This paper aims at demonstrating that in the last years it is being forged in Brazil a model for the expansion of higher education that is increasingly distinguished by the predominance of private/commercial interests, which challenge the public character of regulation by the state and jeopardize university formation. To demonstrate such hypothesis, the author first discourses on the expansion of the educational market, which is mainly structured by the university subsystem's merchandization process. Following that, the author discusses some categories such as merchandise, education/merchandise and merchandise/education, State (as a space of public versus private/commercial contradiction), regulation (either of a predominantly public or private/commercial interest) and functions of the university. Finally, in face of the educational market's commercial character and the limits of state regulation (supposedly public and democratic) the author raises questions about the university subsystem's future, as the locus of knowledge creation and formation of qualified and critical professionals/citizens.
Expansion of higher education; Privatization; Merchandization; Regulation; University formation