Brazil ‘needs more flexible courses’ to overcome dropout rate

The South American country is failing to retain enough of its students, a government survey has found

October 13, 2016
Book covered with Brazilian flag
Source: iStock
Degree courses in Brazil seem not to be giving many students what they want

Old-fashioned and inflexible courses may be responsible for a dropout rate of almost 50 per cent among Brazilian students.

That was the view of Paulo Barone, higher education secretary at the Ministry of Education. He was responding to the results of a survey by the ministry that tracked what happened to students who enrolled at public and private universities in 2010 for four-year degrees.

Close to half (49 per cent), it emerged, had dropped out of their chosen courses. For those at private universities, the figures were slightly worse (52.7 per cent).

“It is clear that the courses offered in higher education have not matched the students’ interests,” said Mr Barone.

While it was often “a crazy marathon” to get through the initial entrance exam, students then encountered a “system of choices” that was “very strict” and presented major obstacles to those who wanted to change courses, he said.

“Flexible alternatives,” he added, “could overcome a great part of this difficulty.”

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