This paper deals with the constitutional principle of free public education in official establishments (art. 206) as extensive and compulsory also for the higher education. In the case of public universities, it is assumed that such extension implies compliance with another specific principle: the indissolubility between teaching, research, and extension (art. 208). From an overall reading of the chapter on education in the Federal Constitution of 1988 and its developments in the Law of Guidelines and Bases of National Education (LDB 1996), especially in the chapter “On Higher Education”, one may affirm that the practice of collecting monthly fees, taxes, and other forms of billing in universities maintained by the public power violates these superior rules. In final considerations, a discussion about the current frame of free public higher education is presented, along with renewed arguments supporting its extinction, inside and outside institutions.
Higher education; Public university; Gratuity