Hi Oppo, remember this post? I’d like to thank scoob, TheRealBicycleBuck and dogisbadob for wishing me good luck, because next Thursday I will officially start my superior education at EAU-UFMG, one of the world’s top 30 Architecture colleges. But I’m not writing this post due to my admission (although I’m annoyingly proud of myself), the reason is because of the financial cost of this education.
This 5 years long graduation course, plus the master, doctorate, and post-doctorate degree, will cost me the grand total sum of $0,00. Other than the notebooks, pens and etc, the only money I will spend will be the R$8,10 (around USD$2,50) for public transportation (likely a fortune in coffee as well)
I know that free academic education is a longtime reality in Europe and other first world countries, but seeing Brazil, with a much smaller GDP per capita achieve something similar makes me proud. Even the private universities aren’t incredibly expensive (most degrees will cost around R$1k/USD$300,00 to R$3k/USD$900,00 per month, except for medicine degree that reaches almost USD$4k per month in fancier colleges), and if you are are from a lower-income family and wasn’t admitted to any Federal University, likely you will either study in a private one for free (through the PROUNI program) or will receive a long loan from FIES where he only start paying the loan 18 months after he graduated, giving him enough time to find a job in the area
I recognize the system isn’t perfect (public primary and secondary education in Brazil is quite inferior to private education and abysmal in poorer cities/districts, so the playing field is far from level), although the country mandate that half of the vacancies in each course in Federal Universities are dedicated to social/racial/public education quotas, to make the system fairer
Hat tip to our hermanos Argentina and Uruguay, and if I’m not mistaken India, Mexico and China which I think also provide free academic education