Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said that the University for All Program (ProUni), signed into law last month, “definitely marks a new educational plateau in Brazil.”
In his biweekly radio program, “Breakfast with the President,” he remarked that the ProUni will make it easier for the low-income population to have access to higher education.
Among the positive steps taken by his Administration on behalf of higher education, besides the ProUni, Lula underscored the expansion of federal universities in the interior of the country, chiefly in the poorest regions.
“Just as we are expanding the campuses, we are establishing federal university extensions, extending a branch to the interior. We are creating 31 extensions.”
Lula informed that regions like the Jequitinhonha and Mucuri valleys will shortly possess “an arm” of the Federal University of Minas Gerais.
The backlands of Pernambuco and the coastal region of Bahia will also gain public institutions of higher education, the President informed.
“We are making it possible for the entire national territory to be covered by federal university extensions, so that our young people will have the opportunity to study,” he commented.
The ProUni gives full and half scholarships to undergraduates and students enrolled in sequential, specialized training courses.
The private educational institutions that subscribe to the program, by providing scholarships to the students, will receive a tax exemption in return.
To compete for ProUni scholarships, students must pass the National Secondary School Examination (Enem).
To be eligible for the ProUni, students have to have received their secondary education at public high schools or, if they attended private schools, to have been on full scholarship.
They also have to prove that their family’s monthly per capita income does not exceed one and a half minimum wages (US$ 191 – 450 reais). For students in this income bracket, the ProUni offers full scholarships.
If the family’s monthly per capita income is between one and a half and three minimum wages, students can compete for half scholarships, and ProUni students with half scholarships can also enroll for Student Credit (Fies).
ABr – www.radiobras.gov.br