ISJ Internation Schools Journal Envisioning the K-Graduate Education Paradigm
ACS Athens

ISJ Fall 2021: Myth, guidance counselling and dropping out of university / Mark Grant


This paper considers the issue of first year students dropping out of university. Typically dropping out is a phenomenon that staff at university recruitment offices analyse. From my conversations at conferences with other guidance counsellors, it seems unusual for schools to assess its causes, the students concerned no longer being under their care. As head of careers at an independent UK day school, I wanted to understand better these abrupt departures, not least so that I could see if any adjustments needed to be made to the careers programme. In my next post as guidance counsellor at a private Swiss international school, I continued my assessment, using for the sake of consistency the same questionnaire and interview format. My two titles – head of careers in the UK and guidance counsellor in Switzerland – reflected a similar position: that of interviewing students from Year 9 onwards, arranging visiting speakers on career and higher education themes, and writing references for UCAS, Common Application and other admissions platforms. University adviser, personal adviser and college counsellor have also described my role.