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.



Higher education in Brazil

This chapter presents a brief overview of the higher education system in Brazil and the underlying socio-economic context in which it operates. It starts with a short review of recent macroeconomic developments and demographic trends, before examining the main legal and administrative governance arrangements for the public and private higher education institutions that make up the federal higher education system and account for the vast majority of institutions and student enrolment in Brazil. The chapter then presents key data relating to the institutional landscape in higher education, types of programme offered, the teaching workforce, enrolment and attainment rates, a discussion of social equity and evidence about the learning and employment outcomes for graduates.


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error