The number of Afro-descendant students entering Brazilian universities in 2004 grew 5% in comparison with 2003. Data from the Ministry of Education indicate that in 2004, 921 thousand black students had access to higher education, as against 875 thousand the year before.
This fact is being commemorated by the non-governmental organization (NGO), Educafro, which acts on behalf of education and citizenship.
The NGO says, nevertheless, that it expects further increases in the number of black students in public universities, according to Educafro’s advisor on Government Policies and Affirmative Actions, Thiago Thobias.
For the coordinator of the Brazilian government’s University for All Program (Prouni), Leonel Cunha, the broadening of black students’ access to higher education has been made possible by two programs: the Prouni and the Fies (Student Finance Program).
Cunha affirms that over 10 thousand black students entered universities through financial assistance. An additional 46 thousand plus students got in through Prouni quotas.
“We are on the right path. We are making up for some inequalities in terms of social inclusion. I view this as a very significant program,” Cunha emphasized.
15 public institutions of higher education have already adopted affirmative action policies with a quota of places reserved for blacks.
Translation: David Silberstein
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