School Failure and Drop Out in University of Lisbon: Sceneries and Coureses

School Failure and Drop Out in University of Lisbon: Sceneries and Coureses

School failure is the starting point and the structuring problem of this research project, based on a case study: the University of Lisbon. The objectives for the first 2 years are:
a) to examine and discuss concepts and theories constructing "school failure" and "drop out" (in its various modalities) as a problem in higher education systems. Special attention will be given to contemporary debates on "youth condition" in societies (and families) strongly individualized and where "risk" appears to reinforce processes of self-construction and demand of identity;
b) having selected the freshmen at the entrance of the UL (with its 8 Faculties), to make a social characterization of this heterogeneous universe; an extensive survey is applied to all (1st cycle) newcomers. A data basis is then constructed and a statistical treatment of the information undertaken.
c) to relate these findings with school failure indicators in the UL, its various faculties and degrees.
d) introducing the students' perspectives and a longitudinal view, to study individual trajectories in the UL, by means of in-depth interviews to relevant samples concerning "school failure" and "drop out" issues.

Estatuto: 
Participant entity
Financed: 
No
Entidades: 
Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia
Keywords: 

Higher Education, School Failure

School failure is the starting point and the structuring problem of this research project, based on a case study: the University of Lisbon. The objectives for the first 2 years are:
a) to examine and discuss concepts and theories constructing "school failure" and "drop out" (in its various modalities) as a problem in higher education systems. Special attention will be given to contemporary debates on "youth condition" in societies (and families) strongly individualized and where "risk" appears to reinforce processes of self-construction and demand of identity;
b) having selected the freshmen at the entrance of the UL (with its 8 Faculties), to make a social characterization of this heterogeneous universe; an extensive survey is applied to all (1st cycle) newcomers. A data basis is then constructed and a statistical treatment of the information undertaken.
c) to relate these findings with school failure indicators in the UL, its various faculties and degrees.
d) introducing the students' perspectives and a longitudinal view, to study individual trajectories in the UL, by means of in-depth interviews to relevant samples concerning "school failure" and "drop out" issues.

Objectivos: 
<p>The objectives for the first 2 years are: <br />a) to examine and discuss concepts and theories constructing "school failure" and "drop out" (in its various modalities) as a problem in higher education systems. <br />b) having selected the freshmen at the entrance of the UL (with its 8 Faculties), to make a social characterization of this heterogeneous universe; an extensive survey is applied to all (1st cycle) newcomers. A data basis is then constructed and a statistical treatment of the information undertaken. <br />c) to relate these findings with school failure indicators in the UL, its various faculties and degrees. <br />d) introducing the students' perspectives and a longitudinal view, to study individual trajectories in the UL, by means of in-depth interviews to relevant samples concerning these issues.</p>
State of the art: 
<p>In a European perspective, educational modernity is a recent fact in Portugal. The intense and continuous public investment in a school system, the democratization and generalization of school experience really just started 3 decades ago. The late sixties and more intensely the establishment of democracy, in 1974, was the turning point, but the Portuguese educational gap, vis-&agrave;-vis its EU partners, is still evident. However, the final output cannot mask the ongoing remarkable shifts. <br /><br />As in other fields, modernity late emergence is sorted with intense and quick rhythms of change, with different impact according to social groups and milieus, regions, levels of reality (behaviours, values, representations) which it affects. The resulting national landscape is far from flat: pre-modern, modern and post-modern temporalities cross and fertilize a multidimensional and paradoxical present. <br /><br />Far beyond compulsory education, higher education, the most advanced level in the system, appears at the end of a long way pointed out by several eliminatory stages. Until very recently, University was a very restricted and selective destiny. Even in the eighties, for example, the effective higher education rate among the young Portuguese was as low as 6%. <br /><br />Today, it hardly reaches the majority of young people. But a remarkable political effort is being undertaken to expand the number of students in higher education. It decupled in the last 30 years, despite the drastic ruling numerus clausus mechanism. Besides, feminization (since the seventies) became a new, intense and non-stop trend. The expansion of the regional offer of public universities or polytechnics (since the eighties) brought to an end the Lisbon-Coimbra-Oporto monopoly. And the emergence and growth of private and cooperative higher education (since the late eighties) contributed, for its part, to increase and diversify the offer of courses. <br /><br />Macro structural changes backed up this moving scenario. The general improvement of life conditions, the development of the service sector and processes of ascendant social mobility of urban middle classes, new dominant values concerning the family, the couple and sexuality are to be considered. The abrupt drop of fertility rates and dimension of offspring, since the eighties, give evidence of this quick change. This is to be related not only to the increasing professional activity of women (particularly ?mothers?), but mainly to the active mobilization of the conjugal family on behalf of children education, perceived as a means, the legitimate one, for access to privileged social positions. School and schooling became central in family strategies. <br /><br />On the other hand, the more restrictive academic criteria imposed at the University entrance interferes in the students? vocational orientations, ?choices? and life projects. The risk of exclusion (of the 1st option degree or school), the uncertainty of the final selection and admission, is a crucial challenge for the young person. Increasing competition for educational credits is installed in the Portuguese school system, candidates and families more and more precociously preparing them to win the battle of the academic success. This competition is certainly harder in Lisbon region, where the more educated and qualified population is concentrated. </p>
Natália Alves
Isabel Margarida André
Coordenador 
Start Date: 
01/12/2005
End Date: 
01/12/2009
Duração: 
48 meses
Closed