Higher Education Institutions and International Students’ Hindrances: A Case of Students From the African Portuguese-Speaking Countries at Two European Portuguese Universities


  • Susana Ambrósio University of Aveiro, Portugal
  • João Filipe Marques University of Algarve, Portugal
  • Lucília Santos University of Aveiro, Portugal
  • Catarina Doutor University of Algarve, Portugal




international students' hindrances, Portuguese-Speaking African Countries, higher education institutions, institutional support


We present a study to comprehend if the support given by higher education institution (HEI) to international students coming from the PortugueseSpeaking African Countries meets their academic and social hindrances. Our starting point was a set of semi-structured interviews focused on the perspectives of these students, their Professors and Course Directors as well as on the perspectives of HEI’ staff. Despite findings indicate a positive institutional support, it seems there is still much to do in order to do it properly with these students. These different perspectives will allow us to reflect on the impact that those actions/resources have on the path of students from Portuguese-Speaking African Countries and to systematize suggestions to enhance their experiences in HE.

Author Biographies

Susana Ambrósio, University of Aveiro, Portugal

SUSANA AMBRÓSIO, is a PhD student in Education at the University of Aveiro (Portugal). Currently she is a researcher at the Research Center “Didactics and Technology in Education of Trainers” (CIDTFF) at the University of Aveiro. Her PhD research, which is in the last year, focuses on the non-traditional adult students at the University of Aveiro and how their plurilingual repertoires are constructed in a lifelong learning perspective. Her main research interests are Adult Education, Lifelong Language Learning and Plurilingual Repertoires. 

João Filipe Marques, University of Algarve, Portugal

JOÃO FILIPE MARQUES holds a PhD in Sociology by the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales of Paris. He is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Algarve, Director of the Sociology Master Program and researcher of the Centre for Spatial and Organizational Dynamics (CIEO – UAlg). 

Lucília Santos, University of Aveiro, Portugal

LUCÍLIA SANTOS, PhD, is a Professor of Physics. Associate Professor Tenure integrates the Department of Physics of the University of Aveiro. She has taught courses and supervised dissertations/theses in Science and Engineering, Health and Teacher Training Courses at the level of Bachelor, Masters and PhD. Main interests in research are: teaching and learning in Physics and non-traditional students in Higher Education.

Catarina Doutor, University of Algarve, Portugal

CATARINA DOUTOR, is a PhD student in Education at the Institute of Education of the University of Lisbon (Portugal). Her research interest includes the non-traditional students in Higher Education, namely the transition of Portuguese-Speaking African Countries’ students to Higher Education, their experiential learning challenges and identity process.




How to Cite

Ambrósio, S., Marques, J. F., Santos, L., & Doutor, C. (2017). Higher Education Institutions and International Students’ Hindrances: A Case of Students From the African Portuguese-Speaking Countries at Two European Portuguese Universities. Journal of International Students, 7(2), 367–394. https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v7i2.386



Research Articles (English)