Patrick Bijsmans and Arjan Schakel publish attendance research

Patrick Bijsmans and Arjan Schakel have just published the first results of their attendance research in ‘Higher Education’, one of the leading peer-reviewed international journals in higher education studies. In this open access article, Patrick and Arjan look into the impact of attendance on first-year study success in the BA ES. They find that attendance matters for several measures of study success, also for the most engaged students.

The literature on first-year study success has identified a host of factors that may affect a student’s chances of succeeding, ranging from personal circumstances to educational environment. One of the factors that often emerges in this context is (non-)attendance of classes, lectures and tutorials. Intuitively, one would expect this to be all the more important in programmes that employ a student-centred and interactive approach to learning, such as problem-based learning. Interestingly, there is little dedicated research that looks into the importance of (non-)attendance in such a learning environment. This article addresses this gap in the literature by looking at the effect of (non-)attendance on the study success of three cohorts of Maastricht University’s Bachelor in European Studies (annual intake of 325–350 students). Controlling for a range of factors, we find that attendance matters for several measures of study success and also for the committed and participating student.

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