Danubius International Conferences, 16th International Conference on European Integration - Realities and Perspectives

Dropout Factors for Non-Traditional University Students and Intervention Ideas for Romania

Madalina Balau
Last modified: 2021-04-09


The integration of non-traditional students in higher education is important for both aims of the Bologna Process: widening participation in higher education and lifelong learning for the adult population. However, the proportion of non-traditional students in the student population in Romania is relatively small compared to other European countries. Moreover, the non-traditional student population is facing different challenges for continuing and finalizing their education compared to the traditional one. The aim of this study is to highlight the main factors leading non-traditional students to drop out from higher education and to propose a set of institutional and policy interventions to increase non-traditional students integration in higher education. We review the literature on the main challenges and special motivations of non-traditional students in participating in higher education. We also analyze European level data on non-traditional students’ integration and compare it with existing data for Romania. Based on these findings, we derive implications and intervention ideas for a better integration of non-traditional students in the higher education system. This paper contributes to a better understanding of the challenges faced by a student population increasingly present in higher education.