Only 9% of 18-24 Year Old Brazilians Go to College

The deputy executive secretary of Brazil’s Ministry of Education (MEC), Ronaldo Teixeira, said that the government hopes to increase the percentage of 18-24 year old Brazilians who attend universities to 40% by 2010.

In a recap presented Monday, December 26, on the activities of the MEC in 2005, he informed that only 9% of the young people in this age bracket are university students.

"We want to reach 40% by, on the one hand, expanding public higher education through the creation of four universities and 32 new campuses. This, together with the ProUni, will enable us to expand the university population by more than one hundred thousand students."

The secretary was referring to the University for All Program (ProUni), which provides full or partial scholarships in private instititutions of higher education.

"A huge number of low-income students, who, under other circumstances, would not have access to the university, have a real possibility of entering a university, continuing their studies, and, through the knowledge they acquire, building a new Brazil," he affirmed.

Teixeira also highlighted the constitutional amendment bill (PEC) that establishes the Fund for the Maintenance and Development of Basic Education and the Valorization of Educational Professionals (Fundeb).

The bill assigns US$ 1.929 billion (4.5 billion reais) in resources to the Fundeb in its first four years. "In the next ten years, the new fund will provide an additional US$ 17.148 billion (40 billion reais) in budget funds committed to education, and this will have a revolutionary impact," the secretary observed.

Agência Brasil

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