The article proposes to analyze the laws about higher education along the Republic period in Brazil, with emphasis in two key-period: during the Provisional Government of Vargas (1931) that instituted the rules for the public and private universities development, and created the current system of federal public institutions (IFES) and during the military regime (1968) that reorganized the university system, introduced the post-graduation courses and its ways of public financing. The text takes as reference the concept of university reform settled down in Cordoba's tradition (1918), in the universities mobilization from Brazil (1960-63) and analyze the new context of the current reform, emphasizing that it's carried out for the first time in a democratic regime, utilizing a methodology that try to involve the university community, its representative bodies and sectors of the organized civil society. Analyze the challenges to be faced by the current government proposal, through the discussion of the relevant literature produced by Latin American specialists and draw out about the strategies adopted by the international organizations, especially the World Bank. Finally, shows, as a condition to the viability of the MEC (Ministry of Education and Culture) proposal, the directionament of critical questions through a new Organizational Higher Education Law: the effective implementation of the university autonomy, as it is prescribed in the Constitution of 1988; the enlargement of the public financing taking in view to recover and to increase the federal public institutions, and the introduction of a more complete system of evaluation that look for the academic qualification of the whole Brazilian higher education.
University reform; Reform and counter reform of the university; Reform of the higher education