Higher Education Institutions in Brazil

Brazil is a home to world class higher education institutions. Many of the Brazilian institutions are included in the QS World University Rankings. There are more than 2,600 higher education institutions in Brazil recognized by the Ministry of Education (MEC).

Administrative Category

Higher education institutions are broadly classified - as Public and Private.
  1. Public (Publica): Public Higher Education Institutions are funded by the federal, state or local government
  2. Private (Privada): The Private Higher Education Institutions have risen to a great extent. There are a great number of private universities in Brazil. 

Academic Institutions

The higher education institutions in Brazil have been categorised as:
  • Universities (Universidades): Universities in Brazil are either state-run, federal government managed, Catholic, municipal government managed or private. A wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes are provided at the Brazilian Universities. Universities in Brazil hold a greater independence in the programmes/courses offered, admissions, research, personnel and finance. Nearly one-third of the teaching staff holds a postgraduate level qualification. 
  • University Centres (Centro Universitarios): These are private university level institutions which concentrate on undergraduate education. They hold a considerable amount of independence in creating curriculum, opening up a new course/programme, admission, budgeting, and staffing. Most of the University Centres were set up in the late 1960s and 1970s.
  • Isolated Colleges (Faculdades Isoladas): These are isolated or single-faculty non-university higher education institutions. These are basically private educational institutions that comprise specific knowledge areas and offer courses at undergraduate and post-graduate levels. These Colleges represent the major percentage of all the higher education institutions in Brazil. 
  • Integrated Schools and Faculties of Higher Education (Faculdades Integradas): These types of institutions are consortium of independent education providers. These are basically small institutions that need to get permission from the Ministry of Education (MEC) in order to introduce a new course/programme. They offer courses at the undergraduate and post-graduate levels.
  • Centres for Technology Education (Centros de Educacao Tecnologica): These are public institutions that provide technological education. The courses at Centres of Technology Education, generally, last for 2-3 years leading to a sub-degree qualification. Also, Undergraduate degree programmes are offered at these institutions.
The major purpose of higher education is to professionalize students. In Brazil, the student immediately picks a law school (a five-year course) or medicine (six years).
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