Brazil: Opportunity and crisis in higher education

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The current situation in Brazilian higher education is discussed in the context of (i) its historical background; (ii) the 1968 reform and its unintended consequences; (iii) the recommendations of the 1985 Presidential Commission on higher education. The implications of these recommendations in terms of the introduction of inter-institution differentiation and greater autonomy are explored with particular reference to the part played in the eventual shelving of the proposals by pressure groups in the Brazilian system. Though pressure groups may block radical changes, continuing debate on the issues raised can form the background to piecemeal and incremental changes in the desirable direction. © 1988 Kluwer Academic Publishers.