The rise of a public vocational higher education system in the state of São Paulo


Renato Pedrosa, University of Campinas


Even though established 40 years ago, only in the past 10 years the system of State Technological Colleges has emerged as a significant part of the public higher education network in the state of São Paulo. From 10 campuses and 10 000 students enrolled in the year 2000, by the end of 2010 the system had grown to more than 50 campuses and over 45 000 students enrolled. The system offers 3-year programmes in a large number of areas, including service, administration and technology, usually directly linked to the economy of the local region/city. A sequence of state administrations, starting in the year 2001, has continued to invest in the system of public research universities. We will report on how this came about, what are the forces driving the fast growth of the system, what are the main academic characteristics and how they impact on the regions and on the lives of the young people attending the programmes.