The ideas of the theory social representations proposed by Moscovici and developed in the structural approach by Abric were used in the research in order to reveal the structure and content of students’ social representations of higher education in a modern society. The total sample size was 572 students: of which 197 were secondary school students (average age of 16.7), 189 were undergraduate students (average age of 20.8) and 186 were master students (average age of 29.3). The methodology of Vergès for the analysis of the structure of social representations was used. We tested the hypothesis that the structure of social representations of higher education has general and specific features correlated to the age and educational level of students. It was found that the social representations of schoolchildren, undergraduate students and master’s students differ in a number of elements and content characteristics. Generally social representations of students with different education levels had similar characteristics. Students of secondary schools expanded the core performance, in contrast to students of universities, presumably because of their fewer social experiences, providing large “distance” to higher education as an “object”.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited