Brazil : Higher Education Sector Study, Volume 1
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The Government of Brazil is analyzing options for improving and restructuring higher education over the next two to three decades. At the request of the Minister for Education, Mr. Paulo Renato, the Bank undertook an assessment of the state of higher education and made recommendations on how its purpose, structure, scope, funding and governance could evolve to better meet the needs of the country. The assessment consisted of four phases. In phase one, analytical work between Minister Paulo Renato, members of the National Education Council, rectors, federal higher education officials, and World Bank staff led to the identification of the major issues facing Brazilian higher education. The following issues were identified: i) increasing coverage, ii) enhancing managerial autonomy and providing incentives for efficiency at the institutional level; iii) the changing role of the Federal Government; iv) improving quality of instruction, and v) identifying and garnering support from stakeholders. In phase two, several expert policy analysts were commissioned to produce a series of background papers which served as the basis for discussion at a policy workshop held in December 1998 in Lansdowne, Virginia. Six of the background papers, in their entirety, comprise the contents of Volume II' of this study. A three-day Policy Workshop, from December 10-12, 1998 in Lansdowne, Virginia, was the third phase of the assessment. The workshop brought together a delegation, led by the Minister of Education, of selected high-level Brazilian policy makers, a panel of international policy experts, and Bank staff. The main objective of participants was to launch a dialogue for fundamental and long-term change, based on a balanced and realistic assessment of where Brazilian higher education should be heading. Phase Four was the production of Volume I of this study, "Brazil: Higher Education Sector Study", which discusses the ways in which Brazil might address the main issues identified and prepare the higher education sector for the 21st century. The first section of Volume I describes the system. The second section provides an economic perspective by examining the issues of external efficiency, internal efficiency, and equity with reference to possible developments in student aid and other measures to promote wider access to higher education. The third and final section contains policy recommendations. It should be noted that these are recommendations and not confirmed government policies.
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