Perceptions and senses attributed by students to their experiences of attending a brazilian public university

Eanes Correia Dos Santos, Veleida Anahi Da Silva, Fàtima Negromonte Bezerra


This study aimed to investigate the perceptions and meanings attributed by a group of ten students, from low socioeconomic backgrounds, about their decision to enroll in undergraduate studies at the Federal University of Sergipe (UFS)[1], in Brazil. Sergipe is the smallest Brazilian state and is in the Northeast of Brazil. All students who participated in the research live in Cumbe, a small town located 96 km from São Cristóvão, where this higher educational institution is located. All of them are in different courses and in distinct stages in their studies. The methodological procedures of the research were based on Bernard Charlot's theoretical propositions about the relationship to knowledge. The research data were collected through the following instruments: questionnaire, “knowledge balance” and semi-structured interview. As a result of the research, it was found that upon entering the university, these students felt themselves in a place of non-position because in spite of having been admitted by the quota system, a legitimate evaluation process, in the majority of the cases, they are not attending the course they really wanted and  must take evenings courses. Some have as their main goal to complete the course to get a job and some intend to continue an academic career in graduate schools.

[1] Henceforth, the Universidade Federal de Sergipe will be referred as UFS. 


Relation to Knowledge. College education. University students

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