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Rethinking Quality Assurance for Higher Education in Brazil

image of Rethinking Quality Assurance for Higher Education in Brazil

This review examines the external systems in place to assure the quality of higher education in Brazil. It highlights the relative success of the Brazilian quality assurance model in regulating market entry for private operators in Brazil, which cater to over 70% of students. But it also calls into question the effectiveness of existing systems to monitor the quality of undergraduate programmes and institutions and the ability of public authorities to act decisively to protect students from bad quality education.



The report analyses the systems that regulate the launch of new higher education institutions and programmes and evaluates quality assessment mechanisms for existing programmes and institutions. It also looks at the structures allowing public authorities to intervene to end or improve poor quality provision.



The review offers policy recommendations. It proposes a more differentiated system of quality assurance. It also recommends significant modifications to the design and purpose of the National Examination of Student Performance (ENADE).



This work was requested by the National Commission for Evaluation of Higher Education (CONAES) and CAPES, the federal body responsible for quality assurance and funding of postgraduate education.

English

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Foreword

Brazil has well-established systems to assess, monitor and assure the quality of learning and teaching in private and public higher education providers in the federal higher education system. Participation in the external quality assurance system is mandatory for private and federal public higher education institutions, which together account for over 90% of undergraduate enrolment in Brazil. The procedures used to assess institutions and undergraduate programmes are wide-ranging, encompassing institutional self-evaluation, peer review visits, programme-level quality indicators and large-scale student performance assessment. A separate, comprehensive system of external peer review is used to assure the quality of academic postgraduate education throughout the country.

English

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