The Consequences of Academic Dismissal for Academic Success

I. Cornelisz, Rolf van der Velden, Inge De Wolf, C.P.B.J. van Klaveren

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Academic dismissal policies are increasingly implemented to promote academic success, with existing empirical evidence mostly restricted to short-run outcomes. This study examines long-term academic outcomes of academic dismissal for two cohorts (N=1,707) of first-year bachelor students in Economics and Business at a Dutch university. Using administrative records, regression discontinuity design estimates suggest that academic dismissal does not relate to a difference in the propensity of graduation, nor to a change in study delay, when comparing students around the academic dismissal threshold. Not meeting
this credit threshold forces students to leave, and most decide to re-enroll in the same (43.4%) program elsewhere or at least within the academic domain (41.9%). Thus, while academic dismissal forces students to switch, its intended purpose of redirecting students to a different field of study is not observed. Implications for why academic dismissal might not deliver on the intended efficiency or effectiveness gains are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalStudies in Higher Education
Early online date30 Mar 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Mar 2019


  • Academic Dismissal
  • Higher Education
  • Educational Attainment
  • Student Graduation

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