Brazil's For-Profit Education Firms Increase Quality for Less Money

July 7, 2014

Brazil's for-profit education institutions have three-quarters of the country's higher education market and are showing others how to lower fees and raise quality, writes the Economist.

Brazil's two largest for-profit education firms have merged to create the world's biggest such firm, Kroton. Kroton has figured out how to combine quality and quantity:

  • Kroton abandoned older teaching methods in favor of online course materials and tutors. The company broadcasts star teachers' lessons by satellite and has "adaptive" computerized materials which react to users' progress.
  • While web-only courses often have high drop-out rates, Unopar, a university in Londrina and one of Kroton's schools, offers flexible weekly get-togethers designed to keep students engaged and provide feedback to the university. Unopar has 150,000 students at 500 centers in the country.
  • Anhanguera, which has merged into Kroton, is known for its on-campus instruction and evening classes, which has allowed students from working-class families to receive an education. The school negotiates with textbook publishers to receive major discounts on learning materials.

Of every 100 Brazilian children who start primary school, just 57 finish secondary school and only 14 enroll in higher education.

Source: Editorial, "A Winning Recipe," Economist, June 28, 2014.

 

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