Building on success
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Building on success: increasing higher education retention in London

Date published: 
10 April 2019

This report looks at the reasons behind the non-continuation (drop-out) rate of undergraduates studying at London’s higher education institutions (HEIs).

The GLA commissioned the Social Market Foundation to produce this report. 

Summary findings

  • London has a higher rate of drop-out compared with other areas of England
  • A number of important factors affect drop-out, including the higher proportion of London students who live in their parental home and who enter higher education through non A-level routes
  • Students from lower socio-economic groups are more likely to drop-out of medium and higher tariff HEIs in London
  • London’s higher non-continuation rate is, in part, due to its success in widening participation. For instance, there are more students in London who share characteristics associated with an increased likelihood of dropping out of higher education. Black students are over-represented in this group. 

Report recommendations

The report makes a number of recommendations to support the retention of students in higher education in London. It will inform the Mayor’s work as part of his Skills for Londoners and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategies, including improving careers guidance.