International Mobility of Brazilian Students to Portugal: The Role of the Brazilian Government and University Strategies in Portugal

  • Maria Lucinda FonsecaEmail author
  • Sónia Pereira
  • Juliana Chatti Iorio
Part of the Advances in Geographical and Environmental Sciences book series (AGES)


Student mobility associated with processes of internationalisation in higher education has been consistently on the rise since the 1970s. However, so far, most research has focused on the periphery-core moves mostly targeting Anglophone countries. More recently, within the European Union, increasing attention is being paid to processes of intra-European student mobility (Erasmus Programmes and similar). Little is known about other systems of international student mobility, particularly involving the Lusophone world. Brazilian students have long sought Portugal for the pursuit of higher education. However, only in recent years did this flow experience an intense growth (of 109.1 % between 2008 and 2012). It is particularly striking that this growth is taking place within an overall framework of declining migration from Brazil to Portugal following the economic crisis and declining labour demand. Both the policies adopted by the Brazilian government to stimulate the international mobility of its students and strategies developed in Portuguese universities to attract Brazilian students have been fundamental in the constitution of this flow. This paper draws on data from multiple sources to examine the institutional framework that facilitates mobility, on the one hand, and the experiences of the students themselves, on the other (viz. in terms of academic reception, accommodation and life experience): (i) secondary statistical data, (ii) policy documents, (iii) interviews with representatives of Portuguese Universities (in Lisboa, Coimbra and Porto) and (iv) interviews with students.


Student mobility Portugal Brazil University strategies Higher education 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Lucinda Fonseca
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sónia Pereira
    • 2
  • Juliana Chatti Iorio
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Geography and Spatial PlanningUniversity of LisbonLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.Human Rights InstituteUniversity of DeustoBilbaoSpain

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