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Educação & Sociedade

On-line version ISSN 1678-4626


DIAS SOBRINHO, José. Democratization, quality and higher education crisis: faces of exclusion and limits of inclusion. Educ. Soc. [online]. 2010, vol.31, n.113, pp.1223-1245. ISSN 1678-4626.

This paper deals with aspects of the "democratization" of higher education in Brazil. It discusses the contradictions between conceptions of education as a public good and as a commodity, and relates them to higher education public policies. It approaches the notion of quality and social relevance and asserts that public policies oriented towards the democratization of higher education must go far beyond the actions focused on the increase of enrollment and social inclusion. Democratization requires an improvement and expansion of elementary education in order to enhance the quantity and quality of high school graduates, and continuously improve and widen teachers' education and the infrastructure of the whole educational system. It also demands good conditions so that students do not quit their courses and an increased participation of the State as an education provider. In conclusion: radical changes in higher education, particularly its expansion with quality and equity, are not separated from structural and sustainable modifications in the society.

Keywords : Higher education; Democratization; Quality; Public policies; Social inclusion.

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