions and thereby contributes with knowledge about what the school managers and teachers should pay particular attention to in connection with the vocational school reform, which comes into force in August.

2015.02.05 | Julia Rolsted Stacey

A major new research report conducted by researchers from the School of Business and Social Sciences at Aarhus University has identified the common causes of absence in students at the Danish vocational institutions. They thereby contribute with knowledge about what the schools should pay particular attention to in connection with the vocational school reform, which comes into force this summer. The study is based on approximately 3,000 students and 25 vocational schools all over the country.

Conclusions of the study in brief

  1. Students among the gender minority in a classroom are inclined to be absent from school more often compared to the students among the gender majority.
  2. Large classes foster less committed students.
  3. Business experience lowers the absence level, but only in classes where there is already a comfortable social climate.
  4. Female students have a lower level of academic self-confidence compared with their male counterparts. However, with female teachers schools will be able to compensate for this.
  5. Age and business experience are positively correlated with academic commitment. Older students are less inclined to skip class.
  6. A high concentration of female students is damaging to the social environment in the classroom, whereas a high concentration of students with work experience reinforces the social environment.
  7. Students who have previously been enrolled in another youth education programme have an increased risk of getting into problems with absence and have a harder time adapting to the classroom community.
  8. The students’ assessment of the teacher’s skills is often correlated with the extent of the teacher’s motivation and dedication, but not with the teacher’s age or seniority.

Read the complete report here (in Danish).

Read three news pieces that present the conclusions of the report:

Gender balance at vocational schools will lower drop-out rates

Dedicated vocational school teachers strengthen the students

Class composition in vocational schools is crucial for lowering absence levels and increasing student welfare

Further information

Assistant Professor Charlotte Jonasson
Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences
School of Business and Social Sciences
Aarhus University
charlotte@psy.au.dk
Tel.: +45 8716 5834

Professor MSO Jacob Lauring
Department of Business Administration
School of Business and Social Sciences
Aarhus University
jala@badm.au.dk
Tel.: +45 8716 5113

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