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Brazil: Higher education census shows increased enrollment in distance learning

The data released by Inep show the portrait of higher education in the country


Brazil: Higher education census shows increased enrollment in distance learning
Video Conference, Representative Image by Jagrit Parajuli

Oct 25, Education: For every four graduate students in Brazil, three attend private establishments. There are 2,608 higher education institutions in the country. Of these, 2,306 are private and 302 public. And, of the total enrollments in higher education (8,604,526), ​​most, 6,524,108, are in the private network.


The information is part of the Higher Education Census 2019, conducted by the National Institute of Educational Studies and Research Anísio Teixeira (Inep), and released this Friday (23) by the Minister of Education, Milton Ribeiro.



In 2019, enrollment in the public system grew 0.1% and, in the private network, 2.4%. According to the Ministry of Education, the process of expanding higher education in Brazil began in the late 1990s and finds its main driver in the private network.


“The Brazilian State would not be able to fulfil its constitutional mission if it were not for the partnership and the performance of the private network. Seventy-six per cent of higher education has to do with the private network, ”said Minister Milton Ribeiro.



Distance learning increases

The census also reveals that distance learning is confirmed as a growth trend in Brazilian higher education. In 2019, of the 16,425,302 vacancies offered at a higher level, 10,395,600, were in distance learning.


Census data also point out that, in the last decade, between 2009 and 2019, the number of enrollments in courses in this modality increased substantially.


In 2009, newcomers to distance learning corresponded to 16.1% of the total freshmen. In 2019, this audience was 43.8%. In the last 5 years, the number of students who entered in-person undergraduate courses has decreased by 14.3%.



Higher education portrait

According to the Higher Education Census 2019, almost half of the students enrolled in the private network (45.6%) have some type of financing or scholarship, such as the University for All Program (ProUni) and the Higher Education Student Financing Fund (Fies).


The survey also points out that, of the 2,608 institutions of higher education in Brazil, 2,076 are colleges, 294 university centres, 198 universities and 40 Federal Institutes of Education and Federal Technological Education Centers.


In 2019, of the total students enrolled in-classroom courses, the majority, 57.6%, studied at night.


Brazil has 17,539 foreign students in undergraduate courses that are of 177 different nationalities.



Regarding teachers, 386,073 work in higher education in Brazil. Of these, 37.5% have a master's degree and 45.9% have a doctorate. These data show, according to the Ministry of Education, a visible improvement in the qualification of teachers working in higher education in Brazil and that goal 12 of the National Education Plan (PNE) has already been achieved. The goal proposes to increase the proportion of masters and doctors to 75%, with a total of at least 35% of doctors.


In 2019, almost 1.7 million students were studying for degrees in the country. "This contingent of future teachers is under the responsibility of public and private institutions and needs to be properly trained", said the minister of education Milton Ribeiro, commenting on the importance of the role of teachers in improving Brazilian education.


According to the Census, in 2019, the baccalaureate courses concentrated the majority of those entering higher education (66%), followed by undergraduate (19.7%) and technological (14.3%), which are short courses that offer the superior technologist degree.



The census

Higher education data provides detailed information on the situation and trends in the sector to guide public education policies in the country.


“It is from the perspective of the census that we will see how higher education goes hand in hand with basic education. The effects of one stage on the other reinforce the institutional role of the Ministry of Education ”, concluded the minister.




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