Understanding the causes of attrition at the undergraduate level has been an increasing concern in efforts to increase student persistence to graduation. Research has identified demographic, academic, and experiential factors influencing students’ decisions about withdrawing from university. This narrative enquiry was conducted to identify demographic and academic factors as well as learning experiences that may have influenced students’ decisions to withdraw from university. Twenty-one students in a Bachelor of Arts degree programme in a New Zealand university were each interviewed three to six times over their first year and a half at university, and the interview data was analysed thematically. Seventeen students continued their studies, while four withdrew. Relationships were found among academic achievement, ethnicity, and withdrawal. In addition, aspects of students’ learning experiences were identified that could be improved to increase persistence.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Rachael Ruegg