International mobility and education inequality among Brazilian undergraduate students

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This paper aims to understand the effect of international mobility in higher education on Brazilian education inequality by examining the Science Without Borders programme for undergraduate students. The SWB aimed to award 101,000 scholarships for Brazilian undergraduate students to conduct part of their studies in a foreign university between 2011 and 2015. This paper draws on research on education inequalities and international mobility to investigate the patterns of inequality among undergraduate students participating in the SWB, considering the period of higher education expansion in Brazil. Using the ENEM datasets, inequality of access and inequality within the programme were analysed. The results show that students with parents with higher levels of education and higher income were more likely to participate in the SWB programme. Moreover, students with higher parental education and family income tended to study at a prestigious university during the programme.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)779–796
Number of pages18
JournalHigher Education
Issue number4
Early online date26 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • higher education
  • international mobility
  • education inequalities
  • Brazil


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