Before the fall semester, Brazil’s UERJ closed classes indefinitely due to a lack of funding to the college. UERJ is Rio de Janeiro’s state school, like Ohio’s Ohio State University. The school had approximately 25,000 students and had 30 undergraduate programs as well as 40 graduate programs (“Rio”). Previously one of the top universities in Rio de Janeiro, the college has been falling behind in recent years. This past year, registration for entrance exams were the lowest that they had been in eighteen years: below half of the previous year’s, 80,000 students (Alves).
The lack of funding affected not only the ability to open classes due to campus safety, but also due to the inability to pay professors, many of whom had worked the previous semester without pay in order to help their students finish classes for that school year. Third-party food service vendors were also unwilling to bid for the university’s restaurant contracts as they worried that they may not get paid for their service (Alves).
A related article discussed Rio de Janeiro’s and the country’s current economic crisis which plays a big part in state education, especially as the Senate voted last January to heavily curb the country’s spending for the next twenty years (Forte). However, the end of the education article stated the university leaders’ optimism for the reopening of the school very soon, which I believe reflects an optimism that we have discussed quite often in class (Alves).
The article is short but discusses the problems that the university had been facing. Portrayal of Brazilians is as portrayal of Americans are in America: neutral bias. With this, I mean that the protests and school closings have all of the information, but with a slight bias, specifically in the financial crisis article. However, the articles both had optimism of Brazil’s future. The targeted audience is Brazilians which makes it difficult for outsiders to understand the problems. However, the author cites other Rio Times articles in order to allow foreign readers to quickly find related articles.
Although this does not have much to do with our discussions of art and history that we have been discussing thus far, my research and interest in this class is education. Education is very telling for how a country is doing at that period. This state university’s failings, I believe, is indicative of larger problems in the country, and I believe that the optimism that they feel is indicative of the country as well. Throughout our readings, we have read about hope and this idealistic view that elite Brazilians have. While often it is not helpful for solving problems, it is very important to remain hopeful towards our children and their education.
Alves, Lise. “Rio’s State University UERJ Suspends Classes Indefinitely Due to Funding.” The Rio Times, The Rio Times, 2 Aug. 2017, riotimesonline.com/brazil-news/rio-politics/local-politics-rio- politics/financially-troubled-rios-uerj-suspends-classes-indefinitely/.
Forte, Jay. “Brazil Finance Minister Announces Recovery Agreement for Rio de Janeiro.” The Rio Times, The Rio Times, 12 Jan. 2017, riotimesonline.com/brazil-news/rio-politics/brazil-finance- minister-announces-recover-plan-for-rio-de-janeiro/.
“Rio de Janeiro State University.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rio_de_Janeiro_State_University.