Assessing Situational Awareness of Universities Concerning Student Dropout: A Web-Based Content Analysis of Romanian Universities’ Agenda
Volume IV 2020, No 2, Pages: 18-34
Adrian Hatos, Professor, University of Oradea, Romania; Răzvan T. Coloja, University of Oradea, Romania & Alina Sava, The World Bank, Romania; Corresponding author: Adrian Hatos, Department of Sociology and Social Work, University of Oradea, str. Universitatii nr. 1, Oradea, Romania, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstract: Universities have a strong internet presence, where they publish large amounts of documents available for analysis. The relevance of these documents has been rarely put to scrutiny within a policy analysis context. In our paper we use data from Romanian universities to achieve two objectives: 1) to assess the actual presence of the issue of student dropout at the level of universities’ agenda in Romania as it is apparent on their web pages; 2) to evaluate the degree in which the agenda of Romanian universities reflects the actual issue of student retention as reflected in factual data. The results show a significant correlation between the presence of the topic in documents and the actual dropout rate, but there are some limitations though: the correlation is not linear, universities seem to be inertial in their public acknowledgement of the problem, web-scrapping and web based content-analytic procedures still have numerous reliability issues.
Keywords: situational awareness, higher education agenda, web-based content analysis