In Booming Brazil, the University System Expands, With Mixed Success

Booming Brazil Expands Its University System, With Mixed Success 1

Lalo de Almeida For the chronicle

Students in the industrial neighborhood of Guarulhos complain about the federal university's offerings. They can take philosophy, for example, but the impoverished community has little need for philosophers.

The biggest higher-education expansion in the history of Brazil has added campuses in dozens of cities and towns throughout this vast nation over the past few years. But for every person celebrating new classrooms in once-ignored regions, there's another lamenting weak execution: a lack of space, a shortage of equipment, or a poorly thought-out curriculum.

The Reuni program, as it's commonly known here, was designed to expand Brazil's elite, free public-university system and put