The Return of Graduates to Higher Education: between employability and lifelong learning

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In this article, we analyse the return of graduates to higher education to continue academic training, discussing and considering the reasons that lead them to continue postgraduate training. This discussion draws on the analysis of empirical data resulting from a statistical representative sample of graduates who completed their first degrees in 2004/2005 at the Universidade de Lisboa e Universidade Nova de Lisboa (Portugal). The data analysed enables the consideration to what extent the participation in postgraduate training can be understood as an employability strategy. This debate is particularly significant in the present context given, first, that lifelong learning is of increasing importance in contemporary societies and, moreover, that graduates' unstable and precarious employment situations have been growing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-119
Number of pages19
JournalRevista Brasileira de Educação
Issue number64
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016



  • higher education
  • postgraduation
  • first-degree graduates
  • employability
  • lifelong learning

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