Blog Post

Brazil Higher Ed: Internet Sources

This blog lists sources concerning higher education in Brazil that are readily available online through a Google search. Below, it is evident that there is a difference between articles that report on the structure of the educational system in Brazil and the problems that students face in obtaining an university education and those that are published by U.S. business media, which tend to have an overly positive opinion about higher education in Brazil and focus on the growth of for-profit institutions.



“Public and Private Sector Investment Aims to Increase Higher Education Participation in Brazil (11/21/2013)

This article describes why all eyes should be on Brazil when discussing changes in education and social mobility in education. It discusses the persistent problem in Brazil’s higher education system; while Brazil has some of the best universities in Latin America, they remain exclusive. This article reports on recent government actions that are aimed to address this problem.


“A New Era for Higher Education in Brazil” (7/11/2014 by Danilo de Melo Costa)

An excellent article that provides a historical perspective of key developments in Brazilian educational policy since 1968, when Law 5540 reformed the educational system. The author, Danilo de Melo Costa, is from the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG). The article was first published in the newsletter of the Higher Education SIG, Comparative and International Education Society, CIES.


“Higher Education in Brazil: Different Worlds and Diverse Beliefs” (2013 by Elizabeth Balbechevsky)

This article provides an overview of the Brazilian higher educational system, which is made up of 2,565 higher education institutions according to the 2011 census (INEP 2013). The author discusses the types of institutions that are active in Brazil, including public universities, public regional institutions, and private institutions. She also gives a historical trajectory of education policy in the country.


“The Brazilian Educational System” (no date)

Like the article above, this article provides an overview of how the higher educational system works in Brazil. It describes the types of Brazilian higher education institutions including in-person public and private universities and distance learning. It also details how universities are measured and assessed in Brazil.



“Brazil’s Multi-Billion Dollar Education Industry: Shaping Futures, Changing Lives, and Minting Billionaires” (5/10/2013)

“It is important for all business leaders and global influences with a desire to understand Brazil to familiarize themselves with Brazilian academia’s higher education institutions” this article reports. Yet, the article focuses on traditional partnerships between U.S. and Brazilian institutions. It covers the for-profit sector with a focus on the profit potential of academia. Little is said about the quality of education or the challenges that face students attempting to access higher education in Brazil today.


“Higher Education in Brazil: The MortarBoard Boom” (9/15/2012)

This article describes economic inequality in Brazilian universities and perceived problems with a new quota system. It discusses the racial dynamics of education; the top schools are federal school where students do not have to pay school fees, but they are also mostly white institutions.


“The Higher-education Business: A Winning Recipe” (6/28/2014)

This article paints an overly rosy picture of the for-profit education sector in Brazil. The sector is growing by leaps and bounds and currently has three-quarters of the country’s higher education market. The article reports on the merger of two large for-profit education firms in Brazil, the economic environment in which they operate, and their plans for future growth in the country.


“As Demand for Education Rises in Brazil, For-Profit Colleges Fill the Gap” (06/19/2014)

This article also covers the for-profit education sector and the merger of Advent International and Kroton. Focusing on the business success of the for-profit sector, the article does not cover the problems of for-profit education in Brazil. Instead, it discusses the reasons why the government has allowed this sector to grow.



“The Future of Higher Education in Brazil” (1990, S. Schwartzman)

This resource provides an overview of the educational system. It is most useful for its historical perspective, comparisons to the U.S. and European systems, the statistics it provides and the charts and tables that appear at the end of the report.


“Achieving Worldclass Education in Brazil” (2012, Bruns, Evans and Luque)

This report focuses on primary and middle school education in Brazil. It is useful for studying higher education because it provides an analysis of the conditions of the educational system for students before entering university. It also provides a chapter on educational history in Brazil.



“Global Perspectives in Higher Education: Race and Higher Education in Brazil” (2014)

This is a three-week study abroad program ran by New York University. Students traveled to São Paulo, Salvador da Bahia, and Rio de Janeiro to study higher education and affirmative action in Brazil. The syllabus is available online through the website.


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