IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this book chapter

An open future: schooling experiences, academic difficulties and vocational dilemmas during the first year of university

In: Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación 6

Listed author(s):
  • Maria Manuel Vieira


    (Instituto de Ciências Sociais, Universidade de Lisboa)

  • Ana Nunes de Almeida


    (Instituto de Ciências Sociais, Universidade de Lisboa)

  • Natália Alves


    (Universidade de Lisboa)

  • Isabel André


    (Universidade de Lisboa)

  • Valentina Oliveira


    (Universidade de Lisboa)

Registered author(s):

    Completing a long educational path and reaching higher education means not only the chance to accede to the top of the educational system, but also the opportunity to attain a long-standing goal, for many of those who achieve it. However, that final stage of the educational trajectory far from being an arrival point may become a new point of departure instead. In fact, the first year at the university may turn into a probation experience, a period when past trajectories and future projects are re-assessed and vocational choices are tested, in a rather tensional way. The schooling experience (Dubet, 1996; Dubet e Martuccelli, 1996) is particularly critical in this period, as it involves different challenges the student has to cope: on one hand, integration (into a different academic environment, into new peer groups, into an unknown vocational domain…) must be successfully obtained; on the other hand, a strategic behaviour must be exercised at a certain point, since university experience exposes students to competition (academically and professionally, in a near future); and, finally, some sort of subjectivation inevitably emerges, every time the student confronts to himself by questioning his options and abilities. Preliminary results from an ongoing research study on “School failure and drop-out at the University of Lisbon” (financed by the Portuguese Science and Technology Foundation) confirm the probation and tensional nature the 1st year of university experience assumes. In this paper, we intend to explore analytically these issues by using data obtained from an extensive survey applied to first-year students who entered the University of Lisbon in school-year 2008/2009. This analysis aims to give new insights to understand failure and drop-out phenomena at higher education level, matching social and academic constraints with subjective quest for self-fulfilment.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    in new window

    This chapter was published in:
  • Antonio Caparrós Ruiz (ed.), 2011. "Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación," E-books Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación, Asociación de Economía de la Educación, edition 1, volume 6, number 06.
  • This item is provided by Asociación de Economía de la Educación in its series Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación volume 6 with number 06-18.
    Handle: RePEc:aec:ieed06:06-18
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aec:ieed06:06-18. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Domingo P. Ximénez-de-Embún)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.