Non-Traditional Students, University Trajectories, and Higher Education Institutions: A Comparative Analysis of Face-to-Face and Online Universities

Albert Sánchez-Gelabert


In recent decades, the number of students accessing higher education has grown, leading to a greater diversity of student profiles and modalities of studying. This means a new scenario among higher education institutions in which online universities are becoming increasingly relevant. The aim of this article is to explore how students' university trajectories differ according to age, gender, and university type at three Catalan universities (N = 20,745). For this purpose, we carried out a sequence analysis to identify university trajectories and then compared them according to the study modality (face-to-face/online) and the student profile (traditional/non-traditional). The results show differences in university progression trajectories among non-traditional students according to the university type. In particular, there was a higher incidence of dropout at face-to-face universities among non-traditional students. In the case of online universities, in contrast, dropout was not a phenomenon exclusive to non-traditional students, with similar dropout rates among all students regardless of profile.

Klíčová slova

university trajectories; non-traditional student; dropout; online university; longitudinal analysis

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Výkonná redakce: Klára Šeďová, Roman Švaříček, Zuzana Šalamounová, Martin Sedláček, Karla Brücknerová, Petr Hlaďo.

Redakční rada: Milan Pol (předseda redakční rady), Gunnar Berg, Michael Bottery, Hana Cervinkova, Theo van Dellen, Eve Eisenschmidt, Peter Gavora, Yin Cheong Cheng, Miloš Kučera, Adam Lefstein, Sami Lehesvuori, Jan Mareš, Jiří Mareš, Jiří Němec, Angelika Paseka, Jana Poláchová Vašťatková, Milada Rabušicová, Alina Reznitskaya, Michael Schratz, Martin Strouhal, Petr Svojanovský, António Teodoro, Tony Townsend, Anita Trnavčevič, Jan Vanhoof, Arnošt Veselý, Kateřina Vlčková, Eliška Walterová.

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