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Access to Higher Education in Portugal, Brazil, and Mexico: Tensions Between, and Challenges to, Democratization and Quality

  • João Ferreira de Oliveira
  • Belmiro Gil Cabrito
  • Armando Alcântara Santuário
Chapter
Part of the Intercultural Studies in Education book series (ISE)

Abstract

This text analyzes access to higher education (HE) in three countries: Brazil, Portugal, and Mexico, highlighting some of the basic indicators that show the tensions between, and challenges to, democratization and quality. These three countries were chosen for a number of reasons, namely, that they have elitist higher education systems that are in the process of democratization and universalization, that they have public and private higher education, and that public investment in this level of education is very poor. Democratization and universalization of access to quality higher education is actually a common challenge facing all three countries under analysis, especially when considering questions of social origin and conditions of selection and entry. It is pertinent to identify and analyze ideas that governments, politicians, and institutions of higher education have provided to ensure greater inclusion and an improvement in the quality of life of young workers. In order to better understanding how these three countries, with different backgrounds, try to solve these common problems, three basic aspects are examined for each of them: (1) the model(s) of selection or the form of access, types of institutions, number of places available, enrollment and the attendance rates, especially for the population aged 18–24 years; (2) the social origin and race of students in the last few decades, considering the characterization of the higher education system in terms of it being an elitist, mass, or universal service system; (3) the challenges of broadening the social strata of recruitment with a view to greater social inclusion.

Keywords

Access to higher education Democratization Quality 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • João Ferreira de Oliveira
    • 1
  • Belmiro Gil Cabrito
    • 2
  • Armando Alcântara Santuário
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculty of EducationUniversity Federal of GoiásGoiásBrazil
  2. 2.Institute of EducationUniversity of LisbonLisbonPortugal
  3. 3.National Autonomous University of MexicoMexico CityMexico

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