Raising Educational Aspirations – An Experimental Evaluation

Project Info

Principal Investigators

Catia Batista (Nova SBE)
Pedro Freitas (Nova SBE)
Ana Balcão Reis (Nova SBE)
Wayne Sandholtz (Nova SBE)
José Tavares (Nova SBE)

Project Coordinator

Vitor Cavalcante


Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT)

About this Project

The number of students from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds completing higher education in Portugal is low. A possible reason for these low numbers is the lack of educational aspirations of these students, who have limited contact with college graduates in their daily lives.

This project implements a randomized controlled trial to test the hypothesis that an intervention as simple as a one-day visit to a university campus can increase the educational aspirations and academic performance of disadvantaged students. This type of campus visit is common internationally, but has not yet been investigated in the context of educational decision-making. This is a low-cost intervention that is easy to replicate on a large scale and can potentially contribute to reducing the problem of educational inequality in countries with significant immigrant, ethnic and linguistic minorities in contexts that undermine educational aspirations.

Contributing to SDGs: