A systematic review of factors related to first-year students’ success in Dutch and Flemish higher education

Els van Rooij, Jantina Brouwer, Marjon Fokkens-Bruinsma, Ellen Jansen, Vincent Donche, Dorien Noyens

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

14 Citaten (Scopus)
344 Downloads (Pure)


This systematic review presents an overview of factors which play an important role in explaining first-year grade point average (GPA), the number of obtained credits (EC), and persistence in Dutch and Flemish higher education. Thirty-nine peer-reviewed articles were included, mostly Dutch studies using samples of university students. We found that ability factors, prior education characteristics,
learning environment characteristics and behavioural engagement indicators were most successful in explaining success. While prior education and behavioural engagement were related to GPA, EC and persistence, the results differed depending on which outcome variable was used in the other predictor categories. Ability and learning environment mattered most as GPA and EC predictors. Personality characteristics, motivational factors, and learning strategies were mainly important for GPA. Demographic factors mattered most
for EC, and psychosocial factors for EC and persistence. Recommendations for future research are provided based on this review’s results.
Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)360-404
Aantal pagina's45
TijdschriftPedagogische Studiën
Nummer van het tijdschrift5
StatusPublished - 2018

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