“Indicators to prevent university drop-out and delayed graduation. An Italian case”

ANNA BUSSU, Claudio Detotto, Serra -Saurina Laura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
325 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: Research on the association between individual characteristics of undergraduate students, drop-out and delayed graduation is still evolving. Therefore, further evidence is required.
Design/methodology/approach: This paper reports on an empirical study examining the relationship between students’ individual characteristics and delayed graduation. The analysis is based on a sample of 1167 students who have registered on and have completed a full-time undergraduate program in Italy. Using a Probit model, the findings document the individual, background and environmental indicators that play a role in explaining delayed graduation.
Findings: The study observes that students who commute to university perform better than those residing on campus. Other factors increasing the probability of completing the undergraduate programme on time include individual characteristics (e.g. gender and age), student background (family income, education), institutional environment (teaching and research quality) and student satisfaction. Finally, some policy implications are discussed.
Social implications: A direct policy implication of these findings is that supporting academic staff in order to enhance their performance in both research and teaching has a positive effect on the performance of the students.
Originality/value: This paper contributes to the debate on the impact of institutional quality on students’ performance, aiming to address the question of balance between teaching and research orientation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Applied Research in Higher Education
Early online date23 Aug 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Aug 2019


  • Undergraduate
  • drop-out
  • delayed graduation
  • student satisfaction
  • teaching and research quality
  • Drop-out
  • Delayed graduation
  • Student satisfaction
  • Teaching and research quality


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