THE IMPACT OF HIGHER EDUCATION STUDENTS' MEANINGS ON UNIVERSITY QUALITY PERCEPTION IN PORTUGAL
1 ISG (PORTUGAL)
2 CEFAGE- Universidade de Évora (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Conference name: 15th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2023
Location: Palma, Spain
Abstract:With the expansion of Higher Education (HE) in Portugal, the student’s profiles significantly diversified (Almeida, 2007; Balsa, Simões, Nunes, Carmo, & Campos, 2001; Freitas, Martins, & Vasconcelos, 2003). Thus, in the same classroom there are students who differ in terms of previous curricular knowledge, motivations, vocational projects and maturity levels, with the addition of “non-traditional students”, which differs in their perception and expectations about the University education.
In Portugal, problems associated with the transition and adaptation of new entrants may be exacerbated.
To illustrate the expansion of Higher Education (HE) in Portugal , we resort to three factors that differentiate Portugal from other countries:
(i) when, for reasons of the numerous clausus system in accessing higher education, about half of the students do not enter the institution and/or course of their first preference;
(ii) when most students do not have parents or siblings in the family with the experience of higher education, showing a lack of information about the reality of higher education and/or presenting expectations that are too restricted or, otherwise, fanciful; and
(iii) when they choose courses with less social recognition and susceptible to more easily being abandoned by work experiences that arise (Almeida, Araújo, & Martins, 2016; Alfonso-Gil et al., 2013; Alves, Gonçalves, & Almeida, 2012).
Considering the evolution of higher education in Portugal the main purpose of this study is to understand the relation between the meanings attributed by higher students and their impact on perception of indicators of quality.
The research methodology contemplated the following instruments and dimensions considered in the Questionnaire of significance () and the Inventory of quality in higher education students. The questionnnaire and the inventory were available in an open platform constructed with the specific purpose for this study, during the months of April until September 2022.
In terms of data analysis and treatment, in this study we used the MCRLM methodology (Classic Multiple Linear Regression Model) to assess which variables significantly influence the student's perspective.
In addition, the relevance of adapting and validating the Higher Education Meanings Scale:
Meanings of higher education: Portuguese version of the Meaning Of Education (MOE) questionnaire (Monteiro, A. & Gonçalves, C., 2015).
Given the scarcity of instruments capable of measuring the meanings that higher education students attribute to the training they attend, validation is equally relevant for those two instruments in a representative sample of Portuguese public and private higher education students after the covid-19 pandemic that devastated the world and transformed the education world it even more marked by uncertainty.
The mains results explained the validation of those two instruments after the covid-19 pandemic and a positive correlations between students' meanings and the perception of qualitity of higher education institution and the dimensions of “interpersonal Learning” and “social source of stress escape”, “openness to the world”, “Self knowledge” “prepare work”, “Economic Independence”, “Next future step”
Keywords: Meanings, perceptions, higher students, quality.