In the past eight years the number of master’s and doctoral programs in Brazil has grown at an annual pace of 9%. The country currently has 1,925 postgraduate programs, according to a survey released on Wednesday, April 20, by the Foundation for the Improvement of University Level Personnel (Capes), linked to the Ministry of Education.
The number of students enrolled in master’s degree and doctoral programs rose 11% and 14%, respectively. For the president of the Capes, Jorge Guimarães, these indices show that more and more young Brazilians are seeking specialization.
According to Guimarães, this also means that states and private firms must help federal agencies by sharing in the responsibility of providing postgraduate fellowships.
The Capes president says that Brazil has a total of 122,295 postgraduate students, of whom around two-thirds don’t have fellowships.
According to Guimarães, the Capes finances 55% of master’s and doctoral fellowships in Brazil, while the CNPq (National Scientific and Technological Development Council) finances 30%.
State teaching and research assistance foundations provide 10% of the fellowships. The remaining 5% come from international bodies and private institutions.
Guimarães also remarked that the Capes has attempted to perfect postgraduate programs in the area of industrial policy, since this area, by generating new firms, also creates jobs and income.
“This is the argument we used with the Administration’s economic team to augment the Capes budget by a substantial amount,” he pointed out. According to him the Capes budget for 2005 is 30% greater than in 2004.
In Guimarães’s view, one of the challenges the Capes faces is to increase the number of university professors with postgraduate degrees.
According to him, only 20% of Brazil’s 260 thousand faculty members has doctoral degrees. Among the rest, a little bit more than 30% has master’s degrees.