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In a global context it is generally accepted that the retention and associated completion rates for first year students is an area for concern in third level institutions. One are of particular interest is the low levels of completion on some degree programmes. Earlier studies of a similar nature have indicated that these students who attend at high levels not only pass examinations but also attain higher grades. Whilst attendance itself is not the cause of learning, even the most basic exposure to new material has a positive effect on learning.

The purpose of this study is to ascertain the correlation between class attendance and academic success. The cohort which is the focus of the study is a group of first year undergraduate students participating in a three year BA Hospitality Management degree. The findings suggest a positive correlation between attendance and academic achievement at first year level. Attendance was found to decline over time while prior high academic achievement was not a strong predictor of success at the first year level of higher education.