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Inequality of educational_opportunity_in_higher_education

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  • 1. Graduate School of Social Sciences Msc International Development Studies Master’s ThesisInequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education São Paulo, Brazil Michal Ragowan January 2013
  • 2. Cover photo: Classroom of the public secondary school E.E. Dulce Ferreira Boarin in São Paulo, BrazilMichal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 2
  • 3. Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education São Paulo, Brazil Michal Ragowan Student number: 10156984 Supervisor: Dr. Xavier Bonal Sarró Second assessor: Drs. Margriet Poppema Amsterdam, January 2013 Master’s Thesis Msc International Development Studies Graduate School of Social Sciences University of AmsterdamMichal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 3
  • 4. SupervisorDr. Xavier Bonal SarróSociology, Anthropology and International Development StudiesGraduate School of Social SciencesUniversity of AmsterdamPlantage Muidergracht 141018 TV AmsterdamThe NetherlandsE-mail: F.X.Bonal@uva.nlhttp://www.uva.nl/over-de-uva/organisatie/medewerkers/content/b/o/f.x.bonal/f.x.bonal.htmlSecond AssessorDrs. Margriet F. PoppemaSenior Lecturer International Development StudiesHuman Geography, Planning and International Development Studies (GPIO)Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences (FMG)University of AmsterdamPlantage Muidergracht 141018 TV AmsterdamThe NetherlandsPhone: 020-5255035 / 020-5257409E-mail: M.F.Poppema@uva.nlhttp://www.uva.nl/profiel/m.f.poppemaMichal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 4
  • 5. AbstractIn Brazil, the educational system acts as an elitist entity which serves students from high-income classes.Therefore, the structural inequalities present throughout the country are reflected in the area of educationas well. Public education at primary and secondary educational levels is of poor quality. Here the pupilsdo not receive the necessary preparation for the entrance exam of a public university. Conversely, pupilswho have the privilege to attend private primary and secondary schools are sufficiently prepared andsucceed in entering a public university. In Brazil, at the higher educational level, public universities areof much better quality than private universities. Pupils who attend public schools are left with theeducational opportunity of attending low-cost private universities. The purpose of this research was toexplore how socio-economic factors influence the access of low- to middle-income students to publichigher educational institutions. Additionally, the aim was to research the educational experience ofstudents from low- to middle-income classes who are attending low-cost private universities. Moreover,the aim was to explore the quality of low-cost private universities and the perceptions and expectations ofthe students in reference to their educational opportunities. The research took place in São Paulo, Brazil, where I conducted 22 semi-structured in-depthqualitative interviews. I interviewed 22 students from the following different low-cost privateuniversities: Centro Universitário Sant’anna (Unisant’anna), Universidade Nove de Julho (Uninove),Universidade Paulista (Unip) in São Paulo and Ribeirão Preto and, finally, Centro UniversitárioAnhanguera de São Paulo (Anhanguera). Additionally, I conducted participatory research activities withchildren, ranging from 16 to 21, at three different public secondary schools in São Paulo. For this, Ivisited the following secondary schools: E.E. Dulce Ferreira Boarin, E.E. Augusto Meirelles Reis Filhoand E.E. Casimiro de Abreu.Key words: privatization; higher education; educational opportunities; inequality; São Paulo.Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 5
  • 6. AcknowledgementsI very much enjoyed conducting this research in São Paulo, Brazil, and there are several people who Iwould like to acknowledge and thank, because they helped me in one way or another during this research.First of all, I would like to acknowledge and thank my supervisor, Dr. Xavier Bonal Sarró. He helped mefind my respondents and guided me through the entire process from the field to the thesis writing.Additionally, I would like to thank my family who supported me through this research. I would like tothank my translator, Leonel Marini, who helped me with the translations during the first ten interviews. Ialso want to thank Maria Antonieta Penido, who welcomed me to her home and helped me get to knowSão Paulo. Moreover, I want to thank Mara Paulini Machado who invited me to stay at the house of heraunt and uncle during my stay in São Paulo. Furthermore, I would like to thank Camilla Croso who referred me to Romualdo Portelo and JoséMarcelino Rezende Pinto from Universidade Paulista. Moreover, I would like to thank RomualdoPortelo who introduced me to Carlos Bauer from Uninove and Renata Marcilio Candido fromAnhanguera. These professors provided me with the contact information of several of their students.Additionally, I would like to thank José Marcelino Rezende Pinto who referred me to Ana Paula LeivarBrancaleoni from Unip in Ribeirão Preto. Thanks to Ana Paula and her sister Renata Brancaleoni, whohelped me with translations, I was able to conduct six interviews in Riberão Preto with the students fromUnip. Moreover, I would like to thank George Longhitano from Unisant’anna for introducing me to hisstudents. Of course, I would like to thank all the students who participated in the interviews and whospared an hour of their time to help me in this research. Especially, I would like to thank Guilherme Reiswho invited me to visit the three public secondary schools where he was teaching. Thanks to Guilherme,I was able to visit these schools and get a first-hands impression of the quality of public education atprimary and secondary levels. This was quite an experience.Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 6
  • 7. Table of ContentsAbstract………………………………………………………………………………………………..5Acknowledgements…………………………………………………………………………………....6Table of Contents………………………………………………………………………………….......7Glossary………………………………………………………………………………………………..91. Introduction………………………………………………………………………………………..102. Theoretical Framework…………………………………………………………………………...12 2.1. Globalization agenda…………………………………………………………………………...12 2.2. Processes of privatization………………………………………………………………………12 2.2.1. Privatization of education……………………………………………………………....13 2.3. Effects on educational policy…………………………………………………………………...15 2.4. Educational opportunities………………………………………………………………………16 2.5. Equity and the reproduction of inequalities..…………………………………………………...18 2.6. Conclusion……………………………………………………………………………………...203. Research Methodology…………………………………………………………………………….21 3.1. Research questions……………………………………………………………………………...21 3.2. Methodology……………………………………………………………………………………21 3.3. Units of analysis………………………………………………………………………………...23 3.4. Methods…………………………………………………………………………………………23 3.5. Limitations and ethics……...……………………………………………………………………27 3.6. Conclusion………………………………………………………………………………………284. Context: Introducing São Paulo, Brazil…………………………………………………………..29 4.1. Socio-economic background........................................................................................................29 4.2. Educational policy in Brazil…………………………………………………………………….33 4.3. Sistema educacional Brasileiro…………………………………………………………………35 4.4. Accessibility to higher education……………………………………………………………….40 4.5. Conclusion………………………………………………………………………………………455. The Influence of Socio-Economic Factors………………………………………………………...46 5.1. Real opportunities of students from low- to middle-income classes……………………………46 5.1.1. Doing a pré-vestibular or cursinho……………………………………………………...47 5.1.2. Introducing low-cost private universities………………………………………………..49 5.1.3. Applying for a bolsa……………………………………………………………………..53 5.2. Influence of socio-economic factors on access………………………………………………….55Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 7
  • 8. 5.2.1. Parental influence………………………………………………………………………..55 5.2.2. Household income……………………………………………………………………….58 5.2.3. Previous schools…………………………………………………………………………606. The Educational Experience and Expectations…………………………………………………...67 6.1. Conditions under which the educational experience takes place………………………………...67 6.1.1. Maintaining a job………………………………………………………………………...67 6.1.2. Attending classes at night………………………………………………………………..67 6.1.3. Minimum grade average to maintain bolsa……………………………………………...68 6.2. Quality of low-cost private universities…………………………………………………………69 6.2.1. Evaluation of the quality………………………………………………………………...69 6.2.2. Perceptions of the educational experience and quality………………………………….76 6.3. Expectations regarding further educational and professional opportunities…………………….78 6.3.1. Further educational opportunities……………………………………………………….78 6.3.2. Further professional opportunities………………………………………………………78 6.3.3. Inequalities………………………………………………………………………………807. Conclusion…………………………………………………………………………………………...82 7.1. Findings of the research……………………………………………………………………83 7.2. Reflection on the methodology…………………………………………………………….85 7.3. Suggestions for further study………………………………………………………………85Bibliography……………………………………………………………………………………………87Appendix I: Interview Guide………………………………………………………………………….93Appendix II: Overview Respondents…………………………………………………………………96Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 8
  • 9. GlossaryBolsa ScholarshipCAPES Foundation Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Educational Personnel, linked to the Ministry of EducationCNPq National Council of Scientific and Technological Development, linked to the Ministry of Science and TechnologyConcurso público Public examination in order to work in a public areaCursinho / Pré-vestibular Preparatory course to prepare students for the vestibular and in some cases for the ENEM examEducacão de Jovens e Adultos (EJA) Education for both youth as adults, where students can complete their primary and secondary schooling (previously referred to as supletivo)Educação professional (nível técnico) Professional education (technical course) of two years, usually done after secondary schoolENADE National Survey of Student PerformanceENEM Exame Nacional do Ensino Médio (National Examination of Secondary Education)Ensino fundamental Primary schoolEnsino médio Secondary schoolEnsino superior Higher educationFIES Student Financing Programme (loan scheme)FUNDEB Fund for the Maintenance and Development of Basic Education and Enhancement of Educational ProfessionalsFUNDEF Fund for Maintenance and Development of the Fundamental Education and Valorization of TeachingMinistério da Educação (MEC) Ministry of EducationParticular PrivateProUni University for All Programme (scholarship programme)Pública PublicSupletivo Education for both youth as adults (now called EJA)Vale refeição Meal allowance or meal voucherVestibular Entrance exam of higher educational institutionsMichal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 9
  • 10. 1. IntroductionIn Brazil, the segregated educational system causes for an unjust distribution of educational opportunities.The educational system in Brazil offers more and better quality education to children from the moreaffluent classes of society. Conversely, poor families, who often have a different cultural, ethnic andlinguistic background, have less educational opportunities and receive education of inferior quality. In Brazil today, processes of capitalist expansion are derived from neoliberal policies. Theseprocesses have caused for the area of education to increasingly become a space open to the rules andregulations of the market. Moreover, the current globalization agenda has greatly affected global andnational policies, impacting educational development and equity. The expansion of capitalist and market-led economies and the decentralization of the state have resulted in processes of privatization and theincreasing expansion of private schools. The privatization of education has caused for educationalreform, affecting educational policies. Moreover, the privatization of education has greatly affected theeducational opportunities of students from low- to middle-income classes. Furthermore, in reference to the privatization of education, higher education has become a greatfield of interest for profit-seeking business. Educational policies, such as the Global Campaign forEducational for All (EFA) and the Millennium Development Goal Two to achieve universal primaryeducation, focus on sending all children to primary and sometimes secondary schools. Moreover, thelittle budget governments have for education is primarily devoted to primary education. Therefore, thegap of investment in higher education is filled by private investors. In the case of Brazil, private schools at primary and secondary educational levels are of muchbetter quality than public schools. Therefore, children from the more affluent classes of society are sentto private primary and secondary schools. Conversely, at the higher educational level, public universitiesare considered more prestigious and of much better quality than private universities. To enter thesepublic universities, the student must pass the vestibular, which is the entrance exam. This exam is to suchan extent difficult that usually only children pass, who have attended private primary and secondaryschools. Contradicting, children from low- to middle-income classes who do not share the privilege ofattending private schools generally do not pass the vestibular. This leaves the students from low- tomiddle-income classes with the educational opportunity of attending low-cost private universities, butmost of these students do not have the economic conditions to pay for tuition fees. Some studentsmanage to obtain a scholarship which enables them to attend a low-cost private university. Nevertheless,the education at these universities is of inferior quality in comparison to the quality of education at publicuniversities. Therefore, access to good quality education and the unjust distribution of educationalopportunities are pressing issues in Brazil. Moreover, the Brazilian educational system serves the affluentMichal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 10
  • 11. classes of society, greatly reflecting the inequalities present throughout the social-, political- andeconomic system in Brazil. At the start of the sugar production in the coastal areas of Brazil, which made use of slave labor,the means of production were controlled by a small group of owners. The colonial period lasted from1500 to 1822 and focused on the accumulation of wealth based on property. In agriculture, there was asignificant growth in productivity, but the great concentration of land ownership prevented thedemocratization of possession of the land (CEBRAP 2012: 15). This “led to extreme exploitation ofworkers in the absence of social policies, dragging down standards of living in the countryside.”(CEBRAP 2012: 15) As a result, mass migration occurred as people moved to the city in the search ofemployment and opportunities. This caused for a transformation of Brazil towards urbanization, initiatingthe industrialization, which lasted from 1930 to 1980. Conversely, these changes did not bring about ajust and democratic society. “It became an authentically capitalist inequality, tied to monetary wealth,which exploited differences of region, race/color and gender to create a working class, in which themajority of its members did not have social and labor rights.” (CEBRAP 2012: 13) Moreover, by the1980s the economic growth had stalled, poverty grew and inequality became more pronounced, markingthe beginning of the crisis. However, with this also came an end to the military regime and theestablishment of the Brazilian Federal Constitution as of 1988, introducing the first steps towards ademocracy. The structural causes of inequality are embedded in Brazil’s historic trajectory, “producingexclusion and contributing to wealth concentration in the hands of the few” (CEBRAP 2012: 3). “Povertyin Brazil remains high and social inequality in the country reaches extreme levels.” (CEBRAP 2012: 23)Moreover, “Brazil remains among the five most unequal countries in the world” (IMF 2011). This thesis is divided into seven chapters. Now I will discuss the theoretical framework, whichare the theories and the academic debate in which I placed my research. I will then discuss the researchmethodology and explain which methods I used and the reasons behind this. Furthermore, I will discussthe context and my empirical findings. The following two chapters will discuss the data collected in SãoPaulo. Finally, I will complete this thesis with a conclusion.Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 11
  • 12. 2. Theoretical FrameworkIn this chapter, I will draw upon theories regarding the globalization agenda and the processes ofprivatization. Additionally, I will look at the privatization of education and the effects on educationalpolicy more specifically. I wish to challenge the assumed positive effects of the privatization ofeducation on educational expansion and quality. Furthermore, I will discuss how the privatization ofeducation and the expansion of private schools affect educational opportunities. Finally, I will touchupon the concept of equity and show how the privatization of education contributes to the reproduction ofinequalities.2.1. Globalization agendaDale (1999) discusses the political aspect of the globalization agenda and states’ reactions to changingcircumstances. Individually, states’ responses to changing global realities evolve around makingthemselves more competitive (Dale 1999: 4). Collectively, states have become more concerned in settingan international framework of large international organizations, the most prominent being theInternational Monetary Fund, the OECD and the World Bank. Through this international framework,states seek to establish ‘governance without government’ (Rosenau 1992 in Dale 1999: 4). The commonideology which drives these organizations to enhance in policy changes within this set internationalframework is described by John Williamson (1993) in his ‘Washington Consensus’1. Williamsonemphasizes ten features of the ‘Washington Consensus’, including among others, public expenditurepriorities, financial and trade liberalization, foreign direct investment, deregulation and privatization.(Dale 1999: 4) Together these processes act as “the preferred ideological filters that inform the directionsin which national policy decisions are to be shaped” (Dale 1999: 4). Conversely, it is important to keep in mind the fact that “external policies are likely to bedifferently interpreted and differently acted on in different countries” (Dale 1999: 5).2.2. Processes of privatizationAmong the features of the ‘Washington Consensus’ described by Williamson (1993) is privatization.Therefore, processes of privatization are part of the globalization agenda. Moreover, Dale (1999)discusses the variety of mechanisms which influence national policies and through which the effects ofglobalization are delivered. One of these mechanisms is privatization.1 Williamson, J. (1993) Democracy and the `Washington Consensus’, World Development, 21(8), 1329- 1336Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 12
  • 13. It is argued that privatization takes place to make up for the lack of the public sector. Ball (2010)argues that “privatization is attractive to governments and to multi-lateral agencies as ‘solutions’ to the‘problem’ of public-sector reform (with the promise of increasing productivity, introducing innovationsand reducing costs) and is a new (and relatively safe) profit opportunity for capital (large and small)particularly at a time when other areas of business activity are in recession” (Ball 2010: 229). Furthermore, in Brazil, “privatization was considered a key element in the process ofrestructuring the economy” (IHEP 2009: 4) after the economic crisis. The government implementedseveral plans to reverse the economic crisis, including fiscal adjustment, control of inflation,modernization of domestic industry and privatization. Privatization was successful in some sectors, suchas power companies, banks and telecommunications, but became very unpopular in Brazil. Privatizationbrought unemployment and few benefits as the people “paid more taxes and higher prices for services”(IHEP 2009: 4). Moreover, with the emergence of privatization processes, education became more and more afield for private investors who seek to make profit. These investors ‘sell’ education as a commodity,which is sensitive to competition and commercialization. Ball and Youdell (2008) explain this whensaying: “privatization tendencies are at the centre of the shift from education being seen as a public goodthat serves the whole community, to education being seen as a private good that serves the interest of theeducated individual, the employer and the economy.” (Ball & Youdell 2008: 15-6)2.2.1. Privatization of educationNow I will discuss the privatization of education more specifically. Current neoliberal policies, set withinthe context of the globalization agenda, focus on the expansion of capitalism and market-led economies,the deregulation of state power and the privatization of the public sector. Additionally, these policieshave led to the privatization in and of public education. Furthermore, the privatization of education is based on the argument that the educational systemas provided by the state is of low quality. Therefore, the ‘solution’ could be found in the privatization ofeducation. In other words, this means opening education up to the norms and values of the market, “toparental choice and competition between schools for student recruitment, and to allow new providers,including for-profit providers, to operate alongside or within the state school system” (Ball & Youdell2008: 14). Additionally, it is argued that the public sector should not be responsible for all aspects ofeducation. Four main reasons are argued here advocating for the privatization of education. Firstly, theeffectiveness and efficiency of public education is questioned. Secondly, the equity and accountability ofMichal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 13
  • 14. public education is questioned, particularly affecting the poor. Thirdly, the increase of initiatives ofeducational entrepreneurs raised awareness of the significant educational improvements which could bethe result of competitive pressures. Finally, it is necessary to find alternative sources of educationalfunding in order to restrain public expenditure and reduce budget deficits and external debts.2 Furthermore, privatization interprets education as a market-oriented commodity. Privatizationunderstands education as a competitive, private good, which benefits solely the individual and stimulatescompetitive individualism. This ignores the idea of international or collective solidarity where theinvestment in education results in rates of return which benefit the whole of society and not merely theindividual. Moreover, the idea behind the privatization of education is primarily derived from the conceptof choice. Choice is then facilitated by initiatives to diversify the provision of local education throughdifferent mechanisms: “per-capita funding; the devolution of management responsibilities and budgets toschools; the provision of school ‘vouchers’ for use in public or private schools; the relaxation ofenrollment regulations; and the publication of ‘performance outcomes’ as a form of market ‘information’for parent-choosers” (Ball & Youdell 2008: 18). Finally, competition is meant to raise the standardsacross the educational system. Additionally, Ball (2005) argues that processes of privatization resulted in three major re-orientations of educational values. Firstly, privatization resulted in an increased emphasis on outcomes.Secondly, it has caused for a shift in direction towards obligations, namely obligations towards sponsors,funders and/or ‘partners’. Lastly, privatization has lead to “the cultivation/valorization of ‘new’dispositions – e.g., enterprise, competitiveness, commercialism, the skills of selling and spinning” (Ball2005: 121). To sum up, the privatization of education caused for an orientation towards “personal andinstitutional success and rewards […] over and against whatever we take ‘teacherly’, scholarly orcollegial virtues to be” (Ball 2005: 121). Furthermore, in Brazil, neoliberal policies were introduced by the World Bank and theInternational Monetary Fund after the crisis. These policies affected Brazil’s government policies andtransformed its educational system. (Hackshaw 2008) This resulted in the implementation of privatizationpolicies in higher education to increase enrollment (Pinto 2004: abstract). Moreover, “between 1995 and2005, the number of institutions in the private sector increased by 182 percent” (IHEP 2009: 4). Severalfactors influenced this expansion of private institutions in higher education. Firstly, the idea was to raisethe percentage of adolescents between the ages of 18 and 24 who attend undergraduate programmes at theuniversity from 12 to 30 percent by 2015, through the expansion of private institutions. Additionally, thegovernment implemented the Education act of 1996, which made the process of accreditation and2 http://education.stateuniversity.com/pages/2015/Government-Education-Changing-Role.html (Accessed24/05/2012)Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 14
  • 15. licensing more flexible with as result the creation of 1,297 new institutions between 1998 and 2006.Moreover, “other factors contributed to the expansion of the private sector, including the stagnation ofstate investment in public universities during the 1990s, the growth of enrollment at the secondary level,and increased demand for higher education in the job market.” (IHEP 2009: 12) Conversely, theenrollment rate in higher education remains low, leading to “an overall elitization of the profile ofstudents, especially in the fields with the highest demand and in private institutions, where the presence ofAfrican-descendant or poor students is still very low” (Pinto 2004: abstract).2.3. Effects on educational policyBonal (2004) argues the following in reference to the effects of globalization on education: “the indirecteffects of globalization on education are undeniable: restrictions in public spending, changes in thestructure of qualifications and their remuneration, an increase in the demand for higher education,changes in the patterns of demand for education (particularly among the middle classes) and the searchfor quality and differences in education, etc.” (Bonal 2004: 664). In Brazil, the effects of the globalization agenda and the processes of privatization led toeducational reform in higher education. The Brazilian educational system shifted from an elite publicsystem to a more diversified system in which private higher educational institutions play a significantrole. McCowan (2007) explains that some of these private higher educational institutions cater forwealthy elites, however, “a growing number target lower-income students who are unable to enter theselective public universities” (McCowan 2007: 580). Conversely, McCowan argues that it remains to beseen whether the increase in private higher educational institutions represents a feasible solution to thepressing need to expand the higher educational system, “while at the same time maintains teaching andresearch of a high quality” (McCowan 2007: 580). Furthermore, Ribeiro (2005) argues that in Brazil, “where the degree of income concentration isscandalous, the decreasing capacity of public services surely represents another step in this profoundlydeepening inequality” (Ribeiro 2005: 3). He argues that, in the last decade, the public higher educationalsystem was mostly affected by neoliberal policies based on the ‘Washington Consensus’ (Ribeiro 2005).Moreover, McCowan (2007) states that in Brazil, under the rule of Cardoso (1995-2002) an educationalreform programme was implemented, following recommendations of the World Bank, which reducedpublic spending and increased private involvement in all areas. (McCowan 2007: 584) Additionally, “the changing economic and social environment in the 1990s put new pressures onthe Brazilian higher education system” (IHEP 2009: 7). The job market changed and the demand forquality control of undergraduate programmes increased, especially in private universities. Therefore, theMichal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 15
  • 16. government adopted new approaches to assure the provision of higher quality undergraduate education atprivate institutions. From 1995 to 2002, the Ministry of Education implemented the National Evaluationof Undergraduate Programmes (ENADE), which measures the performance of the students and ranks theuniversities. Moreover, in 2003, the new administration created a new evaluation system, consisting of aninternal evaluation (a council of students, faculty and employees) and an external evaluation (expertevaluators assigned by the Federal Council of Education). (IHEP 2009: 7) Also, in Brazil, at the higher educational level, public universities are of the best quality. Publicuniversities are usually supported by the federal government, however, there are also public universitiesfunded by the state, such as in the state of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. In the last twenty or thirty years,the privatization of higher education in Brazil has resulted in a strong increase in the number offaculdades, that is, “small institutions offering primarily professional degree programs and a fewundergraduate courses” (Ribeiro 2005: 3). Ribeiro argues that this is the result of a complex combinationof several closely related factors. Firstly, Ribeiro mentions the implementation of neoliberal policies,often recommended to the state by multilateral agencies, which are aimed at opening up the economicsector of education to entrepreneurs. Secondly, the public universities could not grow and accept theincreasing number of students completing secondary school due to the reduction in funds allocated to thepublic universities. Lastly, entrepreneurs become more and more aware of the extremely profitablebusiness higher education could be. (Ribeiro 2005: 3) To sum up, Brazil has been very sensitive to the globalization agenda and the processes ofprivatization, resulting in the reform of educational policies. I will now discuss the effects this has on theeducational opportunities of students.2.4. Educational opportunitiesPrivatization has several effects on the educational opportunities of students. Firstly, privatization couldlead to exclusion, because, in the context of the neoliberal paradigm, privatization forces the economy tointegrate and compete in the global chain of production and distribution. This is the ‘open’ global marketwhich “can offer opportunities for growth, but also exploitation in a marginalized position” (Andriesse etal. 2011: 6). Additionally, the value of education in general decreased due to the processes of globalizationand the mass expansion of education. This resulted in the social segmentation of children from themiddle- or higher-classes of society and children from the low-income classes. Furthermore, this resultedin the public-private segmentation of educational institutions. Moreover, Bonal (2007) argues that themiddle classes, when potentially facing the devaluation of the educational capital they have acquired,Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 16
  • 17. search for ways to distinguish themselves on the basis of quality differences (Bonal 2007: 90). In the caseof Brazil, when students from low-income classes do not have access to public universities, they are leftwith the educational opportunity of attending a low-cost private university. That is, if these students canafford the tuition fees. This allows the students from the affluent classes of society to raise the qualitystandards of their educational capital within the public university, hereby reducing the quality of low-costprivate universities. Furthermore, this leaves no space to vindicate the public school system at primaryand secondary educational levels, because the poor usually do not have a voice to fight for the quality ofthese schools, or are not listened to. As such, inequalities are reproduced and the gap between the poorand rich becomes larger. Furthermore, the privatization of education includes the implementation of several techniques toensure performance management and accountability different than public-sector education. Thesetechniques, such as performance-related pay, are introduced from business into the public sector ofeducation to ensure the quality of education and to make the educational processes more transparent andaccountable. Conversely, these techniques and strategies can also have large effects on the way schoolsand teachers prioritize and value their educational system within a classroom. (Ball & Youdell 2008: 24)Additionally, new strategies are implemented to measure the quality of educational institutions throughstandardized testing, such as PISA. These new strategies, implemented in private schools to ensure thequality and performance, actually lead to a reorientation in priorities focusing away from high qualityeducation. Moreover, practices of commercialization or the ‘cola-isation’ of schools in the United States “areso normalized that their role in the privatization of education can go unrecognized” (Ball & Youdell 2008:38). This refers to commercial companies targeting children and young adolescent consumers at schools,promoting their products and brands. This is yet again another focus of private schools away from whatshould be the schools’ genuine goal; that is, to ensure access and provide high quality education. Finally, Ball & Youdell (2008) discuss philanthropy or ‘philantrocapitalism’ as the idea thatcharity resembles a capitalist economy in which those who award a benefit become a consumer of socialinvestment. In spite of the improvement in educational provision which could be the result of suchstrategic interventions, the flow of these educational ‘subsidies’ can serve to intensify existing inequalitiesin educational provision (Ball & Youdell 2008: 40). In Brazil, educational opportunities are unequally distributed in relation to accessing public orprivate educational institutions. At primary and secondary educational levels, private schools are of betterquality and are attended by children from the affluent classes of society. In contrary, at the highereducational level, public universities are considered more prestigious and of better quality. However,public universities are also attended by students from the high-income classes of society as these studentsMichal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 17
  • 18. have a better educational background and have received a better preparation in relation to the entranceexam. Therefore, the educational system of Brazil serves the wealthy, providing students from high-income classes with access to good quality education. This leads me to discuss the concept of equity andthe reproduction of inequalities.2.5. Equity and the reproduction of inequalitiesNow I will briefly discuss the concept of equity. McCowan (2004) describes the different possibledefinitions of the concept of equity. McCowan (2004) states: The policies of the World Bank for higher education are designed to promote economic development with equity. The Bank’s report on higher education in Brazil states: Equity can mean different things, for example: (i) a reasonable degree of equality of opportunity to participate in higher education, and (ii) a reasonable and fair balance between paying the costs and obtaining the benefits from higher education (World Bank 2001: 41). A less problematic definition of equity in education is that of Brighouse (2002), namely that those “with similar levels of ability and willingness to exert effort should face similar educational prospects regardless of their social background, ethnicity or sex” (Brighouse, 2002, p.10). (McCowan 2004: 459)The discussion regarding the definition of equity is endless and I do not wish to focus on this in thisthesis. I will continue to discuss how the privatization of education affects educational opportunities andresults in the reproduction of inequalities. Firstly, Tarabini (2010) argues that the global agenda leaves out strategies used by middle-classesto differentiate themselves in order to maintain the highest value of their educational capital.Globalization, leading to the devaluation of returns to education, therefore, creates a “growingcompetition between individuals for access to the most prestigious kind of schooling and to the bestplaces in the occupational structure, thus, leading to a reinforcement of inequalities in educationalopportunities” (Brown 2003 in Tarabini 2010: 210). This results in an unequal distribution of thepossibilities to invest in education and creates unequal possibilities to retrieve the benefits that theinvestment in education promises. (Tarabini 2010: 210) Furthermore, Carnoy (1995) argues that John Ambler’s analysis of school-choice plans3 showsthat “the primary negative effect of school choice is its natural tendency to increase the educational gapbetween the privileged and the underprivileged” (Carnoy 1995: 52). Providing subsidies for privateeducation would benefit higher-income families more than others. Moreover, Carnoy (1995) discussesChile as case study and the results of the voucher plan introduced in the 1980s under Pinochet. Firstly,3 John Ambler (1994) ‘Who Benefits From Educational Choice? Some Evidence From Europe’, Journal of PolicyAnalysis and ManagementMichal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 18
  • 19. total spending on education fell; secondly, “those who took advantage of the subsidized private schoolswere predominantly middle- and higher-income families” (Carnoy 1995: 52); and finally, the increase inpupil achievement predicted by the voucher plan never occurred. In conclusion, “voucher plans increaseinequality without making schools better. Even more significantly, privatization reduces the public effortto improve schooling since it relies on the free market to increase achievement, but the increase neveroccurs.” (Carnoy 1995: 52) Additionally, Bonal (2004) argues as well that processes of educational expansion involve risksof inequality: “the clearest risk was that decisions regarding priorities and the allocation of resources weremade in favour of those who had a greater capacity to voice their demands and apply pressure to ensuretheir satisfaction” (Tedesco & Lopez 2002 in Bonal 2004: 657). Moreover, he discusses socialpolarization, because “the increase in access and attention to groups previously excluded from educationtended to result in the withdrawal of the middle-classes from public education and an increase in demandin the private sector” (Bonal 2004: 657). “Decentralization has, therefore, intensified the inequalitybetween schools.” (Espinola 1997 in Bonal 2004: 663) Furthermore, Härmä (2009) discusses low-fee private (LFP) schools in India and concludes that“those with fewer socio-economic resources find it extremely difficult to access LFP schooling” (Härmä2009: 164). Moreover, “placing increased reliance on LFP schools will run the risk of further polarizingsociety with the poorest remaining poor” (Härmä 2009: 164). As Stromquist indicated, “it is not that families are poor because they have no education, it israther that they have no education because they are poor” (Stromquist 2001 in Bonal 2004: 658). In the case of Brazil, the government discourages some forms of privatization, due to the negativeperception of its policies in the 1990s. For instance, the government discourages the reduction of stateinvestment, the introduction of tuition fees in the public sector and private investments in the publicsector. Conversely, the government has encouraged the expansion and rise of the private sector, byimplementing policies which increased access to private institutions by low-income students. “However,many groups have criticized these policies because they do not foster social equality; low-income studentsattend private institutions, which have high tuition fees and low quality, while high-income studentsreceive a better education in public institutions.” (IHEP 2009: 7-8)2.6. ConclusionIn conclusion, in this theoretical framework I touched upon theories in relation to the globalization agendaand the processes of privatization. Moreover, I showed how the privatization of education is derived fromneoliberal policies and a focus on the expansion of capitalist and market-led economies. MoreMichal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 19
  • 20. specifically, I looked at the privatization of education and its influence on educational policies. I brieflyexplained the arguments used to advocate for the privatization of education, but I showed the effects ofthe privatization of education on educational opportunities as well. Lastly, I discussed the concept ofequity and the contribution of the privatization of education to the reproduction of inequalities. In the next chapter I will discuss the methodological framework of this research in further detail.Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 20
  • 21. 3. Research MethodologyIn this chapter I will discuss the methodological framework of this research. Firstly, I will discuss thecentral research question and sub-questions and then I will talk about the research methodology.Additionally, I will discuss the units of analysis, the methods I used for this research, the samplingmethods and the methods of analysis. Furthermore, I will discuss the limitations and ethicalconsiderations. Finally, I will conclude this chapter.3.1. Research questionsI based my central research question on the literature and the theories I described in the theoreticalframework and on my empirical findings, which I will discuss in the following chapter. Moreover, theaccess to good quality education, that is, private schools at primary and secondary educational levels andpublic universities at the higher educational level, is a severe problem in the case of Brazil, particularlyfor those from low- to middle-income classes. Therefore, my central research question is: What are theeducational opportunities of students from low- to middle-income classes in relation to highereducation in the state of São Paulo, Brazil? Furthermore, to answer this research question, my sub-questions are as follows: 1. Which real educational opportunities do students from low- to middle-income classes have in reference to attending university? 2. Which social and economic factors influence the access of students from low- to middle-income classes to public higher educational institutions? 3. Under which conditions does the educational experience of students at low-cost private universities take place? 4. What is the quality of the low-cost private universities and what perceptions do the students have of their educational experience and the quality? 5. What are the expectations of the students at low-cost private universities in reference to their further educational and professional opportunities?3.2. MethodologyFor this research I made use of the mixed-methods approach, combining qualitative and participatorymethods. As qualitative method I made use of semi-structured in-depth interviews and as participatorymethods I made use of participant observation and participatory research activities. I will discuss theseMichal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 21
  • 22. methods later on in this chapter. The idea behind using different methods for the research, in other words,the idea behind triangulation, is that “if the same conclusion is reached from each of the approaches,greater confidence exists that conclusion is valid” (Sumner & Tribe 2008: 108-9). This is needed tocheck the credibility of the data collected, that is, the extent to which the data collected is believable orconsidered true. Additionally, the use of these different methods helps to ensure other quality criteria ininternational development studies, such as the dependability of the data collected, that is, that the datacollected is consistent and repeatable. Furthermore, this is to check the transferability, that is, if thefindings are applicable in other contexts. Lastly, auditability entails a transparent description of all stepstaken from the start of the research to the development and reporting of findings.Now I will discuss the ontology and epistemology behind the research. Firstly, ontology is the nature ofreality itself, whereas epistemology is the nature of knowledge itself (Sumner & Tribe 2008: 55).Moreover, “ontology is best described as a theory or set of assumptions concerning what ‘exists’ and thuswhat is and what is ‘knowable’?” (Summer & Tribe 2008: 55). This research was done from theontological perspective of constructivism, which “describes the individual human subject engaging withobjects in the world and making sense of them” (Crotty 1998: 79). Furthermore, Crotty (1998) describes constructivism as meaning which is constructed by minds;there is no objective and only truth to be discovered, but, “truth, or meaning, comes into existence in andout of our engagement with the realities in our world” (Crotty 1998: 8). As such, different peopleconstruct meaning in different ways, even in relation to the same phenomena. In this view, Crotty argues,“subject and object emerge as partners in the generation of meaning” (Crotty 1998: 9). In reference to this research, a constructivist ontology attempts to explain how different socialactors, or the different students, construct different meanings of a phenomenon. In this case, thephenomenon could be the access to higher education, which is part of reality. Secondly, epistemology is thus the nature of knowledge itself. Moreover, it is defined as “a set ofassumptions concerning how we can ‘know’ that which ‘exists’” (Sumner & Tribe 2008: 55). Theepistemological background of this fieldwork can be described as realist, meaning that “there is aphysical reality which exists independently of our cognition but that we cannot appraise it – we can onlydescribe it due to the fact that we are dependent observers – and we are not independent of events. Thusknowledge is a social construct, but one which aims to explain a physical reality” (Molteberg &Bergstrom 2000 in Sumner & Tribe 2008: 63). In the epistemological assumption of realism, reality is that “which exists independently of theresearcher and which can be described” (Sumner & Tribe 2008: 59). The aim of conducting research is todescribe this reality, because there is not solely one objective truth about reality. Additionally, “theMichal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 22
  • 23. researcher and their thoughts are part of reality; the researcher is a dependent observer” (Sumner & Tribe2008: 59). As the researcher and his or her thoughts are part of reality, one is automatically subjective,however transparent about this. In relation to the research, as researcher, I aimed to describe a reality, of which I form part. Thereality could be the rapid expansion of low-cost private universities and the inequalities present in theeducational system. Moreover, I aimed to describe this reality and the different meanings of its effect oneducational opportunities, as constructed by the different actors or students.3.3. Units of analysisThis research predominantly aims to understand the educational opportunities, experience and perceptionsof students attending low-cost private universities. Therefore, there is one main unit of analysis, namelythe low-cost private universities. Moreover, of the different low-cost private universities present in SãoPaulo, Brazil, I chose to focus my research on the following universities: Unisant’anna, Uninove(Universidade Nove de Julho), Unip (Universidade Paulista), in the municipality of São Paulo andRibeirão Preto), and Anhanguera (which now has become Universidade Bandeirante de São Paulo orUniban). Furthermore, I attended three public secondary schools, governed by the state of São Paulo, tobetter understand the quality of public education at the secondary educational level and the perceptions ofthe pupils in relation to attending university. Therefore, the second unit of analysis is the publicsecondary schools I visited in São Paulo. The schools I attended are E.E. Dulce Ferreira Boarin, E.E.Augusto Meirelles Reis Filho and E.E. Casimiro de Abreu.3.4. MethodsFor this research I made use of a mixed-methods approach as I discussed above. I combined qualitativeand participatory methods during my research. Firstly, I will discuss the qualitative semi-structured in-depth interviews. Secondly, I will go into more detail concerning the participatory methods I used.Semi-structured in-depth interviewsFor this research, I conducted 22 semi-structured in-depth interviews with students attending the differentlow-cost private universities. The interviews were semi-structured, because I made an interview guidewith the set of questions I wanted to ask the respondent and highlighted those which were important toinclude in the interview. Conversely, I wanted the respondent to have the space to talk freely when he orMichal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 23
  • 24. she wanted to. The interviews were meant to act as life stories or histories, sketching the social andeconomic background of the respondent and the path he or she has taken in relation to education.Furthermore, the majority of the interviews took between one hour and one hour and ten minutes. Otherinterviews took between 40 minutes and one hour. In total, I conducted four interviews with students from Uninove. Additionally, I conducted nineinterviews with students from Unisant’anna and one interview with a student from Anhanguera.Furthermore, I conducted two interviews with students from Unip in São Paulo and another six interviewswith students from Unip in Ribeirão Preto. Moreover, I conducted three interviews with professors fromthe universities Anhanguera, Uninove and Unisant’anna, but eventually I did not use these data for theresearch. I did not find the data very relevant, as this research is focused on the perceptions, experienceand educational opportunities of the students. Furthermore, it is important to point out that the interviews were done in Portuguese. A translatoraccompanied me to the first ten interviews and translated the questions from English to Portuguese andthe answers from the respondents from Portuguese to English. I conducted the other six interviews in thecity of São Paulo alone. Moreover, during five of the six interviews I conducted in Ribeirão Preto,Renata Brancaleoni helped me with the translations.Participatory research methodsI also visited three public secondary schools during my time in São Paulo to get a better understanding ofthe quality of public education at the secondary educational level and the lack of preparation for thevestibular of a university. Furthermore, I wanted to get a better impression regarding the educationalopportunities and perceptions of the pupils in relation to higher education. I visited the public secondaryschool E.E. Dulce Ferreira Boarin twice. The other two schools, E.E. Augusto Meirelles Reis Filho andE.E. Casimiro de Abreu, I visited only once.First visit to Dulce Ferreira BoarinMy first visit to E.E. Dulce Ferreira Boarin was not planned. I had interviewed a student at Uninove,Guilherme, and he told me that he was currently teaching at different public schools. He was about to goto this school to teach and asked me if I wanted to come along and so I did. At the school, I used theopportunity to interview several of the pupils. In total, there were approximately twelve children in theclassroom. Additionally, I observed as Guilherme asked the children questions and engaged the pupils ina discussion with each other regarding the quality of public education at the secondary educational leveland the opportunity to attend higher education.Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 24
  • 25. Participatory methodsAfter my first visit to E.E. Dulce Ferreira Boarin, Guilherme invited me to visit two other public schoolsas well, namely E.E. Augusto Meirelles Reis Filho and E.E. Casimiro de Abreu. Here I organized aparticipatory activity to engage the children in the research. However, as I arrived to the schools Irealized that the children were older than I expected. Therefore, instead of the activity I had prepared, Iasked the children to write down what they think of the quality of their school. Moreover, I asked them towrite down how they see themselves in the next five years; what would they be doing and what would beimportant for them in the next five years? I quoted several of the writings of the children in the first data-analysis chapter. Furthermore, after I had visited the two schools, I returned to E.E. Dulce Ferreira Boarin onemore time. This time I had prepared the participatory activity and I hoped I would be able to do theactivity with these children. The children of this class are a few years younger than the children from theother two schools. Therefore, I was able to do the activity very well. Firstly, I asked the children to writedown five things which are the most important for them in the following five years. Then I divided theclass into groups of three to five pupils. I asked them to compare what they had written down and make atop five of most important things per group. Afterwards I asked each group to share their five mostimportant things with the rest of the class. I stuck the post-its of each group on the classroom board andgrouped the ones that were similar. Each group explained to the others why these particular things areimportant and why one thing is more important than the other. Finally, we ended the activity in a groupdiscussion. The purpose of this activity was to find out whether the pupils would find education or goingto university as important factors. Moreover, I wanted to find out how important this may be to thechildren. I will discuss the findings of this activity in chapter five. In conclusion, the data I collected by visiting the different public schools complemented theinterviews in such a way that it gave me a better understanding of the quality of public education atprimary and secondary educational levels. Moreover, I became more aware of the real educationalopportunities children from low- to middle-income classes have in relation to receiving good qualityeducation. Furthermore, it made me realize that the students I interviewed, who are currently attendingthe low-cost private universities, are most probable not a real representation of students from low- tomiddle-income classes. I believe that the sample of students I interviewed is very determined and has astrong will to continue studying. Unfortunately, I do not think that most students from low- to middle-income classes actually have the educational opportunity of even attending the low-cost privateuniversities.Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 25
  • 26. Participant observationAt the beginning of my stay in São Paulo I attended a meeting on the public-private relations in educationat Unicamp (Universidade Estadual de Campinas), the University of Campinas, in the state of São Paulo.Unicamp is a public university, provided and maintained by the state of São Paulo. The meeting wascalled: ‘Relações público e privado na educação: embates e desdobramentos para a democratização daeducação’. Here Toni Verger spoke about public-private partnerships. I used this meeting as anopportunity to talk to the different professors present about the higher educational system and the public-private divide. Furthermore, it was an opportunity for me to make contacts to help me find furtherrespondents.Sampling methodsFor the interviews, I used non-random or non-probability sampling to find the respondents. Morespecifically, I made use of the snowball method. My supervisor provided me with the name of CamillaCroso from the Global Campaign for Education in São Paulo. She then provided me with the names oftwo professors from the public university USP. These professors were then able to help me get intocontact with three other professors from the different low-cost private universities. These professors werealso the professors I interviewed. They then helped me reach most of the students I interviewed.Moreover, I was able to reach other students through the students I had already interviewed.Methods of analysisI used the scientific programme Atlas.ti to analyze the data I collected through the interviews and theparticipatory methods. I coded the transcribed and translated interviews in Atlas.ti and made a table inExcel as an overview of the most important characteristics of the respondents. Moreover, I used quotesfrom the interviews to support my interpretation of the data in the data-analysis chapters (chapters fiveand six).Dimensions of analysisIn this analysis, I focused on several dimensions of education, relevant to the inequality of educationalopportunity in the case of Brazil. As derived from the research of Ribeiro (2011), there are several factorswhich have a significant influence on the students’ possibility to have access to good quality educationand to progress in education. These factors play a key role in the reproduction of educational inequalities.Firstly, Ribeiro discusses the factor of parental resources (Ribeiro 2011: 41). Additionally, he discussesthe institutional characteristics of the educational system, which promote inequalities by its own design(Ribeiro 2011: 44). Thirdly, he discusses the stratification of the Brazilian educational system betweenMichal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 26
  • 27. school types, which differ in quality, as an important factor in determining the inequality of opportunities.He states that students who attended private primary and secondary education have higher chances ofprogressing in the system than those who attend public schools (Ribeiro 2011: 78). Based on theseanalytical categories, I formulated my research questions and decided on which factors to focus whenresearching the educational opportunities of low-income students in higher education in Brazil.3.5. Limitations and ethicsIn this sub-chapter I will discuss the challenges I encountered during my research. Additionally, I willbriefly discuss some ethical considerations.LimitationsI encountered several challenges and limitations during my research. Firstly, I did not speak the locallanguage which made the communication with the respondents more difficult. Initially I wasaccompanied to the interviews by a translator who translated the questions and answers for me, whichworked out quite well. Conversely, I was afraid to lose valuable information in the translations.Afterwards, I did several interviews myself as I become more confident with the Portuguese. This wentwell, but there were moments in which I did not fully understand what the respondent was saying. Secondly, the city of São Paulo was a personal challenge for me. As São Paulo is a very largemetropolitan city, I did not find it easy to travel to and from the interviews. Moreover, I visited theschools during the evenings and most of the interviews took place at night as well. I did not experienceSão Paulo as a safe city to travel great distances alone and after dark.EthicsSpecial attention should be given to ethical considerations. With all the interviews I conducted, Icarefully explained the purpose of my research and the reasons for my stay in São Paulo. I promised therespondents confidentiality and anonymity. Obviously, the respondent did not have to answer a questionif he or she did not want to. Moreover, I was open to answering any questions from their side. I alsopromised the respondents that I would e-mail them my thesis when I have completed it. Furthermore, I always planned to meet the respondents for the interviews at a time and placeconvenient for the respondents. I was careful not to be suggestive in my questions and as objective aspossible during the interview. I aimed to be as transparent and honest about the research as possible.Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 27
  • 28. 3.6. ConclusionIn conclusion, this research was carried out using a mixed-methods approach, combining qualitative andparticipatory research methods. For this research I conducted 22 semi-structured, in-depth interviewswith the students of the following different low-cost private universities: Unisant’anna, Uninove(Universidade Nove de Julho), Unip (Universidade Paulista, in the municipality of São Paulo andRibeirão Preto) and Anhanguera (which now has become Universidade Bandeirante de São Paulo orUniban). Moreover, I made use of participant observation and I engaged the children of different publicsecondary schools in a participatory activity. Furthermore, the schools I visited are E.E. Dulce FerreiraBoarin, E.E. Augusto Meirelles Reis Filho and E.E. Casimiro de Abreu. Therefore, the units of analysisfor this research are the low-cost private universities and the public secondary schools I visited. Inchapter five and six I will present and discuss the data I collected in São Paulo. Moreover, I will answermy research questions. Now I will discuss the context of the research location and my empirical findings.Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 28
  • 29. 4. Context: Introducing São Paulo, BrazilIn this chapter I will discuss the context of Brazil, São Paulo and Ribeirão Preto. I will briefly discuss thesocio-economic characteristics and then I will focus predominantly on the Brazilian educational system.Additionally, I will discuss my personal observations and empirical findings in reference to the Brazilianeducational system.4.1. Socio-economic backgroundBrazil, officially referred to as the Federative Republic of Brazil, was a colony of Portugal until 1815.Brazil is the largest country in South-America and it is the world’s fifth largest country, both bygeographical area and by population. Brazil has a population of 196.655 million people as of 20114. It isalso the only Portuguese-speaking country in the Americas. Brazil is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the east and bordered on the north by Venezuela,Guyana, Suriname and the French overseas region of French Guiana. It is bordered by Colombia on thenorthwest, by Bolivia and Peru on the west, by Argentina and Paraguay on the southwest and by Uruguayon the south. On page 32 you will find a map of Brazil and Latin America (figure 1). Additionally, the Brazilian economy is the world’s seventh largest with a GDP of $2.4 in trillionsof US Dollars as of 2012, according to the IMF, World Economic Outlook.5 Moreover, the minimumsalary of Brazil today is R$6226 per month, which is an equivalent of USD$298.11 and €226.56. Furthermore, the Brazilian middle class has increased significantly in the last ten to twenty years,according to a study conducted by the Brazilian Secretariat of Strategic Affairs. In fact, “Brazil’sgrowing middle class is as diverse as Brazil itself, currently accounting for 52 percent of the totalpopulation of the country, with per capita income ranging from R$291.00 to R$1,019.00 per month.”(Brazilian government 20127) The Brazilian Secretariat of Strategic Affairs states that the increasedparticipation of the middle class is a key factor in the growth and development of Brazil. Moreover, 35%of the current Brazilian middle class has entered the middle class in the past ten years. Additionally, 28%of the population belongs to the lower class, with a monthly household income per capita below4 World Bank, last updated October 31 2012, Source:https://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=d5bncppjof8f9_&met_y=sp_pop_totl&idim=country:BRA&dl=en&hl=en&q=population%20brazil (Accessed 29/12/2012)5 Source: http://www.blatantworld.com/feature/the_world/most_populous_metropolitan_areas.html (Accessed29/12/2012)6 Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/quote/BZMW:IND (Accessed 16/12/2012)7 Source: http://www.brasil.gov.br/para/press/press-releases/november-1/brazilian-middle-class-reaches-52-of-total-population/br_model1?set_language=en (Accessed 31/12/2012)Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 29
  • 30. R$291.00, and 20% belongs to the upper class. Conversely, “if the same cut-off points per class (R$291.00 to R$1,019.00) are applied to households worldwide, only 18% of the population is in the upperclass, while 54% is in the lower class.” (Brazilian government 2012) Moreover, “Brazil is a racially mixed country in which the majority of people have ancestors inmore than one of the three main groups: white Europeans (mostly Portuguese); black Africans (mainlyfrom the west of the continent); and the original indigenous Indian population.” (Embassy of Brazil inLondon) In the first half of the 20th century, as a consequence of war and economic pressures, largegroups of immigrants came to Brazil from various parts of Europe.São PauloFurthermore, São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil, the largest city in the southern hemisphere and thelargest city in South-America. Moreover, it is the world’s ninth largest city by population.8 The city ofSão Paulo has a population of 19.96 million people.9 It is ranked the second most populous metropolitanarea in the Americas and is among the six largest metropolitan areas in the world.10 São Paulo is thecapital of the state São Paulo and it is popularly referred to as Sampa. The following Table 1 includesinformation regarding the population, area and population density of the state and city of São Paulo.Indicators São Paulo state11 São Paulo city12Population 2010 41.262.199 11.253.503Area (km²) 248.222,801 1.521,101Population density (inhab/km²) 166,25 7.387,69Number of municipalities 645 -Table 1: Indicators regarding the population, area and population density of the state and city of São Paulo8 Source: http://americanlivewire.com/top-10-largest-cities-in-the-world-2013/ (Accessed 29/12/2012)9 Source: http://www.indexmundi.com/brazil/major_cities_population.html (Accessed 29/12/2012)10 Source: http://www.blatantworld.com/feature/the_world/most_populous_metropolitan_areas.html (Accessed29/12/2012)11 Source: http://ibge.gov.br/estadosat/perfil.php?sigla=sp (Accessed 03/12/2012)12 Source: http://www.ibge.gov.br/cidadesat/link.php?uf=sp (Accessed 03/12/2012)Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 30
  • 31. Figure 1: Map of Latin America and the Caribbean1313 United Nations, Department of Field Support Cartographic Section (May 2010), Source:http://www.un.org/Depts/Cartographic/map/profile/eclac.pdf (Accessed 28/12/2012)Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 31
  • 32. Additionally, Brazil is ranked 85 in the Human Development Index14 (HDI) according to the UnitedNations Development Programme. Moreover, in relation to education, the mean years of schooling ofadults is 7.2 years. It is important to point out here that the inequality-adjusted HDI value is 0.519,whereas the loss due to inequality in education is 25.7%. Moreover, the inequality-adjusted educationindex is 0.492. The Figure 2 below shows how inequality affects the HDI achievement of Brazil.Figure 2: The inequality-adjusted HDI of Brazil in 201115Ribeirão PretoRibeirão Preto is a relatively small city in comparison to the city of São Paulo. Moreover, it is located tothe northwest of the city of São Paulo. Below you will find a map of São Paulo state showing thelocation of both cities (figure 3). Moreover, Ribeirão Preto has a population of 604.682 (in 2010), an areaof 650,955 km² and a demographic density of 928,46 inhabitants/km².1614 United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) (2011) Brazil, Country Profile: International HumanDevelopment Indicators: http://hdrstats.undp.org/en/countries/profiles/BRA.html (Accessed 02/06/2012)15 Source: http://hdr.undp.org/en/statistics/ihdi/ (Accessed 12/12/2012)16 Source: http://www.ibge.gov.br/cidadesat/link.php?uf=sp (Accessed 28/12/2012)Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 32
  • 33. Figure 3: Map of São Paulo state, showing the capital São Paulo city and Ribeirão Preto (underlined)174.2. Educational policy in BrazilNow I will discuss the educational policy in Brazil. In the next sub-chapter I will discuss the Brazilianeducational system. Firstly, in 1988 the Federal Constitution of Brazil was established, which states that the(financial) responsibility for education is to be divided and shared among the three government levels,namely, federal, state and municipal. I will discuss this in further detail in the next sub-chapter.17 Source: http://www.v-brazil.com/tourism/sao-paulo/map-sao-paulo.html (Accessed 28/12/2012)Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 33
  • 34. Additionally, “fixed amounts of tax revenue are earmarked for education and constitute the educationfund” (UNESCO 2006: 14). The new Brazilian Constitution stated that “all States, Municipalities and theFederal Government had to spend a fixed share of their tax and transfer revenues in their public educationsystem” (Menezes-Filho & Pazello 2007: 661). Moreover, the Constitution mandated that 25% of stateand municipal income and 18% of federal government income are to be spent on education. (JBIC SectorStudy Series 2004; UNESCO 2006; Menezes-Filho & Pazello 2007) Furthermore, in 1998, in Brazil, a reform was implemented in the funding of the public educationat the primary educational level. This educational reform was FUNDEF (Fundo para Manutenção eDesenvolvimento do Ensino Fundamental e Valorização do Magistéerio), translated as the Fund forMaintenance and Development of the Fundamental Education and Valorization of Teaching. Moreover,the main aim of FUNDEF was to “redistribute resources from the richer to the poorer regions and toincrease public teachers’ wages.” (Menezes-Filho & Pazello 2007: 2) In this period both teacher salariesand the enrollment rates in primary education increased. Additionally, in 2006 FUNDEF expired and in 2007 FUNDEB was implemented. FUNDEB isFundo de Manutenção e Desenvolvimento da Educação Básica e de Valorização de Professionais deEducação, translated as the Fund for the Maintenance and Development of Basic Education andEnhancement of Educational Professionals. FUNDEB focuses on all basic education, from kindergartento secondary school. Moreover, the programme is intended to run until 2020. FUNDEB has as mainobjective to promote the redistribution of resources related to education across the country. Moreover,FUNDEB aims to redistribute the resources while taking the social and economic development of thedifferent regions into consideration. (MEC – Ministério da Educação) Furthermore, Brazil offers conditional cash transfers (CCT) to students. In the 1990s localconditional cash transfers were implemented and were experienced as successful. Afterwards, “the issuegained momentum in Congress and several other bills were presented to introduce cash transfersnationally, always linked to educational conditionalities” (Britto 2011). Under the rule of PresidentCardoso in 1997, the federal government started to co-fund the local initiatives. “That arrangement wasreformulated in 2001 and led to Bolsa Escola, the biggest CCT among Bolsa Familia’s predecessors.”(Britto 2011) Moreover, “by late 2003, Bolsa Escola had been implemented in almost all of Brazil’s 5,561municipalities, providing nearly US$500 million in total stipends paid to over 8.6 million children from5.06 million families.” (World Bank 2005: 1) In October of 2003 under the rule of President Lula daSilva, Bolsa Escola merged with three other conditional cash transfer programmes to form the BolsaFamilia. Bolsa Familia provides financial aid to poor Brazilian families under the condition that thechildren of the families attend school and are vaccinated. The educational programme aims to reduceMichal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 34
  • 35. short-term poverty by direct cash transfers and fight long-term poverty by increasing human capitalamong the poor through conditional cash transfers. In addition to the conditional cash transfer Bolsa Familia, there are several other educationalprogrammes which offer scholarships to students who go to university. Moreover, FIES is an educationalprogramme which offers loans to the students. I will discuss these other educational programmes in thenext sub-chapter. Now I will go into more detail regarding the Brazilian educational system.4.3 Sistema educacional BrasileiroI will briefly discuss the public educational system, as provided by the nation, state or municipality.Moreover, I will discuss the educational structure at primary, secondary and higher educational levels.Additionally, I will look at the public-private divide. I will discuss the access to universities, focusing onthe National Examination of Secondary Education and the vestibular or entrance exam. Finally, I willdiscuss the FIES and ProUni as educational programmes which aim to increase the enrollment of poorstudents in private higher educational institutions.Public educational systemIn Brazil, public education is provided by the nation, the state or the municipality. There are thus threetypes of public education. In general, public education at primary and secondary educational levels asprovided by the municipality is considered of better quality than public education provided andmaintained by the state. Obviously, this differs per state and municipality as well. Moreover, in general,public education at primary and secondary educational levels is of very poor quality. At the higher educational level, Universidade de São Paulo, Unesp and Unicamp are examples ofuniversities provided by the state of São Paulo. Moreover, the federal university Unifesp is also locatedin the state of São Paulo. As stated in the Constitution, the states and municipalities are responsible for basic education.Furthermore, “a historical feature of Brazilian basic education is its extremely decentralized nature, whichgives organizational autonomy to sub-national governments (27 states and 5,546 municipalities) inorganizing their educational systems” (JBIC Sector Study Series 2004: 7). The municipalities areresponsible for early childhood education (including kindergarten and pre-school education), while thestates and municipalities share responsibility for primary education. Secondary schools are theresponsibility of the states. Moreover, “maintenance of the system, including salaries, the definition ofteacher career structures and supervision of early childhood, primary and secondary levels (which makeup basic education) is decentralized, and these levels are responsible for defining their respectiveMichal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 35
  • 36. curriculum content” (JBIC Sector Study Series 2004: 7). Below I have placed a figure showing theBrazilian educational system and regulation.Figure 4: The Brazilian educational system and regulation (JBIC Sector Study Series 2004: 8)Educational structureChildren are expected to start primary school (ensino fundamental) at the age of seven. Moreover, this ismandatory for all children. Primary school consists of eight years or series, which are divided into twograus. The first four years of primary school are referred to as the first grau and the last four years ofprimary school are referred to as the second grau. Sometimes, the first grau is also referred to as ensinofundamental um (1) and the second grau as ensino fundamental dois (2). After primary school, children go to secondary school, usually at the age of 15. Secondary schoolmostly consists of three years, but is not mandatory.Public vs. private universitiesAt the higher educational level, public universities, which are offered by the state or by the nation, areconsidered the most prestigious and of the best quality. In addition to public universities, students canattend private universities. Among the private universities, there is a distinction between the moretraditional private universities, which have higher tuition fees as well, and the low-cost privateuniversities. Examples of traditional private universities in the state of São Paulo are PontificiaMichal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 36
  • 37. Universidade Católica de São Paulo (PUC-SP) and Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie (Mackenzie).The structure of the traditional private universities is similar to the structure of public universities.Therefore, the quality of traditional private universities is comparable to the quality of public universities.Moreover, Centro Universitário Sant’anna (Unisant’anna), Universidade Nove de Julho (Uninove),Universidade Paulista (Unip) and Centro Universitário Anhanguera de São Paulo (Anhanguera) areexamples of low-cost private universities. In general, low-cost private universities offer poor qualityeducation.Higher educational structureIn Brazil, an undergraduate programme would most likely be compared to the Brazilian bacharelado.The bacharelado courses usually take about four years to complete. In addition to the bacharelado,Brazilian universities offer licenciaturas, which usually only take up to three years to complete. Thelicenciatura predominantly focuses on preparing the students to teach, with a strong emphasis onpedagogy, whereas the bacharelado teaches the students the technical area of the course. Furthermore, in reference to graduate programmes, Brazilian universities offer a pós-graduaçãoprogramme. The pós-graduação could be two things as well; it could be a specialization (especializaçãoor lato sensu) or a master’s programme (mestrado or strict lensu). The mestrado has a stronger academicand scientific emphasis and focuses mainly on research. A mestrado could therefore be followed by aPhD programme (doutorado).Access to higher educationAll higher educational institutions are obliged by law to have an entrance exam, which is called thevestibular. The vestibular of most public universities consists of two phases, of which the second phaseis the most difficult. In general, students who are capable of passing this very difficult entrance examhave attended good quality private schools. Conversely, the vestibular of low-cost private universities isknown to be relatively easy. The vestibular of low-cost private universities serves more as a protocol;therefore, the low-cost private universities are more accessible for students who have not received goodquality private education.The vestibularAs I have mentioned above, the vestibular is the entrance exam of a higher educational institution.Moreover, in relation to the vestibular of a public university, the possibility of a student to pass thevestibular is influenced by the specific group of students who are doing the entrance exam in thatmoment. The vestibular has a nota de corte, which is translated as a cutoff score. In other words, theMichal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 37
  • 38. student who scores the highest on one particular entrance exam sets the tone for the rest of the studentswho are participating in this particular exam. There is thus not a fixed minimum score required to passthe exam; the minimum score depends on the highest score and the amount of vacancies. There are forinstance twenty vacancies available for one higher educational course at a particular university. Thetwenty students who score the highest will pass the entrance exam. Therefore, sometimes, it can be moredifficult to enter a certain university one year and less difficult the next year. Additionally, the possibilityof a student to pass the vestibular also depends on the popularity of a higher educational course and theamount of vacancies it has. Moreover, the vestibular takes place only once a year.ENEM examThe ENEM exam is the Exame Nacional do Ensino Médio, or the National Examination of SecondaryEducation. It is the national exam taken by each student in their last year of secondary school. Moreover,it is obligatory. The score of the ENEM exam influences the score of the entrance exam of a highereducational institution. In the case of the vestibular of a public university, the score of the ENEM examcounts as 10% of the score of the vestibular. In the case of low-cost private universities, the score of theENEM exam, when high enough, can even exempt the student from the vestibular of the low-cost privateuniversities. Additionally, the score of the ENEM exam influences the possibility of the student to obtaina scholarship of 100% or 50%, in the case of ProUni. Again, this depends heavily on the university, thecourse and the amount of vacancies as well. Finally, how higher the student’s score of the ENEM exam,the more chance he or she has in obtaining a scholarship covering 100% of the tuition fees. For example,a certain score of the ENEM exam can provide a student with a scholarship of 100% for geography atUnisant’anna, whereas the same score can only provide the student with a scholarship of 50% forbusiness administration at Unip. Therefore, the possibility of obtaining a scholarship also depends on thepopularity of the course.The universitiesThe public university Universidade de São Paulo (USP) is the largest and most prestigious university inBrazil and it is the number one university in the whole of South-America.18 Moreover, USP was foundedin 1934. Additionally, two of the traditional private universities in the state of São Paulo are PontificiaUniversidade Católica de São Paulo (PUC-SP) and Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie (Mackenzie).PUC-SP is a Catholic non-profit university and it has an ethos similar to that of the public universities18 http://www.usnews.com/education/worlds-best-universities-rankings/best-universities-in-latin-america (Accessed05/12/2012)Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 38
  • 39. (McCowan 2007: 584). Moreover, PUC has a total enrollment of 30,000 to 34,999 and a total staff of3,500 to 3,999. Additionally, the tuition fees are approximately 15,000 to 20,000 BRL per year, which isequal to €5,553 to €7,404 or $7,324 to $9,765.19 Additionally, Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenziewas founded in 1952. Mackenzie is a non-profit traditional private university of much prestige in Braziland has an educational structure similar to the public universities. Furthermore, in addition to these traditional private universities, “a new group of profit-making(or highly commercialized non-profit) institutions has emerged, with a very different orientation fromboth public and traditional private institutions” (McCowan 2007: 584-5). These universities are primarilyteaching institutions, with little focus on research and a strong emphasis on “rapid expansion and costefficiency, employing aggressive marketing strategies in response to increasing competition” (McCowan2007: 584-5). Universidade Paulista is one of the larger institutions and runs on a franchise basis.Moreover, Universidade Paulista is very concerned with operating visibility strategies, positioningcampuses in prominent locations. (McCowan 2007: 584-5) Other low-cost private universities in SãoPaulo are Uninove, Unisant’anna and Anhanguera.FIESAnother attempt to allow students to attend private universities without paying the full tuition fees isFIES, the Student Financing Programme or Programa de Financiamento Estudantil. FIES was initiatedin 1999 and provides students with a loan of 70% of the fees. This amount is paid directly to theinstitution rather than to the student. Moreover, the interest charged is low by Brazilian standards and therepayment begins in the first year after graduation. (McCowan 2007: 587) However, students from low-to middle-income classes “may be unwilling to take on such large debt even at low rates of interest”(McCowan 2007: 588). Additionally, the remaining 30% of the tuition fees to be paid by the studenthimself can still be a too heavy burden.ProUniProUni is the University for All Programme or the Programa Universidade para Todos. ProUni is arather new educational programme, implemented in 2004 under the rule of President Lula da Silva. “Theidea of ProUni is to encourage these universities [private institutions] to allocate their unfilled places freeof charge to low-income students, in return for exemption from tax payments.” (McCowan 2007: 589) Inreality, the unfilled places at private institutions are not allocated completely free of charge to low-incomestudents. This depends on the household income per capita of the student and partly on his or her scoreon the ENEM examination as well. Students from families whose household income per capita is not19 www.4icu.org/reviews/344.shtm (Accessed 16/12/2012)Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 39
  • 40. more than three times the minimum wage can receive the ProUni scholarship which covers up to 50% ofthe tuition fees. Students from families whose household income per capita is not more than 1.5 times theminimum wage can be allocated a vacancy at a private institution free of charge, thus with a scholarshipcovering 100% of the tuition fees. Moreover, “non-profit institutions have to dedicate 20% of their placesin this way in order to maintain their existing status of exemption from taxes. Profit-making institutionshave the option to allocate 10% of their places in order to obtain exemption from some taxes.” (McCowan2007: 589) To sum up, initiatives such as ProUni and FIES do allow for a greater enrollment of studentsin private institutions, but these initiatives do not contribute to an equitable expansion or will not ensureequitable access to higher educational institutions.Ministry of EducationThe Brazilian Ministry of Education (MEC) evaluates and regulates the educational system of Brazil. Forundergraduate programmes, the quality is evaluated on the basis of the national exam, the ENADE. Forgraduate programmes, the evaluation is facilitated by the CAPES Foundation, which grades the universitycourses from one to five.4.4. Accessibility to higher educationNow I will briefly discuss the accessibility to higher education in Brazil. I will discuss the findings of theWorld Bank Policy Research Paper of 2008 on the Accessibility and Affordability of Tertiary Educationin Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Peru within a Global Context. Firstly, the World Bank Paper shows the participation rates in tertiary education as percentage ofthe four year age-group with the highest average participation rate. For Brazil, the four year age-groupwith the highest average participation rate in higher education is 20-23 years old. Conversely, “thelimitation of this indicator is that the highest four year participation rate does not reflect the participationof other age groups into tertiary education” (World Bank 2008: 22). For Brazil, the participation rate is12.5%. In comparison, the participation rate as percentage of the four year age-group with the highestaverage participation rate is 29.6% in the Netherlands and 20.3% in the United States. (World Bank 2008:22) Additionally, “the Education Equity Index (EEI) seeks to measure the socio-economic status(SES) of students with access to tertiary education” (World Bank 2008: 24). The indicators used tomeasure the EEI are the ratio of the percentage of university students whose fathers’ have a tertiaryeducation degree, which measures the SES of the student population, and the percentage of men aged 45-Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 40
  • 41. 64 who have a tertiary education degree, which measures the SES of the general population. Moreover, alower EEI indicates less equal access to tertiary education. Figure 5 shows the EEI.Figure 5: Education Equity Index (World Bank 2008: 24) Furthermore, the World Bank paper discusses the education attainment rate, which measures “apercentage of population that attains a particular educational level” (World Bank 2008: 8). The ratio iscalculated between the people aged from 25 to 34 years who completed a tertiary education degree inrelation to the total population in the same age range. For Brazil, the education attainment is 8,5%,compared to 25,0% in the Netherlands (World Bank 2008: 40). Figure 6 shows the education attainmentrates.Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 41
  • 42. Figure 6: Education Attainment Rates in percentages (World Bank 2008: 23) Furthermore, the paper shows how the different indicators of accessibility provide differentinsights as to which countries are “high access” countries. (World Bank 2008: 25) The Figure 7 shows theoverall accessibility, combining the different access indicators, namely the participation rates, genderparity, the Education Equity Index and the educational attainment rate. This figure suggests that theoverall accessibility of tertiary education in Brazil is relatively low compared to high-income countries.Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 42
  • 43. Figure 7: Overall Accessibility (World Bank 2008: 26) Addtionally, the paper states that the education costs as percentage of the GDP per capita is 48%in Brazil, as compared to an average of 10% amongst the high-income countries. Moreover, the averageof the education costs as percentage of the GDP per capita amongst the Latin American and Caribbeancountries is 35%. (World Bank 2008: 36)Furthermore, the public-private divide is of importance in relation to higher education. Schwartzman(2004) discusses data which shows the increased enrollment in private higher educational institutions inthe last ten to twenty years. Figure 8 shows the growth of enrollment in higher education from 1990 to2002.Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 43
  • 44. Figure 8: Growth of enrollment in higher education from 1990 to 2002 (Schwartzman 2004: 174)As the Figure 8 shows, the enrollment in federal, state and municipal higher educational institutionsincreased slightly throughout the years. Conversely, the enrollment in private higher educationalinstitutions increased significantly from 1998 to 2002. Additionally, Schwartzman discusses the enrollment in private or public higher educationalinstitutions in relation to family income. The Figure 9 shows that as the family income increases theenrollment in both private and public universities increases. This reflects how the Brazilian highereducational system predominantly serves students from the affluent classes of society, acting as an elitistentity. See the Figure 9 below.Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 44
  • 45. Figure 9: Enrollment in public and private higher educational institutions in relation to family income (Schwartzman2004: 177)4.5. ConclusionTo sum up, Brazil is one of the world’s largest countries in area and population and its economy belongsto the seventh largest of the world. However, inequality is a pressing issue in Brazil and this is stronglyreflected in the unjust distribution of educational opportunities. Access to higher education, even moregood quality education, is a severe problem in Brazil. The higher educational system, public and private,serve the students from the higher-income classes of society. Now I will discuss and analyze the datacollected in São Paulo and I will answer my research questions.Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 45
  • 46. 5. THE INFLUENCE OF SOCIO-ECONOMIC FACTORSIn this chapter I will answer the first two sub-questions of my research. Firstly, I will discuss which realeducational opportunities students from low- to middle-income classes have. I will look at the possibilityof doing a pré-vestibular or a course to prepare for the vestibular. I will then discuss the only educationalopportunity these students have in reference to going to university, which is attending low-cost privateuniversities. Moreover, I will discuss the possibility of applying for a bolsa, which is a scholarship.Then, I will discuss which social and economic factors influence the access of low- to middle-incomestudents to public higher educational institutions. I will look at various factors such as parental influence,the household income and the previous schools the students attended. Moreover, these factors are derived from a previous research from Ribeiro (2011) on theinequality of opportunities and educational outcomes in Brazil. Ribeiro states several main factors whichinfluence the inequality of educational opportunities. Firstly, he mentions parental resources andcharacteristics, which include occupational status and educational level of the parents (Ribeiro 2011: 78).Moreover, in determining the inequality of educational opportunities, he includes the type of schoolattended by the student before each educational transition, thus public or private (Ribeiro 2011: 43).Lastly, he refers to the educational system itself and its institutional characteristics which promoteinequality in its own design (Ribeiro 2011: 44). Additionally, in her research, Torche (2010) discussesthe factor of family background, which include “family resources and conditions when growing up”(Torche 2010: 85), as influencing educational attainment as well.5.1. Real opportunities of students from low- to middle-income classesThe majority of the students from low- to middle-income classes are limited in their possibilities ofaccessing a public higher educational institution. Now I will discuss the real educational opportunitiesstudents from low- to middle-income classes have. Firstly, I will discuss the possibility of doing a pré-vestibular or a cursinho, which is a preparatory course to prepare the students better for the entrance examof a public university. The pré-vestibular also serves to prepare the students better for the ENEM exam.Then I will introduce the low-cost private universities as only opportunity for low- to middle-incomestudents to study at a university. Lastly, I will discuss the possibility of applying for a bolsa and thedifferent bolsas available for these students.Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 46
  • 47. 5.1.1. Doing a pré-vestibular or cursinhoThe education at public primary and secondary schools is of poor quality and does not prepare thestudents well for the vestibular. Another possibility for students from low- to middle-income classes is todo a pré-vestibular or cursinho. This is a preparatory course of usually one year, with classes five times aweek. These classes can be either during the day or at night, depending on where the student takes thecourse. If students wish to take this preparatory course in their last year of secondary school for example,the students often have the pré-vestibular classes in the afternoon, after school. Most students, however,choose to do a pré-vestibular after secondary school. In this case, the students are already working andtherefore attend the pré-vestibular classes at night. In general, a pré-vestibular course is very expensive;the costs of a one-year preparatory course are comparable to the yearly tuition fees of a low-cost privateuniversity. I have come across two students who have done a pré-vestibular course which was offered byUSP, the public university of São Paulo, for free, but I believe that most students are not aware of thisopportunity.The pré-vestibular or cursinhoOf the 22 students I spoke to, seven students were actually accepted to a public higher educationalinstitution, however were not able to enroll. I will discuss this in further detail in the next section. Ofthese seven students, three students did a pré-vestibular. Three other students were more comfortablewith the quality of their previous schools and of what they had learned in school. Moreover, thesestudents studied at home in preparation for the vestibular. The last student, Evandro (30) explains why hedecided not to do a pré-vestibular course: Yes, I thought about it, because as soon as you register for the tests of the vestibular, you are bombed with propaganda of cursinhos and of people doing a cursinho. Or you meet people who are much better prepared than you; you feel certain willingness. But you have to be able to finance it, to be able to pay for the cursinho; a lot of times the price of a cursinho is the same as the tuition fees of a private superior education.In addition to these seven students who were accepted to a public university, another 11 studentsattempted to enter a public university, however, without success. Of these 11 students, five students did apré-vestibular course. One of the students I spoke to, Cristiane (29) even did a preparatory course for twoyears. Unfortunately, these two years were still not sufficient to pass the vestibular of a public university.Cristiane explains that the two years of the pré-vestibular course were not even nearly comparable to theyears of good quality education and preparation students at private schools receive. Many students explain that the costs of a preparatory course are too high. The costs areapproximately the same as one year of tuition fees at a low-cost private university. Additionally, doing apré-vestibular course is absolutely not a guarantee that the student will be accepted at a public university.Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 47
  • 48. Therefore, the majority of the students prefer to spend the money on their first year of university studiesat a low-cost private university than on a preparatory course. In this way, they have more certainty thatthe money will not go to waste. Furthermore, one student I spoke to, Jorge (37) explained to me that he simply did not want towait another year before starting his university studies, because he felt he was already too old at thatmoment. By doing a preparatory course he would only be further delayed. Conversely, doing a cursinho did help several students in preparing them for the ENEM exam.For example, Solon (22) believes his high score on the ENEM exam is partly due to the preparatorycourse he did. This score then enabled him to obtain his bolsa, which helps him during his universitystudies at UNIP. In conclusion, the majority of the students find the preparatory course too expensive whencompared to the yearly tuition fees of low-cost private universities. Other students prefer not to postponetheir university studies by doing a preparatory course of one year. For several students the pré-vestibularcourse did help in reference to the ENEM exam. I will now discuss the vestibular and how the vastmajority of the students I spoke to tried to do the vestibular to enter a public university, but,unfortunately, did not pass.The vestibularThe vestibular of USP and most other public universities is known to be extremely difficult. The entranceexam consists of two phases, of which the second phase is the most difficult. From the 22 students Ispoke to, 18 students did the vestibular and tried to get accepted at a public university, but 11 of thesestudents did not pass. These students mainly tried at the following universities: USP, UNESP, UNIFESPor FATEC. One of the four students who did not try to enter a public university, Caio (24) explains thathe was not interested in entering a public university when he finished his secondary school. Additionally,Jacqueline (30) tells me she was too afraid to do the vestibular. She says: “I believe it’s far outside of mypossibilities, far beyond what I could do… I think I am a bit scared for the vestibular; the vestibular is abit stigmatized.” Of the seven students who were accepted to a public university, two of these students attendedprivate secondary schools. Daisy (51), who is currently studying at UNIP, already completed heruniversity studies at USP years before. Daisy attended private schools at primary and secondaryeducational levels. Additionally, Guilherme (47) is currently studying at Uninove, but completed hisuniversity studies at FATEC after he finished his private secondary school. Furthermore, five students were accepted to public universities, but for different reasons were notable to start their university studies. Joice (19) was accepted to a public university, but her mother did notMichal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 48
  • 49. allow her to enroll. Joice’s mother preferred her to go to a university closer to home and to attend nightclasses, so she could continue working. Additionally, Henrique (22) was accepted to a public university,but was not able to enroll due to family reasons. Rodrigo (22) was accepted to two different publicuniversities, but the first university was in another state and, unfortunately, he could not afford to move tothis state. He was also unable to enroll at the second university for which he was accepted, due to amistake made in the registration. In addition to this, two students were accepted to a public university and enrolled at thisuniversity, but stopped after several years. Firstly, one of the students, Felipe (22) studied forapproximately 1.5 years at FATEC when he decided that he preferred to study something else. He thenswitched to UNIP where he is currently studying. Secondly, Evandro was studying at the InstitutoFederal de São Paulo, but due to personal reasons he was not able to complete his thesis and was forcedto leave the university. Moreover, he explains why it took him three years to get accepted at thisuniversity: There’s a great difference between what you learn in the graduation of the first till the eighth serie today and the three years of high school, and with what they ask from you in the tests of the vestibular. And I didn’t have the ENEM in this time which gives you access to a federal university or the bolsa of ProUni; I didn’t have this in my time.Conversely, the vestibular of the low-cost private universities is considered very easy by the majority ofthe students. The students tell me that it is more a protocol and that everyone passes. Additionally,students who did the ENEM exam and scored well are exempted from the vestibular of a low-cost privateuniversity. In conclusion, the majority of the students tried to pass the vestibular to enroll at a publicuniversity, but was not successful. This is mainly due to the difficulty of the entrance exam, but in somecases, money, distance and personal reasons play a role as well. Lastly, the differences in age of thestudents also explain some of the differences and the different strategies developed by the students. Forexample, when the student is older of age and returns to school after years of working, it is more probablethat he or she will not spend another year in a preparatory course to prepare for the vestibular of a publicuniversity. Moreover, it is often not very convenient for these students to study at the public university asthey work during the day and must attend classes at night. Now I will discuss which educationalopportunity these students have in reference to going to university, namely attending low-cost privateuniversities.5.1.2. Introducing low-cost private universitiesDue to the social and economic factors which I will discuss in the next sub-chapter, students from low- tomiddle-income classes are limited in their possibility of accessing a public university. In reality, the onlyMichal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 49
  • 50. educational opportunity these students have in reference to going to university is attending low-costprivate universities. In the last ten or twenty years there has been a rapid expansion of low-cost privateuniversities in Brazil, which greatly increased the enrollment rate of students in higher educationalinstitutions. Conversely, there is much discussion on the quality of these low-cost private universities. Iwill discuss this in further detail in the next chapter. Now I will discuss who has access to which levelsand types of education. In the next sub sub-chapter I will discuss another opportunity most of thestudents from low- to middle-income classes have, namely applying for a bolsa. The Table 2 shows the percentages of people attending educational institutions, distributed by thedifferent levels and types of education. In this Table, the state and municipality of São Paulo is includedin the south-east region of Brazil. The Table clearly shows a vast majority attending public schools atprimary and secondary educational levels (ensino fundamental and ensino médio). At primaryeducational levels this is a majority of 87.5% and at secondary educational levels this is 85.5%.Conversely, at the higher educational levels (ensino superior) the percentage of people attending publicuniversities is reduced to a small 12.7%.Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 50
  • 51. Table 2: Percentages of people attending educational institutions, distributed by type and level of education (IBGE2009)Additionally, the Table 3 shows the enrollment of students at secondary and higher educational levels,and in private and public schools, according to the quintiles of the monthly household income per capita.Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 51
  • 52. Table 3 clearly shows that the higher the monthly household income per capita is, the greater thepercentage is of students enrolled in private secondary schools. This is 2.7% in the first quintile of themonthly household income per capita and no less than 55.7% in the fifth quintile. Conversely, in publicschools, the enrollment is less as the household income per capita is higher. The enrollment of students inpublic schools at secondary educational levels is 23.3% in the first quintile of the monthly household percapita and 8.0% in the fifth quintile. Moreover, at the higher educational level, more students are enrolledat public universities as the monthly household income per capita is higher. Overall there are morestudents enrolled in private universities, but the enrollment rates also increase according to the householdincome. This clearly reflects that at the higher educational level, the educational system acts as an elitistsystem, serving those with a higher household income.Table 3: Students from public and private schools in secondary and superior education, distributed by quintiles ofmonthly household income per capita (IBGE 2009)Furthermore, among the private higher educational institutions it should be noted that there is a distinctdifference between the more traditional private universities and the low-cost private universities. Thestudents from low- to middle-income classes have the possibility of attending low-cost privateMichal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 52
  • 53. universities; this is their real educational opportunity. In some cases, this may also depend on the fact ifthe student is able to obtain a bolsa. I will discuss this in further detail in the next sub sub-chapter. Moreover, Solon comments on who actually has access to public universities: So these people, who have more money and who have had a better basic education, go here [to a public university]. Here, private schools are better than public; it’s very rare for students to get into a public university who haven’t had good schooling since they were a child.In conclusion, as students from low- to middle-income classes are limited in their possibility of accessinga public university, these students are left with very few real educational opportunities. Evandro tells mewhy he does not have many educational opportunities in reference to going to university: “Because thevestibular is very difficult, with which I had many difficulties, and I didn’t have economic conditions topay [for a cursinho or a private university].” Therefore, the real educational opportunities these students are left with are firstly, the possibilityof doing a pré-vestibular course to prepare the students better for the entrance exam of a publicuniversity. Secondly and more importantly, these students are left with the real educational opportunityof attending a low-cost private university. Thirdly, I will discuss the possibility for these students toapply for a bolsa in the next sub sub-chapter.5.1.3. Applying for a bolsaAnother educational opportunity which students from low- to middle-income classes have, is applying fora bolsa at the moment of enrolling at a low-cost private university. Today, the most common bolsa inBrazil is ProUni. ProUni, which was implemented by the Ministry of Education in 2007, offersscholarships to students from public secondary schools who wish to enroll at private universities.Participating universities are granted tax exemption. Not all students are qualified candidates to apply fora bolsa. This depends heavily on the household income per capita of the student, as I will explain in thenext sub-chapter. The bolsas can differ from covering 50% of the tuition fees of the student to 100%,depending on the household income per capita. This can help students from low- to middle-incomeclasses who wish to pursue a university studies at a low-cost private university to a great extent.Conversely, the student must keep up good grades in order not to lose his or her bolsa. I will discuss thisin further detail in the next chapter. In addition to ProUni, there are other bolsas as well for which the students can apply. There isthe possibility to apply for a scholarship from CNPq20 when the student is involved in any kind of20 CNPq is the National Council of Scientific and Technological Development, linked to the Ministry of Science andTechnology.Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 53
  • 54. research during his studies. Conversely, usually, the student may only take part in a research group orconduct research himself in the student’s second or third year of his university studies. Furthermore, afew low-cost private universities have an agreement with the social movement Sem Terra. According tothis agreement, students from these universities may apply for a Sem Terra bolsa if they attend themovement’s monthly meetings. At these meetings the students are expected to participate in the groupdiscussions. Seven of the 22 students I spoke to do not have a bolsa, five of which did not qualify due to theirhousehold income per capita. The other two students are currently doing their second university study, ofwhich their first university study was at a public university. Moreover, both students attended privatesecondary schools. Therefore, these students are not eligible candidates to apply for a bolsa of ProUni. Of the 15 students who do have a scholarship, eight students have a bolsa of ProUni. In additionto bolsas with CNPq and Sem Terra, one student has a bolsa with a teacher’s union. Another student hasa bolsa with the educational programme Educa Mais Brazil21 and yet another student with the programmeMais Estudos22. In conclusion, even when attending low-cost private universities is the only educationalopportunity for low- to middle-income students to go to university, many students are limited by thepossibility if they are able to obtain a bolsa. Only seven of the 22 students do not have a bolsa and ofthese seven, five students told me that it would be difficult for them to continue studying if they wouldlose their job for some reason. Additionally, the majority of the students who do have a bolsa told methat it would be difficult for them to continue their studies as well if they would lose their bolsa. Thestudents from low- to middle-income classes are therefore extremely dependent on their job and of theirscholarship when studying at a low-cost private university.To sum up, the real educational opportunities students from low- to middle-income classes have, is firstlythe opportunity of doing a pré-vestibular or preparatory course in order to prepare the students better forthe vestibular. Secondly, the students are left with the educational opportunity of attending low-costprivate universities. Lastly, in most cases, the students have the possibility of applying for a bolsa to helpthem pay for their university study at the low-cost private university.21 http://www.educamaisbrasil.com/ (Accessed 02/01/2013)22 http://www.maisestudo.com.br/ (Accessed 02/01/2013)Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 54
  • 55. 5.2. Influence of socio-economic factors on accessIn this section I will discuss which social and economic factors influenced the access of low- to middle-income students to public higher educational institutions in São Paulo, Brazil. I will discuss theinvolvement and influence of the parents of the students in the students’ education. Then I will focus onthe household income and how this affected the educational opportunities of the students. Lastly, I willlook at the previous schools the students attended before enrolling at the university.5.2.1. Parental influenceEducational level of the students’ parentsIn this section I will discuss the educational level and the current occupation of the parents. Additionally,I will look at the emotional and financial support of the parents for the students. I will focus on how thesefactors may have affected the access of the students to a public university. Firstly, by talking to the different students, who vary in age from 19 to 51, I was given theimpression that, in the time of the students’ parents, the importance of a university degree was notstrongly emphasized. Conversely, I understood that in Brazil today, society requires you to obtain auniversity degree. This is also confirmed when speaking to several students whose parents are eithercurrently enrolled at a university or have recently completed their university studies. Felipe explains thatin Brazil today, however poor the education may be, the job market requires a lot from the people: “They[companies] do not want anyone without a degree… So it is not a case of option, it is the case ofobligation; because, if you don’t do it, you don’t have any kind of future here in Brazil.” Additionally, another student I spoke to, Guilherme (47), who teaches at public secondary schoolsas well, argues that, twenty years ago, one could find a job at a bank without even completing secondaryschool. Now the situation has changed, however, and the market asks more from you academically.Even today, the students I interviewed do not agree that, having a university degree, will lead to a betterjob and/or a better salary. Therefore, this could be the reason why some of the students’ parents do notconsider pursuing a university degree of extreme importance for the students, because it is not a guaranteefor finding a good job. Furthermore, respondents have mentioned that, previously in Brazil, public education at primaryand secondary levels was of much better quality than it is today, perhaps even better than the currentprivate education (at primary and secondary educational levels). Therefore, I believe that the majority ofthe students’ parents do not find it necessary to send the students to private primary and secondaryschools, as in the time of the students’ parents public schools were considered of better quality.Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 55
  • 56. Current occupation of the students’ parentsThe current occupation of the students’ parents influences the household income per capita. Six of thestudents’ mothers do not work, but attend after the house; three of the students’ mothers are deceased orabsent since the student was young; and one of the students’ mothers is retired. Three of the students’fathers are deceased or have left the family and five of the students’ fathers are retired. The householdincome determines the possibility of the student to attend private primary and secondary schools as wellas private higher educational institutions. Additionally, the household income per capita determines if thestudent is a qualified candidate to apply for a bolsa23. In the next sub sub-chapter, this will be discussedin more detail. The occupation of the students’ parents influences the educational opportunities of the studentsand their possibility of entering a public university. With only one parent currently working in ahousehold, the student might be or feel obliged to work as well to contribute to the household’s expenses.I will discuss this in the next section of this sub sub-chapter, ‘Financial support of the students’ parents’.Emotional support of the students’ parentsThe emotional support of the students’ parents greatly affects the students’ possibilities of accessing ahigher educational institution. It should be made clear that there is a difference in the emotional supportof the students’ parents depending on the age of the students ranging from 19 to 51. For example, one ofthe students, Flavia (40), who is currently studying at Unisant’anna, went to school until her first year ofsecondary school, only to complete her secondary school much later. She explains her situation in thattime: No, my parents weren’t like that, if we went to school until the third year, this was OK. They didn’t see their children in the faculty. Because we started working when we were very young, I started working when I was 14, it was more for necessity and a dream we [Flavia’s sibling and her] had [to go to university].Conversely, the students between the ages of 19 and 30 believe their parents motivated them to continuestudying and supported them in their choice of going to university. Guilherme (47), the same student mentioned before who teaches at public secondary schools,argues that the schools are not solely responsible for the poor education of its children, but that theparents are partly to blame for this as well. Moreover, this is a common discourse among primary andsecondary school teachers in Brazil. Guilherme explains: The children’s parents do not teach them [the children] that studying is important and that they should do well at school. This is not something the teachers should teach them, but without this, it’s very difficult. This happens a lot. I try to teach them [the children] that they need to study to find a job, but if they don’t want this mentality, if they don’t absorb this, I won’t be the one to change this.23 A bolsa is a scholarship.Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 56
  • 57. Guilherme compares where he teaches today to how things were twenty years ago and explains to me thatthe parents of the children at school do not see the necessity of their children going to school oruniversity. Additionally, a few students I spoke to argued that their parents do not necessarily disapprove ofthem going to university, but would rather see them working and earning money. For example, Joice,who studies at Unisant’anna, explains that her mother did not mind her going to university, but preferredher to go to a university closer to home and to attend night classes so she could still work during the day.However, this meant that Joice was not allowed to enroll at a public university for which she wasaccepted, about three hours in public transport from home. For Joice’s mother, there was no differencebetween a public university and the more accessible low-cost private universities.Financial support of the students’ parentsAll students, except for two, pay for their tuition fees of the university themselves. As such, the studentsneed to work in order to pay for their tuition fees, books, transportation and for other relevant schoolmaterial. In this way, the students’ parents do not support the students financially. Conversely, 14 of the 22 students I spoke to are still living with their parents at the momentversus in their own apartment or school housing. These students do feel that their parents support themfinancially in this way. Caio explains his situation in relation to financial assistance from his parents:“They already helped, but it depends, if I need help, they will help me; sometimes, if I don’t have theconditions to pay for tuition fees, they will help me. But in the majority of the cases, I can pay myself,because of my work.” Additionally, some students assist their parents or family with various costs when they can, suchas the internet bill or groceries. For example, Joice works six hours a day to pay for her tuition fees, thetelephone and internet bill, and, with her vale refeição24 she buys food for at the house. The students’parents never asked the students for money or financial assistance, but most of the students feel a certainmoral obligation to help their parents out financially, when they can. Jorge, who studies at Unisant’anna,tells me: “She [Jorge’s mother] never asked me, but with my possibilities, if I can, I help out. Because allmy brothers and sisters are married and my mother lives alone, so when I can, I help.”In response to my research question, parental influence is one of the factors which influence the access oflow- to middle-income students to public higher educational institutions. As I have discussed, theeducational level of the students’ parents can determine to which primary and secondary schools, private24 A vale refeição is a meal allowance or a meal voucher.Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 57
  • 58. or public, the parents send their children. This is because, in the time of the students’ parents, publiceducation at primary and secondary levels was of better quality than private education. In addition, theparents’ educational level can be a reason why the parents do not find pursuing a university degree ofextreme importance, because it is not a guarantee for finding a good job. The occupation of the students’parents determines the household income, which might result in the student having to work as well.Additionally, the household income influences which schools the students attended and their access totraditional private universities. The household income per capita also influences the possibility of thestudent to apply for a bolsa. I will discuss this in the next sub sub-chapter. The emotional support of thestudents’ parents is important for the students’ motivation to go to university and continue studying.Some parents do not see the necessity of going to university, whereas, fortunately, most parents today domotivate the students to go to university and are involved in their education. Lastly, due to the financialsupport of the students’ parents, all students, but two, work to pay for their tuition fees. However, 14 outof the 22 students do live with their parents, which is a form of financial support in this way.5.2.2. Household incomeAnother factor which greatly influences the access of low- to middle income students to public highereducational institutions is the household income. Firstly, the household income limits the student in hisor her possibility of attending private primary and secondary schools. Secondly, the household incomelimits the student in his or her possibility of entering an expensive (traditional) private university. Inaddition to this, the household income per capita determines if the student is a qualified candidate to applyfor a bolsa. It also determines how much the bolsa will cover of the student’s tuition fees.Access to private primary and secondary schoolsIn Brazil, private schools at primary and secondary educational levels are considered of much betterquality than public schools at primary and secondary educational levels. I will discuss the importance andthe influence of previous schools on the access to public universities in the next sub sub-chapter.Therefore, the household income determines whether or not the student has the possibility to attendprivate primary and secondary schools. Five of the 22 students have attended both private and public schools at primary and secondaryeducational levels. One of these five students, Caio explains to me that he attended a private school whenhis parents were in a better financial position. Then, when his parents were in a more difficult situation,he was sent to a public school. Caio says: “Then, in high school, I don’t remember why, but for sureMichal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 58
  • 59. because of financial reasons, I went to a public school; I also have three other brothers and sisters frommore or less the same age who were going to school. So it was a bit complicated.” Moreover, Joice went to a private secondary school, because she was able to obtain a bolsa here.She obtained a bolsa atletica at her secondary school, because she was very good at sports and thisparticular school invested a lot in sports to promote education. Therefore, Joice did not have to pay forher tuition fees. Conversely, a student from Uninove, Raisa (21) explained to me that she switched primaryschools from a private to a public school, because she felt judged at the previous school. She told me thatthe children were prejudiced against people with less money: “They used to see in what kind of house youwere living, or the car your mother had.”Access to traditional private higher educational institutionsThe private universities of most prestige in São Paulo, Brazil, are the more traditional private universitiesPontificia Universidade Católica de São Paulo (PUC-SP) and Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie(Mackenzie). In addition to the highest ranked university of Latin-America25, the public universityUniversidade de São Paulo, these universities are considered of very good quality in the state of SãoPaulo. The tuition fees of these universities differ greatly per course and year of studies. However, toget a general impression of the yearly tuition fees of undergraduate programmes at PUC and Mackenzie,see Table 4 beneath.Yearly Tuition Fees BRL R$ USD $ €PUC-SP26 15,000 – 20,865 7,500 – 10,000 5,500 – 7,600Mackenzie 27 12,000 – 18,000 5,861 – 8,791 4,504 – 6,756Table 4: Yearly tuition fees of undergraduate programmes at traditional private universities in São Paulo, BrazilFurthermore, today, the minimum salary in Brazil is R$62228 per month, which is an equivalent ofUSD$298.11 and €226.56. This clearly shows the monetary threshold for students from low- to middleincome classes to attend traditional private universities.25 Source: http://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/latin-american-university-rankings/2012 (Accessed16/12/2012)26 Source: http://www.4icu.org/reviews/334.shtm (Accessed 16/11/2012), last updated 28/11/201227 Source: student from Mackenzie; http://www.mackenzie.com.br/mensalidades.html (Accessed 18/01/2013)28 Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/quote/BZMW:IND (Accessed 16/12/2012)Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 59
  • 60. Access to bolsasThe household income per capita limits the student in his possibility of attending private primary andsecondary schools and traditional, private universities. Additionally, the household income per capitamay limit the student in his possibility of obtaining a bolsa. When enrolling at a low-cost private university, the student has the possibility to apply for abolsa. In the case of ProUni, the household income per capita may be as high as 1.5 times the minimumsalary to be a qualified candidate for a bolsa covering 100% of the tuition fees. To apply for a bolsa of50%, the household income per capita may be as high as three times the minimum salary. This maydetermine if the student is able to attend a low-cost private university, because if the student does notreceive a bolsa of 100%, he or she must work as well, or work more, in order to pay for tuition fees andother costs.In conclusion, the household income is another important factor which influences the access of low- tomiddle income students to public higher educational institutions. The household income influences theaccess, because it limits the student in his possibility to attend private primary and secondary schools.Private primary and secondary schools are considered of better quality and give a much better preparationfor the vestibular29 and a greater possibility of accessing a public university. Additionally, the householdincome limits the student in his possibility to attend a traditional private university, such as PUC-SP andMackenzie, due to the high tuition fees. This leaves the student with as only real opportunity to attend alow-cost private university. Lastly, the household income per capita determines if the student is aqualified candidate to apply for a bolsa as well as the coverage percentage of the bolsa.5.2.3. Previous schoolsA third very important factor which influences the access of low- to middle-income students to publicuniversities is the previous schools the student attended. Private schools at primary and secondaryeducational levels are of much better quality than public schools at primary and secondary educationallevels. Therefore, students who have attended private primary and secondary schools are generally betterprepared for the vestibular and have a greater possibility of accessing a public university. The Table 5shows the student enrollment at the different educational levels and in public and private schools, in thecity of São Paulo.29 The vestibular is the entrance exam of higher educational institutions.Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 60
  • 61. Table 5: Number of students enrolled in different levels of education, and in public and private schools (INEP 2012)Table 5 shows a clear majority of the students enrolled in public schools; this is 73% for the first fouryears of primary school, 80% for the last four years of primary school and 83% for secondary school.Moreover, educação profissional is professional education or a technical course of usually two years,which students do when they have completed their secondary school. EJA or educação de jovens eadultos is an educational level at which both adults and youth can finish their primary and secondaryschooling, usually at a later age. Most of the students I spoke to also attended public primary and secondary schools. 17 out of 22students attended public primary schools and 13 students attended public secondary schools. As Imentioned before, Joice had the opportunity of attending a private secondary school, because she obtaineda bolsa atletica. Officially, this is seen as attending a public school, because the bolsa covered 100% ofher tuition fees. The Tables 6 and 7 show the distribution of the respondents according to public andprivate, and primary and secondary schools. Public Private EJA TotalPrimary school 17 5 - 22Secondary school 13 5 4 22Table 6: Distribution respondents by public and private, and primary and secondary educationMichal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 61
  • 62. Public Private EJA TotalPrimary school 77,3 % 22,7 % - 100 %Secondary school 59,1 % 22,7 % 18,2 % 100 %Table 7: Distribution in percentages of respondents by public and private, and primary and secondary educationIn summary, the majority of the students I spoke to attended public schools. This is a very importantfactor which influences the access of these students to public universities. This is due to the poor qualityof the education at public schools, which therefore, does not prepare the students well for the entranceexam of a public university. I will now discuss how the previous schools of the students affected theirpossibility of accessing a public university.In the last year of secondary school, the students do the ENEM exam. The ENEM exam is a final examwhich influences the entrance exam of a public and private higher educational institution as well as thebolsa a student may obtain, in the case of ProUni. In addition to this, the student must do the vestibular,which is the entrance exam of a university. With regard to public universities, the vestibular consists oftwo phases, of which the second phase is more difficult. However, unfortunately, the public schools donot prepare the students well for the ENEM or the vestibular. Five respondents argue that their previousschools directly affected their possibility of accessing a public university. Evandro tells me about thepoor preparation he got from his school in reference to the ENEM: No, it’s not fair, because you are doing an evaluation based on education which is not working. I have to study outside; I have to do other courses outside of what is being offered, outside of what the state is offering, to have conditions of doing well enough on the test in order to get a bolsa. It’s not fair, because I could’ve had better marks, if the school would’ve prepared me better.Furthermore, Evandro argues that his previous schools affected his possibility of going to a publicuniversity: [My previous schools affected my possibility of going to a public university] by not having learned a greater knowledge, because of a lack of dedication from the part of the professors. There were problems with students, confronting demonstrations/strikes, confronting unmotivated professors in the classroom. The majority of them [the professors] had one student write something on the board and the rest would have to copy, because in my time, education was about copying, so everyone would copy everything. It wasn’t an education of discovering, of liberation, of empowering the students; I had an education which was fragmented. It didn’t have much sense what I learned in school.In addition to this, Solon, who studies at Unip, explains that he went to primary school during the timethat an educational programme was implemented, referred to as Progressão Continuada. The programmewas implemented under the rule of President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, who was the Brazilianpresident from 1995 to 2002, before Lula da Silva. This educational programme would show for thenecessary statistical data with reference to literacy. The literacy data were necessary to maintain theMichal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 62
  • 63. money given to Brazil by UNESCO to invest in its public educational system. However, it did not assurethat more children learned how to read and write, but it approved of all students, disregarding literacy, tokeep the necessary statistics. Solon argues that his education suffered from this, because many of hisclassmates did not even know how to read or write. He says: “I think that, if I had gone to differentprimary and secondary schools, I could have gotten into a public university.” Conversely, two respondents argue that their previous schools were not the only factor whichlimited them in their possibility of accessing a public university. In fact, these students admit it waspartly due to their own lack of dedication in secondary school. Furthermore, two other students argue thattheir previous schools did not directly affect their possibility of access to a public university, but that itstill would have been necessary to do a pré-vestibular. A pré-vestibular or cursinho is a preparatorycourse preparing the student for the vestibular, but also the ENEM. Additionally, two students make a clear distinction between the preparation for the vestibular of apublic university and the preparation for the vestibular of a low-cost private university. They state thattheir previous schools did not prepare them for the vestibular of a public university, but sufficiently forthe vestibular of a low-cost private university.Quality of public education at primary and secondary levelsI will now discuss the quality of public education at primary and secondary educational levels. Ingeneral, the Brazilian public education at primary and secondary levels is of bad quality. However, it isimportant to note that within the public educational system there is a distinction between federal, state andmunicipal schools, as I have previously discussed in chapter 4. Public schools which are run by themunicipality of São Paulo are usually of better quality than public schools run by the state. Additionally, when applying to a public primary or secondary school, the month and year inwhich the student was born, is important. For example, the quality of the public primary school Joiceattended was of good quality, according to Joice: But it’s like this, it’s one of the regional schools for which a lot of people apply and I was lucky to get in. I only got in, because I lived close and because I was born on the 8 th of January. In Brazil, the closer you are to January, the more chances you have to obtain a vacancy, and I’m from the 8 th of January and I lived close, so that was excellent. The education was great.Joice explains that, as children have to be seven to enter a primary school, the children whose birthday isbefore March have a preference. Thus, not all public schools are of bad quality, but unfortunately, themajority is. The students I spoke to describe the public primary and secondary schools they attended as verybasic, lacking infrastructure, facilities and dedication of the teachers. Moreover, Guilherme also teachesat three different public secondary schools, provided and maintained by the state of São Paulo. I wentMichal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 63
  • 64. with Guilherme to the different schools to talk to the children, who are between 16 to 21 years old. Whenasking the children about the quality of the schools, the children told me that they hardly have class.They are supposed to have about eight classes per day, but in reality, they only have about three. This isbecause teachers do not show up or are on strike. In addition to this, Guilherme tells me that the majority of the pupils are sent to school by theirparents to keep them off the street. The children ask me if I know that the schools turns into a drugtrafficking point at night. Many children also come to school, because they get a free warm meal forlunch. They act surprised as well when I tell them that I am enjoying São Paulo, because apparently Ihave not been in the center of the city after dark. I divided the class into five groups, of each about four pupils, and asked each group to write downthe five things which are the most important for them in their near future. Only one group wrote downthe word ‘studying’ as an important part of their future. Three other groups wrote down ‘knowledge’ and‘wisdom’, but did not associate this with going to school. The most occurring words were ‘peace’,‘family’ and ‘working’ or ‘profession’. Words that drew my attention were ‘determination’ or‘perseverance’, ‘faith’, ‘having good social conditions’, ‘social equality’, ‘harmony’, ‘respect’ and‘freedom’. This shows that the personal situation of the children and their socio-economic backgroundinfluences their thoughts about education. Moreover, being wise or having knowledge was not associatedwith going to school or university. The real situation of poverty of these children impacts theirexpectations in reference to their educational and professional opportunities; poverty does not allow themto think in education or having a good job, when factors as ‘social equality’, ‘harmony’ and ‘freedom’ arenot yet achieved. In conclusion, the pupils find their schools to be of very bad quality. Most pupils are not thinkingabout going to university, but of working and having a family. Others are considering going touniversity, but they do not know how they will get there. When I ask if the school is preparing the pupilsfor the vestibular, Guilherme answers: I teach at public high schools, so I can tell you, they don’t get any preparation for this [the vestibular of a public university]. It is a complicated problem, because they are unprepared since the beginning, since they are six or seven years old. I teach children of 16 and 17 years old and they hardly know how to read. I would look for a text, but nobody wants to read, because they are either embarrassed or ashamed, or when they read, they read without concordance, without respecting punctuation, etc. So I see no way out for them.The pupils use an interesting word to describe a person who knows how to read, but who does notunderstand the meaning of what he or she is reading: analfabeto funcional. In addition to this, what drewmy attention as well was a young girl explaining how the situation was never going to change. She wasconvinced the public education would never improve, because “they need people like us”. She explainedMichal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 64
  • 65. that the government does not want to improve the education, because the government needs people with apoor education, who can be easily “controlled” by the government, to fill the simple jobs in the market. Many pupils speak of a dream which they have to follow as well. I believe this dream is thedream to escape from poverty. Many boys write of wanting to become a professional soccer player aswell.Here are several quotes from the pupils of the public school Dulce Ferreira Boarin. I find theseimportant to note in reference to the public educational system of Brazil and the access of low- to middle-income students to public universities: Monica (21) says: “The only thing I can say is that this school doesn’t respect the cultures that come from outside. I suffered a lot of prejudice because I am older, I have a different accent and I am more educated… In my opinion, coming from this school, I do not have any capacity to do any faculty.” Kaio says: “I think that with the level of education of my school, I will have to study three times more than a student from a private school or than a student from a public school with a higher level of education than my school. In my future, I would like to do a faculty of engineering, but I know that I lack 100 steps with the level of learning of my school; I lack 500 steps for me to get to a faculty.” Paulo: “I think that, not only me, but many people feel that they are being robbed, not of money, but of knowledge, which the governors take from us every time they pretend that everything is fine with the education.” Denise: “In the future I would like to do a faculty of veterinarian, but I think that I will not, for reasons of money. And I think that I will not manage or succeed in doing a public university. They should give us conditions to enter.” Igor: “I do not want to do a faculty, because it is a waste of time and money. I would like to become an international rapper. I think the school is a shit, it is six hours wasted of my life, but it’s better than selling drugs.” Ingrid (17): “The school I study at is of the worst infrastructure, not only of education, but it lacks professors. The school is not to blame for this. For lack of the government which does not help us to improve the education. I think it is because of a lack of respect to us as students, we are destroying our public heritage. We should come together and fight to improve the education, not just for us, but for our children; we should charge the government for our rights of having an education of quality.”Figure 10: Quotes of the pupils at the public secondary school Dulce Ferreira BoarinIn conclusion, I believe the quotes show very well the poor quality of a Brazilian public secondary school,as provided by the state of São Paulo. In addition to this, the quotes and examples show the poorpreparation the students receive from the school in reference to going to university. It becomes clear thatthe previous schools attended by the student significantly influence the possibility to access a publicMichal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 65
  • 66. university. Moreover, Henrique comments on the poor public educational system: “In reality, publiceducation does not prepare the youth, the children, to have access to a public university.” To sum up, there are three social-economic factors which predominantly influence the access oflow- to middle-income students to public higher educational institutions. Firstly, the parental influenceaffects the possible access of the student to a public university, because the educational level and currentoccupation of the students’ parents influence which schools the student attended. Secondly, thehousehold income also limits the student in his possibility to attend a private primary and secondaryschool, as well as a traditional private university. The household income determines if the student is aqualified candidate to apply for a bolsa. Lastly, the previous schools prevent the student from havingaccess to a public university, due to the poor quality of the education and the lack of preparation for theENEM and the vestibular. In the next chapter I will go into more detail with regard to the educational experience of thesestudents at low-cost private universities. Additionally, I will discuss under which conditions thisexperience takes place. Furthermore, I will discuss the quality of these low-cost private universities.Lastly, I will talk about the expectations of low- to middle-income students in reference to their furtheracademic and professional opportunities.Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 66
  • 67. 6. THE EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE AND EXPECTATIONSIn this chapter I will look at the educational experience of students from low- to middle-income classes atlow-cost private universities. I will discuss under which conditions this educational experience takesplace. Additionally, I will look at the quality of low-cost private universities and at the perceptionsstudents have of their educational experience. Lastly, I will discuss the expectations of the students inreference to their further educational and professional opportunities.6.1. Conditions under which the educational experience takes placeThere are several conditions under which the educational experience of low- to middle-income students atlow-cost private universities takes place. Firstly, the majority of the students work besides theiruniversity studies. Secondly, most students attend classes at night, after work. Thirdly, students whohave a bolsa must study hard to maintain a minimum 7.0 grade average in order not to lose the bolsa.6.1.1. Maintaining a job12 of the 22 students I spoke to work full-time. Three students are currently participating in a researchgroup or are doing an internship. Another three students work part-time, that is, six or four hours a day.Finally, four students do not work, of which two students do not need to work, because their parents payfor their tuition fees. A third student is not working at the moment, but is looking for a job. And thefourth student worked a lot before enrolling at the university and saved money for his first year of hisuniversity study. In this way, he has more time to focus on his study.6.1.2. Attending classes at nightI will discuss another condition under which the educational experience of low- to middle-incomestudents at low-cost private universities takes place. As we have seen, the majority of the students workduring the days. Therefore, these students are compelled to taking classes at night. Furthermore, there are four students who attend classes during the day. Among these fourstudents, two of these students do not work. Two other students have more flexible jobs, which enablesthem to organize and manage their university studies and jobs in a manner which suits them best. In conclusion, maintaining a (full-time) job and attending classes at night, leaves these studentslittle time for extracurricular activities or for family and friends. A few students have done or areMichal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 67
  • 68. currently doing an English course and three students are involved in a research group or an internship, as Ihave discussed above. This gives the students at low-cost private universities a disadvantage incomparison to students attending public universities. The majority of the students attending publicuniversities are enrolled here, because they attended good quality private schools. It is also safe to saythat most of these students thus come from the higher-income classes of society. Therefore, the majorityof the students at public universities do not have to work and attend classes during the day. This alsoleaves them with much more time to study in comparison to students at low-cost private universities.Moreover, the quality of public universities is significantly better than the quality of low-cost privateuniversities. I will discuss this in further detail in the next sub-chapter.6.1.3. Minimum grade average to maintain bolsaIn addition to maintaining a (full-time) job and attending classes at night, the students who have a bolsamust maintain a certain minimum grade average to not lose their bolsa. Moreover, in most cases, thismeans having a minimum 7.0 grade average. Furthermore, the students who have a bolsa were also limited in their choice of university anduniversity study. For example, in the case of ProUni, the score of the ENEM exam determines yourchances of obtaining a bolsa at a certain university or with a certain study. For example, for a universitystudy which is very popular, such as business administration, it is more difficult to obtain a bolsa of100%. Therefore, the chances of obtaining a bolsa vary per university and per university study.In conclusion, the educational experience of students attending low-cost private universities takes placeunder several conditions. Firstly, the vast majority of the students work (full-time) in addition to theiruniversity studies. Secondly, these students are therefore required to take classes at night. Thirdly, thestudents who have a bolsa must maintain a minimum 7.0 grade average in order for them not to lose thebolsa. It is important to note that nearly all the students would not be able to continue their universitystudies if, for some reason, they would either lose their job or their scholarship. To sum up, students fromlow- to middle-income classes are limited by various social and economic factors in their possibility ofaccessing a public higher educational institution. This leaves these students with as only real educationalopportunity to attend a low-cost private university, which is of poor quality. In the next sub-chapter I willdiscuss the quality of the low-cost private universities. Moreover, besides attending low-cost privateuniversities, the students must work (full-time), attend classes at night and, in most cases, maintain aminimum 7.0 grade average.Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 68
  • 69. 6.2. Quality of low-cost private universitiesI will now discuss the quality of low-cost private universities. Additionally, I will talk about theperceptions of low- to middle-income students, who are attending these universities, in reference to thequality and their educational experience. Each university is evaluated by the Ministry of Education. Forundergraduate programmes, the quality is evaluated on the basis of the big national exam, the ENADE.For graduate programmes, the evaluation is done by the CAPES Foundation. Now I will discuss theevaluation of the quality of the different universities.6.2.1. Evaluation of the qualityThe quality of low-cost private universities differs greatly per university and per university study. Inaddition to this, Brazilian higher educational institutions are divided into three categories: (1) Universities: institutions required to carry out research and community outreach as well as teaching, to have at least 1/3 of their teaching staff with Master’s or Ph.D. qualifications, and at least 1/3 of their teaching staff working full time. They have the highest level of autonomy. (2) University centres: multi-course institutions not required to carry out research, but with autonomy to open new courses without seeking the permission of the Ministry. (3) Integrated faculties, faculties, and institutes or schools of higher education: smaller institutions, with little autonomy, and which must have new courses approved one-by-one by the Ministry. (Neves 2002 in McCowan 2007: 583-4)Moreover, I spoke to students from the following low-cost private universities: Unisant’anna, Uninove(Universidade Nove de Julho), UNIP (Universidade Paulista, in the municipality of São Paulo andRibeirão Preto) and Anhanguera (which now has become Universidade Bandeirante de São Paulo orUniban). Of these universities, Centro Universitário Sant’anna (Unisant’anna) and Centro UniversitárioAnhanguera de São Paulo (Anhanguera) are university centres. The other higher educational institutionsare referred to as universities. Furthermore, according to the Instituto Nacional de Estudos e Pesquisas Educacionais AnísioTeixeira (INEP) of the Ministry of Education, the quality of higher education is measured by the GeneralIndex of Assessed Courses of Institution (IGC). The IGC is an indicator, which considers the quality ofundergraduate and graduate programmes, the latter including mestrado and doutorado programmes. Withreference to undergraduate programmes, the CPC is used, which is the Preliminary Concept of Course. Inrelation to graduate programmes, the CAPES ranking is used. The final result is in continuous values(ranging from 0 to 500) and fixed values (ranging from 1 to 5).Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 69
  • 70. Undergraduate programmesUndergraduate programmes at higher educational institutions are evaluated on the basis of the bignational exam, the provão. The provão is a required test taken by the students attending a university andis designed to measure the academic quality of the university. The indicator measuring the quality of the undergraduate programmes at universities, the CPC(Preliminary Concept of Course), is an average of the different measures of the quality of a course.Firstly, the provão or the ENADE measures the performance of the students at undergraduateprogrammes. The ENADE is the National Survey of Student Performance and part of the NationalSystem of Higher Education Assessment (SINAES). It aims to assess the performance of students ofundergraduate courses in relation to programme content, skills and competencies. Additionally, the CPCconsists of the performance of freshmen in ENADE, the concept of IDD (the indicator of the Differencebetween the Expected and Observed Performances) and the input variables. The data of the inputvariables, which include the faculty, infrastructure and educational programme, is made with informationfrom the Higher Education Census questionnaire responses and the socio-economic ENADE. (INEPCálculo do Conceito Preliminar de Curso (CPC)) Moreover, the way of calculating the CPC has implications for the representativeness of the IGC,being the General Index of Assessed Courses of Institution. For the CPC of a certain course to becalculated, the course must have participated in the ENADE with freshmen and senior students.Therefore, the IGC is representative of the courses which have participated in the assessments of theENADE with students who just entered the course and students who are about to graduate. As each area of knowledge is assessed every three years by the ENADE, the IGC will alwaysrepresent a three-year period. Therefore, the IGC of 2007 will take into account the CPC ofundergraduate courses which participated in the ENADE in 2007, 2006 and 2005. As such, the IGC of2008 will take into account the CPC of the courses which participated in the ENADE in 2008, 2007 and2006, and so on. The measurement of the quality of the undergraduate programme which consists of theIGC is equal to the average of the CPCs for the three-year period of interest. Below I placed Table 8 of the results of the IGC per university, according to the INEP in 2011.In this Table I included three universities from which I spoke to students for my research. Unfortunately,Unisant’anna was not included in this Table. To compare, I included the traditional private universitiesMackenzie and PUC São Paulo. Additionally, I included two public universities: the state universityUNESP and the federal university UNIFESP of São Paulo.Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 70
  • 71. Table 8: IGC per university of 2011, according to the INEPMichal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 71
  • 72. This Table includes the IGC of 2009, which takes into account the CPCs of the years 2007, 2008 and2009. The IGC of the low-cost private universities which I included in my research (unfortunately,Unisant’anna was not included in this Table) score lower than the traditional private university PUC-SPand the public universities Unesp and Unifesp. Conversely, Mackenzie scores a three on the IGC resultsas well. Uniban scores the lowest with a two. Moreover, if undergraduate courses score a two, theuniversity is required to improve this course, according to the Ministry of Education. If, however, thecourse scores a two on the next evaluation as well, it must be closed. Furthermore, in Table 10 below I have included an evaluation based on the ENADE of 2011. Inthe Table I only focused on the low-cost private universities included in the research. Additionally, Iincluded the traditional private universities Mackenzie and PUC-SP. All universities are thus private.Moreover, Unisant’anna and Anhanguera belong to the university centers, the rest of the highereducational institutions are referred to as universities. Table 10 includes different areas per university,which consist of several courses. Moreover, it includes the number of enrolled graduates and graduatingparticipants. The sixth column of Table 10 includes the score of the ENADE exam, ranging from one tofive. The last column includes the result of the CPC per area of university. I included Table 9 to give anoverview of the different universities included in the various Tables and the scores of the IGC, theENADE and the CPC. I calculated an average of the results of the ENADE exam and the CPC indicatorper university. Moreover, the IGC indicator includes the quality of undergraduate as well as graduateprogrammes.Universities IGC ENADE CPCUnisant’anna - 2.54 2.6UNIP-SP 3 4.06 4.31UNIP-RP - 3.63 4Uninove 3 2.5 3.38Uniban 2 2.73 2.86Anhanguera - 2.5 3Mackenzie 3 3.4 3.72PUC-SP 4 2.7 3.57Unifesp 4 - -Unesp 5 - -Table 9: Overview of the universities with the score on IGC, ENADE and CPCMichal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 72
  • 73. Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 73
  • 74. Table 10: Evaluation based on ENADE 2011Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 74
  • 75. In conclusion, it is clear that, according to the IGC, the indicator measuring the quality of highereducation, considering undergraduate as well as graduate programmes, the public universities score thehighest. Unifesp, the federal university of São Paulo scores a five. Unifesp is followed by Unesp, thestate university of São Paulo, and PUC-SP, the traditional private university. In comparison, Mackenziedoes not score so well and scores equal to Uninove and UNIP-SP with a three. Uniban scores the lowestwith a two. Furthermore, the scores of the ENADE exam vary greatly. UNIP São Paulo scores the highestamong the different universities, followed by UNIP in Ribeirão Preto and the traditional private universityMackenzie. PUC-SP is next in line, followed by Uniban, Unisant’anna, Uninove and finallyAnhanguera. Additionally, the CPC shows the quality of the undergraduate programmes of the university,according to the different quality measures, including the score of the ENADE exam. Here UNIP SãoPaulo and Ribeirão Preto score the highest, followed by Mackenzie and PUC. Uninove is next in line,followed by Anhanguera and Uniban. Unisant’anna scores the lowest.Graduate programmesThe universities are also evaluated by the CAPES Foundation. The CAPES Foundation is theCoordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel, linked to the Ministry of Education.The CAPES evaluation ranks each university from one to five, which determines the type of financing agiven graduate programme receives from CAPES. The CAPES Foundation only evaluates graduateprogrammes. The CAPES evaluation includes the annual monitoring and a three-year assessment of theperformance of all programs and courses that are integrated in the National System of GraduateProgrammes. The results of this process, which are expressed by assigning a grade ranging from one tofive, determine which courses will obtain the renewal of recognition, by the Ministry of Education and theCNE (The Higher Education Chamber of the Brazilian National Education Council), to prevail in the nextthree years. The IGC, the measure of quality of graduate programmes, is a conversion of the rankings bythe CAPES evaluation. Table 11 shows the IGC score, as converted through the CAPES evaluation forthe graduate programmes of the following universities: UNIP-SP, Uninove, Uniban, Unisant’anna andUnip-RP. Moreover, the rankings are from one to five, one being very poor, five being very good.Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 75
  • 76. Universities IGC CAPES Evaluation YearUnip-SP 4 2011Uninove 3 2011Uniban 2 2011Unisant’anna 3 2011Unip-RP 4 2011Anhanguera 3 2011PUC-SP 4 2011Mackenzie 3 2011Unifesp 5 2011Unesp 4 2011Table 11: IGC scores of 2011 based on the CAPES evaluation for graduate programmes (emec.mec.gov.br)It becomes clear that, in reference to graduate programmes, Unifesp scores the highest. Unifesp is thenfollowed by Unesp, PUC-SP and Unip in São Paulo and Ribeirão Preto. Mackenzie, Uninove,Unisant’anna and Anhanguera score equally a three. Uniban scores the lowest with a two. In conclusion, the public universities are of the best quality in comparison to other universities.The public universities are then mostly followed by the traditional private university, PUC. Mackenziedoes not score as well as PUC and is comparable, in the evaluations, to the low-cost private universityUNIP. Conversely, UNIP scores very well in comparison to the other low-cost private universities. Mostlow-cost private universities score, on average, a three out of five. Uniban and Unisant’anna score a twowhich is the lowest score of these universities. Overall the quality of most low-cost private universities isvery low in comparison to the public universities or the (more expensive) traditional private universities.6.2.2. Perceptions of the educational experience and qualityI will now briefly discuss the perceptions of the students from low- to middle-income classes, who areattending low-cost private universities. Firstly, I will discuss their perceptions regarding the educationalexperience. Then I will discuss their perceptions in reference to the quality of the low-cost privateuniversities.The students I spoke to for this research differ in opinion in reference to the educational experience andthe quality of the low-cost private university the student is attending. All of the students like theiruniversity studies and are convinced they will complete their studies. Moreover, the majority of theMichal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 76
  • 77. students find the university they are attending to be of good quality. There are several aspects, however,which could be improved. Firstly, most of the students claim that their professors at the university are well prepared andhave as main goal to provide the students with good quality education. The students tell me that themajority of their professors are graduated from USP or another public university. The students explainthat the professors organize fieldtrips outside of the university curriculum. The professors organize thesefieldtrips themselves and often pay for these as well. Additionally, one student tells me that theprofessors even continue teaching when the university does not have the money to pay them. Moreover,Evandro claims that the professors he has at Unisant’anna are better than the professors he had at thepublic university he was attending previously. Additionally, the students attending the low-cost privateuniversities claim that the professors teaching at public universities are more preoccupied with their ownresearch and publications than actually providing the students with good quality education. Conversely, the low-cost private universities lack a lot of investment in the infrastructure,facilities and the materials of the universities. Furthermore, the universities are predominantly concernedwith having sufficient students; one student tells me they focus more on quantity than on quality. Theuniversities need a certain minimum amount of students in order to open a new course. Additionally, theuniversities are for-profit universities and, therefore, seek to make the most profit. Moreover, theuniversities invest a lot in commercials and the advertising of the universities. Furthermore, in general, the classes of low-cost private universities are smaller than the classes atpublic universities. Therefore, the students argue that they receive more attention of the professors. Theprofessors take their time to help the students and explain more thoroughly when necessary. Conversely,several students argue that this slows the class down. Additionally, another student I spoke to, Tiago (24)argues that the diversity of the class is very big. Due to the vestibular which is very easy at low-costprivate universities, all students get accepted regardless of their educational background. Therefore, theeducational background and the educational level of the students vary greatly in the class. This makes itmore difficult for the professors to teach the students. In conclusion, the majority of the students like their university studies and believe the quality isgood. Conversely, there is much which could be improved. Additionally, as has become clear from thedata on the quality of the different universities, one can conclude that the quality of low-cost privateuniversities is significantly lower than the quality of public or even traditional private universities.Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 77
  • 78. 6.3. Expectations regarding further educational and professional opportunitiesNow I will discuss the expectations of the students attending low-cost private universities in reference totheir further educational and professional opportunities. Additionally, I will discuss whether or not thestudents believe they have equal opportunities in comparison to students from a public university.6.3.1. Further educational opportunitiesIn this section I will discuss whether the students are thinking of doing a pós-graduação, which could bea master’s programme or a specialization, after completing their current university studies. Of the 22 students I spoke to, the majority wants to continue his or her university study. Fivestudents told me they would like to continue studying, but were not sure yet what they would like to do.One student was planning on doing an extra year to complement his licenciatura and complete hisbacharelado. Another four students were thinking of doing a especialização and five students explainedto me that they would even like to do a mestrado and a doutorado. The other seven students either did not want to continue studying or were not sure whether theywanted to continue studying or not. One student, Patricia (28) explained to me that she would like to do após-graduação, but that she was not sure whether she would be able to pay for this. The other studentsfeel it is too much pressure to continue studying, in addition to their job and family; they prefer to wait awhile before thinking of continuing their university studies. To sum up, the majority of the students is thinking of continuing their university studies.Conversely, seven students do not wish to continue their studies or are not sure about this.6.3.2. Further professional opportunitiesIn this section I will discuss what the students think to gain from studying at a university. Additionally, Iwill look at where the students see themselves working after having completed their university studies.Then I will look at whether the students think that obtaining a university degree will result in having abetter job or a higher salary. Lastly, I will talk about whether the students feel they are being sufficientlyprepared to insert in the job market. Firstly, six of the 22 students I spoke to believe that studying at a university will provide thestudent with knowledge. Other important motivators for the students to study at a university areimproving their professional possibilities as well as being able to do what he or she likes. Moreover,Evandro explained that studying at a university would mean for him to be better recognized as a citizenMichal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 78
  • 79. and to have a better social position. Additionally, Jacqueline expected or hoped to gain ‘felicidadefinanceiro’ by studying at a university. Translated this means something similar to ‘financial happiness’,which is doing what you like and also earning good money by doing it, she explained to me. Furthermore, I will discuss where the students see themselves working after graduation. Half ofthe students I spoke to would like to work in the area of education. Preferably, these students would liketo teach. To become a teacher in Brazil, the students must do the concurso público, which is a publicexamination one must do to become a teacher or to work in any other public area. Additionally, severalstudents see themselves working in research, or having their own business or office (in the areas ofpsychology and medicine). Some students see themselves working in programming, environmentanalysis, tourist geography and most importantly, an area of interest. Most students also believe they willaccomplish these professional expectations. Conversely, one student told me that she would like to haveher own practice, but that she did not think she would be able to, because of monetary reasons. Additionally, 16 of the 22 students believed that obtaining a university degree would result inhaving a better job. Conversely, three students argued that having a university degree is not a definiteguarantee in achieving a better job. Three other students believed that the knowledge and experience theyobtained during their university studies are more important than the actual diploma. Furthermore, theybelieved that this knowledge and experience would help them in getting a better job. Moreover, a betterjob was defined by most students as working in an area of personal interest rather than a well respectedjob or a job with which the student could earn a lot of money. Moreover, 16 of the 22 students also believed that having a university degree would result in ahigher salary. One student, Rafaela (22) argued that it is not a rule that having a university degree willresult in a higher salary, but without it, this would be even more difficult. Additionally, Patricia arguedthat a university degree is not so much valued in Brazil today. Lastly, I will discuss whether the students feel they are being sufficiently prepared to confront thejob market. 12 of the 22 students believe their current university study is preparing them well for the jobthey wish to pursue. Two students, who are currently doing their licenciatura, believe their universitystudy is preparing them well to become a teacher. Another five students believe that the university ispreparing them for the job market to a certain extent, but that it will require full dedication from thestudent to get where he or she wants. Lastly, three students believe their university study is not preparingthem at all for the job market and is solely providing them with the basis of what is necessary. In conclusion, the students from low- to middle-income classes at low-cost private universitiesbelieve they will gain knowledge by studying at a university. Additionally, studying at a university willprovide the student with better professional possibilities and it will enable the student to work in an areawhich he or she likes. Furthermore, the majority of the students see themselves working in the area ofMichal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 79
  • 80. education. Moreover, nearly all students believe they will reach their goals in reference to their career.The majority of the students also believe that having a university degree will result in a better job and ahigher salary. Lastly, about half of the students feel their university study is preparing them well toconfront the job market. Conversely, the other half believes their studies is not preparing them at all or ispreparing them to a certain extent, but that it will require much devotion and dedication of the studenthimself to get where he wants professionally.6.3.3. InequalitiesIn this last sub sub-chapter I will discuss the concept of inequality. Moreover, I will discuss theperceptions of the students at low-cost private universities regarding inequality of educationalopportunity. I will talk about whether the students feel competition from students at public universities.Additionally, I will discuss the perceptions of the students in reference to equal opportunities of careerpossibilities. I asked the students at low-cost private universities about their opportunities in reference to careerpossibilities. Nine of the 22 students feel they do not have equal opportunities in comparison to a studentfrom a public university. These students claim that the students at public universities or at USP have anadvantage due to the name of the university and its status. Moreover, these students are aware of the factthat USP and other public universities are of much better quality than the low-cost private universitiesthey are attending. Another six students feel that they do have equal opportunities in reference to careerpossibilities, because of the experience they obtained during their university studies. They feel thisexperience is significantly important when applying for a job position. Lastly, seven students believe thatthe students from USP or another public university have a different mentality. First of all, these studentshave already passed a more difficult vestibular and secondly, they have more time to study. This givesthe students from a public university a certain advantage, but these seven students believe that if they tryhard enough, they could get there. To sum up, Henrique gives a good explanation of the differences between the students at low-costprivate universities and the students at public universities: The students from USP, I don’t say that all students are like this, I do not want to generalize, but the majority of the students there are precisely the students from the elite, who have studied in extremely expensive schools. Simple people, who have access to public education, end up having much more difficulties, because they need to work, etc. The conditions are very unequal in comparison to a student who went to the best schools, who had better conditions, who doesn’t need to work and who can stay home to study. This is not fair. I think that many governments have the interest that, the more students have difficulties going to a good university, the better, because then there are more people with a less institutional level, who are easier to dominate, who accept…Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 80
  • 81. In conclusion, the students at low-cost private universities do not have the same opportunities, educationaland professional, in comparison to students at public universities. All the same, not all the students atlow-cost private universities are aware of this or choose not to acknowledge this. When discussing theadvantage students have at public universities in comparison to students at low-cost private universities,Daisy says: “You cannot give too much importance to this; otherwise you’ll just give up. The people havehope that everything will be all right.”In conclusion, the educational experience of low- to middle-income students at low-cost privateuniversities takes place under three conditions. Firstly, the students must maintain a (full-time) job to payfor their university studies. Secondly, this causes the students to attend classes at night. Thirdly, themajority of the students must maintain a certain minimum 7.0 grade average in order not to lose theirbolsa. Additionally, the quality of low-cost private universities is significantly lower than the quality ofpublic universities and traditional private universities. Lastly, the majority of the students at low-costprivate universities expect to continue their university studies. Furthermore, the students are convincedthat they will accomplish their professional expectations. Conversely, the students at low-cost privateuniversities do not share the same opportunities, educational and professional, as students from public ortraditional private universities.Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 81
  • 82. 7. ConclusionToday, Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world, both by area and by population, and its economy isthe 7th largest in the world by GDP. Moreover, São Paulo is the largest city in South-America and in thesouthern hemisphere. However, unfortunately, in Brazil, structural inequalities are deeply present in thecountry’s social-, political and economic system. This is no different in the Brazilian educational system,which acts as an elitist entity, serving the wealthy and those from the affluent classes of society.Moreover, access to good quality education is a severe problem, especially for pupils and students fromlow- to middle-income classes. The purpose of this research was to explore the educational opportunitiesof students from low- to middle-income classes in relation to higher education. Therefore, my centralresearch question is as follows: What are the educational opportunities of students from low- to middle-income classes in relation to higher education in the state of São Paulo, Brazil?In the theoretical framework I explained how the privatization of higher education is derived fromneoliberal policies in the context of the current globalization agenda, leading to processes of privatization.I questioned the assumed positive effects of the privatization of education on educational expansion andquality and discussed its effects on educational policy. Lastly, I showed how the privatization ofeducation and the expansion of private schools influence educational opportunities and reproduceinequalities. Moreover, in this research I aimed to explore which real educational opportunities students fromlow- to middle-income classes are left with in relation to higher education. Additionally, I looked atwhich socio-economic factors influence the access of low- to middle-income students to public highereducational institutions. Furthermore, I discussed the educational experience of students attending low-cost private universities and the conditions under which this educational experience takes place. I alsodiscussed the quality of the low-cost private universities and the perceptions of the students regarding thequality and the educational experience. Finally, I looked at the expectations of the students attendinglow-cost private universities in relation to their further educational and professional opportunities. Lastly, to answer these questions I interviewed students from the following different low-costprivate universities: Centro Universitário Sant’anna (Unisant’anna), Universidade Nove de Julho(Uninove), Universidade Paulista (Unip) in São Paulo and Ribeirão Preto and, finally, CentroUniversitário Anhanguera de São Paulo (Anhanguera). Moreover, I visited three public secondaryschools, governed by the state of São Paulo, where I engaged the children in participatory activities inMichal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 82
  • 83. relation to (higher) education. The schools I visited are E.E. Dulce Ferreira Boarin, E.E. AugustoMeirelles Reis Filho and E.E. Casimiro de Abreu. In this chapter I will highlight the main findings of this research and through these findings I willanswer the main research question. Additionally, I will reflect on the research methodology. Finally, Iwill discuss suggestions for further study in relation to the privatization and educational opportunities oflow-income students in Brazil.7.1. Findings of the researchNow I will highlight the main findings of this research. In summary, as public education at primary andsecondary educational levels does not prepare the student sufficiently to enter a public university, thestudents from low- to middle-income classes are left with the opportunity of doing a pré-vestibular toprepare the student better for the entrance exam. In most cases, the preparatory course is still notsufficient for the student to access a public university. Therefore, the real educational opportunity thesestudents have, is attending a low-cost private university. Finally, the student usually has the possibility ofapplying for a bolsa to help pay for the tuition fees. Additionally, there are three predominant factors which emerged from this research and influencethe access of students from low- to middle-income classes to public higher educational institutions.Firstly, the parental influence, including the educational level and current occupation of the students’parents, affects the possible access of the student to a public university. Secondly, the household incomelimits the student in his possibility to attend private primary and secondary schools and traditional privateuniversities. Moreover, the household income changes the conditions under which the educationalexperience takes place, as the students have to work besides their studies. Thirdly, the previous schoolsattended by the student prevent the student from having access to public universities, due to the poorquality of the education and the lack of preparation for the ENEM and the vestibular. Furthermore, the educational experience of the students attending low-cost private universitiestakes place under several conditions. Firstly, the majority of the students work (full-time) in addition totheir university studies. Therefore, the students attend classes at night. Moreover, the students whomanaged to obtain a bolsa must maintain a minimum 7.0 grade average in order not to lose their bolsa. In this way, students from low- to middle-income classes are very limited in their educationalopportunities. Moreover, they usually receive education of very poor quality at the low-cost privateuniversities. The public universities are considered of the best quality and very prestigious, followed bythe traditional private universities.Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 83
  • 84. Finally, the students attending low-cost private universities believe they will gain knowledge bystudying at a university. Moreover, studying at a university will provide the student with betterprofessional opportunities and most likely a better job and a higher salary. Half of the students feel theuniversity is preparing them well to confront the job market, whereas the other half feels it will requiremuch extra devotion and dedication on the student’s part to reach his or her professional goals. Lastly,the students at low-cost private universities do not share the same opportunities, educational andprofessional, in comparison to students at public universities.In conclusion, students from low- to middle-income classes are very limited in their educationalopportunities in relation to higher education in the case of São Paulo, Brazil. The student’s householdincome and the previous schools attended by the student prevent the student from having a goodeducational background. Therefore, these factors prevent the student from passing the vestibular,attending a public university and thus from having access to good quality higher education. Furthermore,these students are left with as only educational opportunity in relation to higher education to attend a low-cost private university. Moreover, these students do not consider their educational experience as easy, asthe students work full-time, attend classes at night and must maintain a minimum grade average in ordernot to lose their bolsa. Therefore, the Brazilian educational system serves the affluent classes of society,at primary, secondary and higher educational levels. Students from low-income classes receive pooreducation since they are young, starting with primary and secondary school. Due to their pooreducational background and the monetary threshold to good quality education, only very few studentsactually have the educational opportunity of attending university. Moreover, the few students from low-income classes who do have the educational opportunity ofattending university only have the educational opportunity of attending low-cost private universities.Even more so, the quality of these low-cost private universities is very poor in comparison to the public ortraditional private universities. Therefore, the students attending low-cost private universities do notshare the same educational and professional opportunities as students from public or traditional privateuniversities, yet again reproducing inequalities. Conversely, several educational programmes, such as ProUni, have been implemented with asaim to democratize the educational system and provide more educational opportunities for students fromlow- to middle-income classes. These educational programmes have resulted in a greater enrollment ofpoor students at the low-cost private universities, but this expansion has not been equitable and littleattention has been paid to the quality.Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 84
  • 85. 7.2. Reflection on the methodologyNow I will reflect on the methodology. This research was conducted using a mixed-methods approach,combining qualitative in-depth semi-structured interviews and various participatory research methods.This allowed me to explore the experience, perceptions and expectations of the students attending low-cost private universities in reference to their educational opportunities. Moreover, attending the differentpublic schools enabled me to better understand the quality of public education at primary and secondaryeducational levels, which is very poor, and the actual educational opportunities these pupils have inreference to attending university. Furthermore, as I discussed previously as well, initially, I did not speak the local language.Therefore, the interviews had to be translated for me, with the risk of losing information in translation.Later on, my translator was not able to accompany me to the interviews and therefore, I conducted theinterviews myself. This was quite a challenge. Additionally, the participatory research activities were notas applicable as I expected beforehand, because the pupils were older than I expected and the class wasrather chaotic. Conversely, after visiting the different schools, I was able to return to the first school andsuccessfully do the activity. With this approach I was able to get a better understanding regarding the educational experience,perceptions and expectations of the students. The interviews were meant to act as life stories, reflectingthe students’ history and educational trajectory. I believe I was able to understand better the students’experience, perceptions and expectations in reference to their educational opportunities by using thisapproach and engaging in one-on-one in-depth interviews. Conversely, by not including a quantitativeapproach in this research, I missed out on statistical primary data. A quantitative analysis could havebeen convenient in researching the socio-economic background of the students and collecting data on thequality and evaluation of the different educational institutions, the enrollment rates and the public-privatedivide. Moreover, I believe I was able to include the most important statistics by making use ofsecondary data regarding these topics.7.3. Suggestions for further studyIn line with the conclusions of this research, I would like to make several suggestions for further research.In Brazil, the problem of access to good quality education starts with primary and secondary education.Here students from low-income classes cannot afford to attend private schools. Therefore, low-incomestudents do not have the educational background to gain access to a public university. Conversely, due tothe privatization of higher education in Brazil, a rapid expansion occurred of low-cost private universities.Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 85
  • 86. With the increase of educational programmes, which help low-income students pay for these universities,the enrollment in higher education increased significantly. However, little attention has been paid to anequitable expansion and to the quality of these low-cost private universities. In relation to theprivatization of education, I would like to do further research on the different educational programmeswhich aim to include the marginalized and the low-income students in Brazil, such as ProUni. I wouldlike to research how educational programmes could contribute to a more equitable expansion of highereducational institutions. Additionally, I would like to research the educational opportunities of low-income students inrelation to attending private primary and secondary schools. Moreover, it would be interesting to researchthe professional opportunities of students who have completed their university studies at a low-costprivate university, exploring the relation between inequality of educational opportunity and unequaleducational outcomes. Lastly, it would be interesting to do a comparative study, researching theeducational opportunities of students at low-cost private universities and students at public or traditionalprivate universities. Here I would like to look at the quality of the different universities and explore theinequalities of educational opportunity.Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 86
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  • 92.  http://education.stateuniversity.com/pages/2015/Government-Education-Changing-Role.html (Accessed 24/05/2012)  http://www.indexmundi.com/brazil/major_cities_population.html (Accessed 29/12/2012)  http://www.mackenzie.com.br/mensalidades.html (Accessed 18/01/2013)  http://www.maisestudo.com.br/ (Accessed 02/01/2013)  http://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/latin-american-university-rankings/2012 (Accessed 16/12/2012)  http://www.usnews.com/education/worlds-best-universities-rankings/best-universities-in-latin- america (Accessed 05/12/2012)  http://www.v-brazil.com/tourism/sao-paulo/map-sao-paulo.html (Accessed 28/12/2012)Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 92
  • 93. Appendix I: Interview GuideThese are the questions for the interviews with the students from the low-cost private universities Unip,Uninove, Unisant’anna and Anhanguera. 1. Name Pode me dizer seu nome completo? 2. Sex Genero 3. Age Quantos anos tem? 4. Where are you from? Where did you grow up? De onde é você? Aonde voce creceu? a. If not from Sao Paulo, why did you/your parents come to SP? Caso no seja Sao Paulo, Porque você/seus pais viram para São Paulo? 5. Where are your parents from? De onde são seus pais? 6. To which primary and secondary schools did you go? Were these public or private schools? A quais instituições de ensino básico e meio você assistiu? São escolas privadas ou publicas? 7. What do you think of the quality of these schools? O que você acha da qualidade dessas escolas? 8. Did your parents or one of your parents go to university? Seus pais (ou algum deles) assistiram na universidade? a. If yes, which one? Public or private? Caso afirmativo, Qual unversidade? Publica ou privada? b. If not, what is their highest level of education? Was this public or private? Caso negativo, Qual é o maior grau de educação deles? Foi educação privada ou publica? 9. What do your parents do now? What kind of job do they have? O que fazem seus pais? Que tipo de trabalho têm eles? 10. Why did you choose to go to university? Porque você escolheu assistir à universidade? 11. What is your reason for choosing this particular university? Porque ecolheu issa universidade em particular? 12. Do you believe you had many options/opportunities to choose from when choosing a university? Voce acredita que tevi diferentes opções/oportunidades na hora de escolher uma universidade? 13. Do you think your primary and secondary school affected your possibility of choosing a university? Você acha que a sua escola primaria e secundaria afectou suas possibilidades na hora de escolher uma carreira ou universidade? 14. Was this your first choice of universities? Foi sua universidade a primeira opção ou mais accessível? a. If not, which was one was? Caso contrario qual foi? b. And, why did you not go to this university? Porque não decidiu assistir à outra universidade 15. Do you feel your past schools have prepared you well for the vestibular of a public (federal or state) university? Você acha que o ensino basico e meio prepararam bem você para a vestibular? a. If not, why not? Caso negative, porque não?Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 93
  • 94. 16. Did you do the vestibular of a public university? Did you find this difficult? Você fez o vestibular? Você achou dificil o mesmo? 17. What did you think of the vestibular to enter in this university you are currently studying? O que você achou do vestibular para entrar nesta universidade que você está estudando? 18. How much do you pay for tuition fees? Quanto você paga pelo seu estudo universitario? 19. Do you consider this a lot of money for you? Você acha isso é muito dinheiro para você? 20. Do you have a job? Você trabalha? a. If yes, part-time or fulltime? Trabalho horario integral ou part-time? b. Also, if you would not have this job, would you still be able to continue your studies? Se você não tivesse esse trabalho, poderia continuar seus estudos? 21. Are your parents involved or interested in your education? Seus pais fazem um seguimento do seus estudos ou tem interesse neles? 22. Do you feel they motivate you to continue studying? Do they support your decision to go to university? Você acha que eles motivam você para continuar estudando? Eles apoiam você na desição de assistir na universidade? 23. Do your parents support you financially? Seus pais oferecem algum tipo de assistencia economica? 24. Do you feel your parents expect you to support them by working for example? Or do you perhaps feel your parents expect you to go to university and get a university degree? Você acha que o seus pais esperam que você mantenha eles economicamente trabalhando? Ou você acha que o seus pais esperam você assita à universidade e obtenha seu diploma? 25. Do you live with your parents? Você mora com seus pais? a. If yes, would you like to live alone? Caso afirmativo, Gostaria de morar sozinho? i. If yes, why don’t you? Caso afirmativo, porque não vai morar sozinho? ii. If not, but could you afford to live alone? Caso negative, você tem as possibilidades economicas de morar sozinho se quiser? 26. Do you receive any financial aid in the form of loan (FIES) or a bolsa (PROUNI, CNPq, CAPES, Escola Familia, etc.)? Você recebe algum tipo de assistencia economica financeira? a. If yes, how much is this? Caso que sim, quanto dinheiro seria? b. If the payment would stop, would you still be able to continue your studies? Se o governo deixare de assistir você poderia continuar seus estudos? 27. What do you think of PROUNI in relation to ENEM? (Scoring high on ENEM provides students the opportunity to receive more money from the government within the PROUNI program.) O que você acha de PROUNI em relação a ENEM? 28. What are you currently studying? And, in which year of your studies are you? O que você esta estudando? Você esta cursando qual ano do seus estudos? 29. Do you like your studies? Você gosta do seus estudos? 30. Do you think you will be able to finish your studies? Você acha que vai termirar o seus estudos?Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 94
  • 95. a. If not, why not? Caso negative, por qual motivo? 31. Are you involved in any extracurricular activities besides your studies (such as a student organization, volunteer work, etc.)? Você faz algum tipo de actividade extracurricular ( trabalho voluntario, pertenecer a uma organizção estudiantil, etc) a. If yes, do you feel you can manage this well in combination with your studies? Caso afirmativo, Você acha que pode combinar seus estudos com issas activdades sem problemas? b. If not, why not? Would you like to do get involved in any activities? Caso negative, Porque não? Você gostaria de fazer algum desses tipos de actividades? 32. What do you think of the quality of your studies/university? O que você acha da qualidade do seus estudos/universidade? 33. Do you feel your teachers have as main goal to provide you of good quality education? Do you feel motivated by them to continue studying? Você acha que o principal objetivo do seus professores é lhe oferecer uma educação de boa qualidade? Você sente que eles lhe motivam para continuar estudando? 34. How do you manage your studies (in combination with work/family/friends/etc) Como você gere seus estudos (em combinação com sua familia, amigos, trabalho, etc? 35. What do you expect to gain by studying at a university? O que você espera obter estudando numa universidade? 36. Are you planning on pursuing a master’s degree? Você tem pensado começar algum tipo de estudo de post-graduação (máster)? a. If not, why not? Porque não? 37. Do you think having a university degree (graduacao/pos-graduacao) will get you a better job? Você acha que tendo um titulo universitario você pode obter um melhor trabalho? 38. Do you think having a university degree (graduacao/pos-graduacao) will get you a better salary? Você acha que tendo um titulo universitario você pode obter um melhor salario? 39. Would you like to do a PhD in the future? Você gostaria de fazer um doutorado no futuro? 40. What expectations do you have regarding your career opportunities? Qual expectativas você tem em relação às oportunidades para sua carreira? a. Where would you like to work? Aonde gostaria de trabalhar? b. Do you think you will get accepted/hired here? Você acha que seria aceitado aqui? 41. Do you think your studies/university is preparing you well for the “market”? Você acha que o seus estudos/universidade esta oferecendo uma boa preparação para enfrentar o mercado? 42. Do you think you have an equal chance with regard to a job position in comparison to students from a public university, such as USP? Você acha que tem iguais possibilidades em relação a uma vaga laboral em comparação com um estudante de uma universidade federal como a USP? 43. Are you willing to participate in a group discussion with other students in the near future? Você gostaria de participar num grupo de discussão com outros estudantes num future proximo?Michal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 95
  • 96. Appendix II: Overview RespondentsRespondent Name Sex Age University 1 Emerson M 38 Uninove 2 Raisa F 21 Uninove 3 Flavia F 40 Unisantanna 4 Paulo M 24 Unisantanna 5 Tiago M 24 Anonymous 6 Caio M 24 Unisantanna 7 Joice F 19 Unisantanna 8 Jorge M 37 Unisantanna 9 Evandro M 30 Unisantanna 10 Solon M 22 UNIP 11 Guilherme M 47 Uninove 12 Henrique M 22 Unisantanna 13 Natacha F 21 Unisantanna 14 Cristiane F 29 UNIP-RP 15 Rafaela F 22 UNIP-RP 16 Daisy F 51 UNIP-RP 17 Rodrigo M 22 UNIP-RP 18 Jacqueline F 30 UNIP-RP 19 Patricia F 28 UNIP-RP 20 Felipe M 22 UNIP 21 Gleici F 23 Anhanguera 22 Guilherme M 21 UninoveMichal Ragowan Inequality of Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Page 96

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