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Retention is a challenge for all third level institutions and retention rates remain higher than colleges would like them to be, this has intensified in recent years as participants in higher education has increased and diversified. Third level institutions which would not only benefit from increased fees but also through low cost word of mouth promotion and an enhanced reputation. As such, an important concern for colleges is retaining students and understanding the reasons why students may choose to leave a program. While student satisfaction and retention is a well researched topic there remains questions to be answered in terms of the factors that lead to non-completion. The aim of this research is to gain a greater understanding of the factors that lead to dissatisfaction and non-completion among third level students in Ireland. This research analyses data from 10,110 respondents of the Eurostudent survey, a survey of student attitude and satisfaction sent to all third level students in Ireland. A predictive model was developed and analysed using regression analysis and decision tree analysis. In line with literature, satisfaction with the student‟s college, teaching quality, teaching staff, facilities, finances, accommodation and friendship, feeling interested, calm and in good spirits and the extent to which student exercise were found to be significant predictor variables of student satisfaction. In contrast to literature, this study did not find social status or income are predictors of student satisfaction.
Sweeney, L. (2015) An Understanding of Student Satisfaction A dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of Technological University Dublin for the degree of M.Sc. in Computing (Data Analytics) July 2015.