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Effectiveness of public university expansion in Brazil: comparison between the situation of graduated and dropout students

Efetividade da expansão universitária pública no Brasil: comparação entre a situação de alunos egressos e evadidos

Efectividad de la expansión universitaria pública en Brasil: comparación entre la situación de egresados y alumnos que abandonaron


Starting in 2007 with the implementation of the Support Program to Restructure and Expansion Plans of Federal Universities (Reuni, acronym in Portuguese), Brazil doubled the number of admissions in public higher education within a decade, while also making the admissions process more inclusive. However, this rapid expansion has led to criticism regarding the loss of quality in public higher education. The objective of this study is to compare the labor market performances of successful graduated and dropout students who majored in four disciplines that encompass this expansion policy. The nonparametric Binomial and Mann-Whitney tests were used to compare the performances of the groups of students who had successfully graduated and those who had dropped out of their courses at the Planaltina campus of the University of Brasilia (UnB-FUP). The performance of the graduated students in our sample was worrisome, as our results show that there is a high number of unemployed students and, that among those employed, few work in the area they majored in, raising doubts about the effectiveness of the policy to expand the number of admissions in higher education held in Brazil.

Higher education; Social inequality; Alumni research; Educational politics

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