The effect of an academic dismissal policy on dropout, graduation rates and student satisfaction. Evidence from the Netherlands

Eline Sneyers*, Kristof De Witte

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This paper examines the effect of the introduction of an academic dismissal (ad) policy (i.e. An intervention, which can lead to compulsory student withdrawal) on student dropout, student graduation rates and satisfaction with the study program. Using a difference-in-differences type of estimator, we compare programs that introduced an ad policy with a control group of programs which did not employ an ad policy. The robustness of the results is tested by a propensity score matching. The outcomes suggest that the implementation of an ad policy results in a higher first-year dropout rate and a higher student graduation rate. The results also indicate that, on average, student satisfaction decreases due to the introduction of an ad policy, while student satisfaction regarding program feasibility increases when an ad policy is employed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)354-389
JournalStudies in Higher Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • higher education
  • admission policy
  • compulsory student withdrawal
  • student satisfaction
  • school dropout
  • student graduation

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