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Graduate Education in Brazil Simon Schwartzman Institute for Studies on Labour and Society, Rio de Janeiro 1.

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Presentation on theme: "Graduate Education in Brazil Simon Schwartzman Institute for Studies on Labour and Society, Rio de Janeiro 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Graduate Education in Brazil Simon Schwartzman Institute for Studies on Labour and Society, Rio de Janeiro 1

2 Students in Doctoral Programs 2

3 This is Brazil 3

4 Brazil: General Data Area 8,511,965 sq km (slightly smaller than the US) Population 196,342,592 Ethnic composition: white 53.7%, mulatto (mixed white and black) 38.5%, black 6.2%, other (includes Japanese, Arab, Amerindian) 0.9%, unspecified 0.7% (2000 census) Organization: Federal Government, 27 states, about 6000 municipalities Per capita income: about US$ 7,000. High rates of social inequality, richer population in the Southern states, poorer population in the Northeast Urbanization: 80% Urban, several mega cities (São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro), Recife) 4

5 The context: basic education Universal access was achieved in the 1990s, but there are serious problems: Quality is low, many students never learn how to read and write properly Large number of students drop out at age 15; Most schools are public and free, but the best are private. There is a high correlation between SES and education achievement 5

6 The context: secondary education Only 50% of the age cohort is enrolled; Content is traditional and academic, based on the entrance exam requirements for higher education Very little professional or vocational education, no alternative tracking Many students who enter secondary schools never finish Most schools are public and free, but only students in the best private schools are admitted to the more prestigious higher education institutions 6

7 The context: higher education Organized according to the European (French, Italian) tradition of professional schools; first universities are from the 1930s Limited coverage: in spite of recent expansion, only about 11% of the age cohort is enrolled; Public higher education is free, but enrolls only 25% of the students Quality is very uneven both in public and private institutions 7

8 Graduate Education Introduced in the early 1970s, under the assumption that universities should evolve towards the German / American model of research universities Supported by the National Research Council and CAPES, an agency within the Ministry of Education Adoption of the American-type graduate programs for MA and Ph.D. education 8

9 Some features of Brazilian graduate education Most programs are in public universities and in a few government research institutes; Support is provided directly to the programs by National (CNPq and CAPES) and state (FAPESP) agencies, bypassing the universitys administration; Programs are evaluated by CAPES, and the best receive fellowships for their students and additional support; CNPq and FAPESP also provide support for research projects; Fellowships are also available for graduate education abroad 9

10 Assessment of Graduate Education (CAPES) Peer review: assessment committees designated by CAPES after nominations from universities and academic associations; Quantitative indicators: academic publications, number of doctoral and MA degrees granted and other considerations (social relevance, solidarity) 7 points ranking system: 7 should mean high international quality Independent evaluations by CNPq and FAPESP, also based on peer review 10

11 Achievements: graduate programs 11

12 Students in MA programs 12

13 Students in Doctoral Programs 13

14 CAPES, types of fellowships abroad 14

15 CAPES: doctoral studies abroad 15

16 CNPq, fellowships abroad 16

17 Results Achievements: Brazil has today the best and largest graduate education sector in the LA region Academic publications and research are growing steadily But: What is the impact on higher education in general? Which are the benefits to society? 17

18 Academic Publications, SCI-Search 18

19 Issues Good quality, graduate education remains limited to selected public universities, but today 75% of the students are in mostly teaching, private institutions; The incentives associated with graduate education led to an inflation of graduate education degrees; The emphasis on academic achievement in the assessments limits applied, technical and interdisciplinary work; Generalized free, subsidized graduate education increases social inequity in Brazilian higher education 19

20 The expansion of Brazilian Professoriate 20

21 The distribution of high quality programs 21

22 Conclusions The assumption that all Brazilian higher education should evolve towards the research university model did not consider the needs and characteristics of mass higher education; In spite of the quality control established by CAPES, there is a permanent problem of grade inflation, which is getting worse by globalization; It may have been better to deal with advanced research and doctoral education as a sector policy, and deal with higher education taking into account its need for differentiation 22

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