Simon Schwartzman

Simon Schwartzman is president of Instituto de Estudos do Trabalho e Sociedade in Rio de Janeiro, and a Fullbright New Century Scholar for 2009-2010. He is a member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, and a recipient of the Brazilian Order of Scientific Merit. His publications include A Space for Science: The Development of the Scientific Community in Brazil (Penn Press, 1991), The Future of Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNESC0 / OBREAL, 2001), The Challenges of Education in Brazil (Oxford Studies in Comparative Education, 2004) and The Leading Latin American universities and their contribution to sustainable development (Sense Publishers., 2008) He participated in the OECD assessment teams for Chile (2003, 2008) and the Dominican Republic (2006).

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Most Recent Articles

April 20, 2014
OECD has just published results of its assessment of student proficiency in 45 countries and regions of problem-solving at age 15.
November 6, 2013
Earlier in October the Brazilian press announced that the University of São Paulo, usually considered the best university south of Rio Grande, had disappeared from the top list of 200 institutions of the Times Higher Education rankings, together with the prestigious State University of Campinas.
June 4, 2013
Last week, 7 million Brazilians participated in a two-day exam to assess achievements in language, natural sciences, humanities, mathematics and writing.
January 6, 2013
In August 2012 the Brazilian President, Dilma Rousseff, signed a bill making it mandatory for all federal universities in Brazil to reserve 50% of the places in each degree program for students coming from public schools according to their family incomes and their ethnic profile (self-declared descendants of blacks and Brazilian natives), and giving them four years to implement the programs. Not to be undone, in December of 2012 the governor of the State of São Paulo, Geraldo Alkimin, announced his own affirmative action project for the state universities, calling it a program of “social inclusion with merit”.
August 14, 2012
For the last several months, the Brazilian federal universities have been paralyzed by strikes, and, in an independent development, last week the Congress approved legislation requiring that 50% of the vacancies in these institutions should be destined to students coming from public schools, and distributed according to race. 
September 20, 2011
Brazilian education has expanded very rapidly in recent years, due mostly to private institutions, that now account for 75% of the total enrollment. Most of these institutions are for profit, and provide low cost, evening courses in the “soft” fields (management, law, accounting, education). In the last several years, the federal government has tried to increase access to public institutions, through affirmative action for students coming from public schools and black Brazilians, by creating new federal institutions and by expanding the existing ones.
March 9, 2011
The state university in Campinas, UNICAMP, one of the leading research universities in Brazil, has announced a new experimental procedure for student admissions[1]. Instead of the traditional entrance examination, 120 students will be selected from all local public schools based on their scores in the National Assessment of Secondary Education – ENEM – one or two per school.
November 22, 2010
On November 7, 2010, 3.3 million Brazilian secondary school graduates, hoping for a place in a university, took the National Assessment of Secondary Education (ENEM), a two-day examination marathon covering the humanities, natural sciences, language and mathematics. The next day, it appeared that in some places the answer sheets had not been printed correctly, leading to errors in test correction. A few days later, a federal judge suspended the exam, and ordered the Ministry of Education to do it over.
September 27, 2010
  As reported by the newspaper Folha de São Paulo[1] a recent study from the State University of Rio de Janeiro found that 70% of public higher education institutions in Brazil have adopted some kind of affirmative action program. Legislation is being discussed in Congress to make these programs mandatory, but the institutions are doing it voluntarily, or according to state legislation.


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