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Graduate Education in Brazil. Simon Schwartzman Institute for Studies on Labour and Society, Rio de Janeiro. Students in Doctoral Programs. This is Brazil. Brazil: General Data. Area 8,511,965 sq km (slightly smaller than the US) Population 196,342,592 Ethnic composition:

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Graduate Education in Brazil


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    1. Graduate Education in Brazil Simon Schwartzman Institute for Studies on Labour and Society, Rio de Janeiro simon@iets.org.br

    2. simon@iets.org.br Students in Doctoral Programs

    3. simon@iets.org.br This is Brazil

    4. simon@iets.org.br 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)

    5. simon@iets.org.br 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

    6. simon@iets.org.br 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

    7. simon@iets.org.br 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

    8. simon@iets.org.br 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

    9. simon@iets.org.br 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 university’s 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

    10. simon@iets.org.br 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

    11. simon@iets.org.br Achievements: graduate programs

    12. simon@iets.org.br Students in MA programs

    13. simon@iets.org.br Students in Doctoral Programs

    14. simon@iets.org.br CAPES, types of fellowships abroad

    15. simon@iets.org.br CAPES: doctoral studies abroad

    16. simon@iets.org.br CNPq, fellowships abroad

    17. simon@iets.org.br 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?

    18. simon@iets.org.br Academic Publications, SCI-Search

    19. simon@iets.org.br 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

    20. simon@iets.org.br The expansion of Brazilian Professoriate

    21. simon@iets.org.br The distribution of high quality programs

    22. simon@iets.org.br 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

    23. simon@iets.org.br Thank you! simon@iets.org.br