Demographic, psychological and secondary level examination measures were obtained at the start of undergraduate courses in an attempt to predict first‐year higher education (HE) withdrawal. As usual, withdrawal was greatest for males. Overall, intrinsic motivation and independent study expectations were better predictors of withdrawal than extrinsic motivation, lack of direction, and psychological health (anxiety and depression) variables. While 23% of the variance in continuance/withdrawal was explained, only 13% of variance was explained when gender and faculty of study were controlled. It is concluded that prediction of withdrawal is easier once students' behaviours and performance within HE are apparent than it is at the outset of their HE careers. Nevertheless, some suggestions for interventions are made, centring upon the current findings for intrinsic motivation and independent study expectations.
- Adult Education
- Lifelong Learning