10 442 students have dropped out of the University of Namibia (Unam) in the 2008 to 2012 period, according to the latest statistics by the university.
This was 16.3% of the 63 951 total students who enrolled at the university in the period under review.
Meanwhile, the year 2012 had the highest number of students dropping out as the total was 2935, which stood at 20.3% while 2008 saw the lowest number of students dropping out which was 1177, at a rate of 17.1%.
The statistics provided showed that with more students enrolling at the university, the dropout rate increases.
Meanwhile, the statistics showed that in the period under review, 10 035 students completed their studies at the university.
The dropout rate in 2012 was the highest in boys at a 23.6% rate while the rate in girls was only 18.1% thus the average drop-out rate by gender was 20.3%.
The statistics also revealed that distance studies were recorded to be having the highest dropout rates, increasing drastically from a rate of 23% in 2008 to 39.4% in 2011 but saw a decrease to 37% in 2012.
In addition, fourth year students dropped out the most at a 33.4% rate recorded in 2012 while first year students dropped out by 24% in in the same year.
Meanwhile, in second place, the rate at which third year students dropout stood at 24% while second year students dropout rate was 13.1%.
According to Unam’s Public Relations Officer, Johannes Haufiku, the dropout students represent the total number of students who did not graduate or receive an award at the end of the base year and did not return to register in the preceding year.
Haufiku explained that the dropout rate formula equals the total number of dropout students divided by the total number of students expected to return.
“The student dropout and retention rate information presented in this report compares dropout and retention rate by Faculties/Schools, Departments, Qualifications, Offering type and Period of Study,” Haufiku noted.
In addition, in the period under review, the number of students expected to return stood at 53 916 while the total number of students who returned was 46 263.
The highest number of students expected to return was 12 273 in 2012, out of a total of 16 819 enrolled in that year. In addition, in 2012 only 2337 students graduated in that year.
Haufiku noted that the retention rate in 2011 was 79.5% but saw a slight increase of 79.7% in 2012.
Meanwhile, Unam’s Office of the Registrar recently announced that when normal registrations were concluded, 18 710 aspiring minds had pledged to further their studies at UNAM, making the main campus by far the most densely populated.
The second most populated campus turns out to be the Hifikepunye Pohamba Campus, with 1 319 students. The smaller Sam Nujoma Campus in Henties Bay has 100 students enrolled, which indicates good progress as far as interest is concerned.
University statistician, Reinhold Ihemba, however, pointed out that these are not final figures for the 2015 academic year.
According to Ihemba, half, if not the majority of people rush to registration during late registration.
“It is a phenomenon perhaps best explained by those in the social sciences, I can only speak about the numbers,” responded Ihemba when asked to explain the late registration trend.
Due to the large quantities that flock to campuses, the Office of the Dean of Students provided student assistants to help registration officials with selected administrative tasks.
Acting Registrar, Annelie Don said having student assistants as part of the registration process is quite valuable since it adds efficiency to the whole process.
“All student assistants took a customer care training programme in preparation of the registration process which was facilitated by the Office of the Dean of Students,” Don said.
Currently UNAM has 19 000 students enrolled for this year.