Financing and democratizing the access to higher education in Brazil: from State desertion to the reform project

This text deals with the financing of higher education in Brazil, focusing on the period from the early 90s to present. It assumes that, to some extent, this period has reflected the collapse of the political and economical models in force up to the mid-80s so as to analyze the role assigned to higher education in government programs from the following decade. It then discusses the advance of the private sector from the mid-90s onwards and the supposed dichotomy between higher education and basic schooling. With regard to stricto sensu financing, this paper analyses the share of public and private entities, respectively, and compares the Brazilian situation to that of other countries from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Furthermore, based on a case study carried out at the University of Brasília (UNB), it looks into the possibility of self-funding for Federal higher education institutions. Finally, it presents the first measures that integrate the higher education reform proposal coordinated by the Department of Education (MEC). As a conclusion, it foresees possible implications and shortcomings of the higher education financing policies implemented these last years.

Higher education; Financing and expenditure; Democratizing access; Reform project

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