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Educação

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Created by Lula's government in 2009, the Unified Selection System is now one of the main ways to gain access to a university. In each edition, public higher education institutions that are part of Sisu save a number of places for Enem participants. The candidate chooses the registration options from among the vacancies offered anywhere in the country. At the end of the registration stage, the system automatically selects the top-ranked candidates in each course, according to their Enem results. Some 51 institutions participated in the first edition of Sisu.

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"The poor will go to college. And the door is Enem." With this determination, President Lula transformed the National Middle School Exam — previously an instrument for assessing the quality of education — into the passport for entry of young people into higher education through the Unified Selection System (Sisu). An alternative to college entrance examinations, Sisu made access to higher education a more democratic process: 95% of federal universities use the Sisu grading results as a selection mechanism.

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• University inclusion through quotes is the law

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Critics said the level of education would decline. And that quota beneficiaries, unable to keep pace with their peers, eventually would throw in the towel. Ten years after the start of implementation of social and racial quotas in the public university system, however, just the opposite has been proven — the absenteeism rate fell and the quality of education increased. It was so successful that in 2012 it was enacted and signed into law by President Dilma. The Social Quotas Law reserves 50% of positions in federal universities for those who graduate from public schools.

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• Expansion of the higher public education sector

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If you are younger, ask the veterans: there was a time when the federal universities didn’t have the money to pay their light bills or buy toilet paper. This situation changed with the Lula government, especially as of the Support Program for Restructuring and Expansion Plans of Federal Universities (Reuni). Upon joining the program, universities began to rely on an unprecedented volume of resources to invest in the production of knowledge.

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Expansion and moves into the interior

Despite there being so many former presidents with college degrees, for many years not a single federal university was built in Brazil. The limited number of vacancies was reserved for the privileged few (usually residents of state capitals or large cities). The Lula government broke this drought, spreading 14 new universities and 126 new campuses across the country.

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• Higher Education Census 2012

• Lula’ speech at the ProUni launch ceremony - 2005

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Foto: Ricardo Stuckert
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