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ERIC Number: EJ859294
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jun
Pages: 23
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 80
ISSN: ISSN-1740-2743
Higher Education Reform in Brazil: Reinforcing Marketization
de Siqueira, Angela C.
Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, v7 n1 p169-191 Jun 2009
Higher education in Brazil began based on institutions organized as isolated establishments, and mostly privately owned. Nonetheless, public institutions created as universities and developing research activities and other services became the desired ideal for higher education. The first educational institutions in Brazil were created in the sixteenth century, by a Catholic denomination, the Jesuits. Higher education in Brazil remained mostly privately owned and organized based on isolated institutes until the 1950s. With the re-establishment of democracy in Brazil, after Getulio Vargas's authoritarian government (1930-1945), and within the political environment of state intervention for development and reconstruction, there was a process of transforming private and state-owned institutions into federal institutions, and afterwards, during the 1960s, transforming them into federal universities. Thus, within the period 1954/1964, 63% of the students were attending universities and not isolated establishments. And public institutions--most of them federal and a few state maintained--were encompassing 81% of the total higher education enrollments. The practice of free tuition within public institutions, a repeated demand of students and professors with a more democratic perspective, has become common since 1950. In this article, the author discusses higher education reform in Brazil. In terms of public higher education, there is a strong emphasis in the extension function, that is, the offer of paid courses and also in partnership contracts for the development of applied research. University autonomy is mostly to seek new resources in the "market." In terms of private higher education, there is a clear tendency to help private providers from the growing student's payment default. The reform proposals for the higher education increase the risks of consummation of the internal privatization of the public universities, already in process, making the public system more vulnerable to the rules of the regulation of the services, in discussion within World Trade Organization (WTO) and bilateral proposals. Moreover, all the changes place diverge universities, higher education and graduation programs from the idea of knowledge as collective construction, based on collaboration, and thus a human and social right, to be spread to society as a whole, to the idea of knowledge as a private property, developed in an atmosphere of secrecy and competition to be appropriated only by those able to pay. (Contains 10 footnotes.)
Institute for Education Policy Studies. University of Northampton, School of Education, Boughton Green Road, Northampton, NN2 7AL, UK. Tel: +44-1273-270943; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Brazil