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Five Private Colleges Enroll 27% of Brazilian University Students

These Institutions Have More Students Than the 312 Public Higher Education Institutions

Five private institutions account for 27% of all university students in Brazil. Out of the 9.4 million students enrolled in undergraduate courses in the country last year, more than 2.5 million studied in these institutions.

Together, they have more students than all 312 public higher education institutions in the country (2.07 million students).

It is the largest concentration of enrollments in a few institutions ever recorded, according to the 2022 Higher Education Census.

According to experts, the relaxation of rules for the opening of distance learning courses has benefited large educational groups.

It is in distance education that the top five institutions have the most enrollments. Out of the 2.5 million students at Universidade Pitágoras Unopar Anhanguera, Centro Universitário Leonardo da Vinci, Universidade Cesumar, Universidade Estácio de Sá, and Universidade Paulista, more than 2.3 million are in distance learning courses (91% of the total).

“The private sector pressured the government to weaken regulations further for the expansion of distance education. The more flexible rules favored the concentration of higher education because the groups were able to offer courses at lower costs and strengthened themselves,” says Leandro Tessler, a professor at Unicamp (State University of Campinas, located in the interior of São Paulo) and a specialist in higher education.

Source: Folha De S. Paulo