The Student Non-Completion project brought together existing qualitative data from HEI’s that have been engaged in tracking and evaluating the reasons for student non-completion and non-progression. The overall goal was to identify reasons for student non-completion and identify possible systemic and institutional interventions to address issues of retention and progression nationally.

The project was co-led by Professor Suzanne Quin, Dean of Social Science and Dr Niamh Moore-Cherry, Senior Lecturer at University College Dublin. In 2011, Prof Quin carried out a major qualitative study on student withdrawal in UCD. She has completed a number of funded research projects using qualitative methodology. Since 2009, Dr Moore-Cherry has been a University Senior Fellow in Teaching and Academic Development. She was team leader of the UCD First Year Experience Project and member of the project team on the Learning for Success at University project focused on managing the transition into first year. Dr Elaine Burroughs is working closely with the project leaders as the primary researcher on the project. This research will be the first national qualitative study focused on understanding student withdrawal and non-progression. It will provide a deeper understanding at a national scale of the driving factors behind these processes across the Irish higher education sector.