Higher Education in Brazil: The Role of Grassroots NGOs in Preparing Low-Income Youth
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CitationPaster, Zak. 2014. Higher Education in Brazil: The Role of Grassroots NGOs in Preparing Low-Income Youth. Master's thesis, Harvard University, Extension School.
AbstractHigher Education in Brazil is undergoing major reform. During the past 15 years the number of private universities has doubled and the number of students enrolled has tripled. In support of these trends, the federal government has introduced monumental affirmative action policies and granted financial aid to hundreds of thousands previously excluded from the university setting. Although "educational movements" are emerging throughout the country, many youth in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro--the majority Afro-Brazilian--are still absent from the Higher Education landscape. Granting access to this population will not only require public and private sector university reform, but it will also require support from grassroots non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Community-based NGOs that offer university preparatory programs play a central role in supporting Brazil's Higher Education movement, using local resources to reach the most disenfranchised who would otherwise not have an opportunity to attend college. Five Higher Education program examples are highlighted in this thesis: advising and mentoring services, seminars, admissions preparation workshops, exam preparation courses, and community awareness-building. These services represent a "diverse portfolio" of university preparatory strategies that may help bridge the university aspiration-enrollment gap for low-income Afro-Brazilians. In the long term, this approach will not only diversify the university environment, but it will also address Brazil's shortage of skilled labor while the economy expands. As more Afro-Brazilians obtain a university degree and enter the formal employment market, they will become a driving force behind national economic development, ultimately generating more widespread social inclusion.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37367538
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