I have a serious soft-spot for Brazil – having lived there for around 6 months, and had a return visit since – so really interested to see this story about the rise of Brazilian Universities:
The University of São Paulo is the top-ranked Latin American institution in the 2012-13 Times Higher EducationWorld University Rankings, at 158, and it is the oldest university in Brazil. Its leafy campus in the city is so huge that staff move between buildings in cars, while its students – some of whom would not look out of place in London’s trendy Hoxton neighbourhood – are known for keeping fit by criss-crossing the site on foot. Boasting four university hospitals and four on-site museums, the institution manages to achieve cultural dominance in a city of 11 million people, and it is set to expand even further. Some 11,500 students graduate from the University of São Paulo each year and, like other public higher education institutions in Brazil, it charges no tuition fees.
The university owes much of its might to its enormous budget. Most public universities in Brazil (typically the country’s oldest and most research-focused institutions) are managed by the federal government, but the University of São Paulo receives its funding directly from the state of São Paulo, the wealthiest region in Brazil. It is not the only institution to benefit from this arrangement: in a set-up enshrined in the state’s constitution, three of its universities receive a guaranteed 10 per cent of the state’s tax revenues each year between them. Up to 90 per cent of the funding distributed by the São Paulo Research Foundation, FAPESP, also typically goes to academics and students at these institutions via grants and scholarships. The foundation itself receives another 1 per cent of state tax revenues to spend on research, innovation and education – the equivalent of about £350 million a year.
Read full story – and maybe I want to pick up on my Portugues – or is it all about science?!!