Global Educational policies and its effects on the academic profession in Brazil

José Ronaipe Machado

Abstract


This paper discusses the relationships between the current situation of professors of higher education institutions in Brazil and the changes that have come about in the Brazilian educational system as it has been affected and guided by neoliberal ideology principles through influence of International Organizations such as the World Bank and the IMF. Concepts like globalization, global governance and neocolonialism in the field of educational policy making achieve strong relevance as one intends to understand and explain the roots that are in the origins of the situation which academic professorate faces in countries like Brazil as well as in many others across the world. As part of this broader world and global context, Brazilian professors have to face similar, and sometimes even tougher challenges, as educational policies regulated by a new educational act have been implemented in the country throughout the last fifteen years. Under the influence of neoliberal ideas, massification and diversification in the higher education system have led to what many scholars call a state of fragmentation of the academic profession, which is characterized by increasing bureaucratization, heavy accountability requirements, inadequate remuneration and insufficient intellectual preparation to meet academic demands. Accountability and university bureaucratization have reduced teachers’ autonomy. The development with the greatest impact on the academic profession is the growing amount of professors with unstable and part-time appointments. As an apparent symptom of the decline of the status of the professoriate, they are paid a low salary to teach a few courses. In such a context, the value of academics is declining and new generations have been unwilling to embrace the academic career. Having well-trained, fairly paid and academically engaged faculty members is as crucial as ever, since countries count on good professors to prepare and form young people to be actively involved in the knowledge-based economy and in the information society.

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