Universities in Brazil are very recent phenomena, compared to other Latin American countries. It was only in 1808 that the first one had been created (Rio de Janeiro Medicine Faculty). Before the 20th century, there was not a single university in the country. All of them were public or church-maintained higher education independent institutes.
The original campuses were in Araçatuba, Araraquara, Assis, Botucatu, Franca, Guaratinguetá, Ilha Solteira, Jaboticabal, Marília, Presidente Prudente, Rio Claro, São José dos Campos, São José do Rio Preto and São Paulo. Bauru campus was incorporated in 1988.
Rio de Janeiro Federal University was the first one, containing every faculty inside Rio de Janeiro city in 1926. São Paulo’s first university was USP, founded in 1933. By the 1950s, countryside people had to move toward capitals for undergraduate study. There were few higher education institutes outside Brazilian metropolises then. São Paulo state government created many colleges outside the capital in the 1950s and '60s. Preeminent cities in the state received these isolated institutes, known as “Faculdade de Filosofia.” Coordination of them was made poorly by São Paulo State Education Department, which had so many attributions.
In the 1970s, countless discussions were made within state government on how to hold well these separate institutes. One idea was to comprise then-14 institutes in a federation or a single university. Eventually, final decision would be the latter. Inspired by University of California multi-campus system, UNESP was founded in 1976. The original campuses were in Araçatuba, Araraquara, Assis, Botucatu, Franca, Guaratinguetá, Ilha Solteira, Jaboticabal, Marília, Presidente Prudente, Rio Claro, São José dos Campos, São José do Rio Preto and São Paulo. Bauru campus was incorporated in 1988.
Since then, eight new campuses were created in 2003, after a polemical decision to conform state’s expansion policies on higher education system. That overexpansion, along with low budgets, raised a series of protests and strikes among students and academics. Brazilian successive economic crisis, government mismanagement, low wages and investment put doubts about the future of public higher education. São Paulo, the wealthiest state, is no exception to that rule.
UNESP is governed by a rector, appointed by state governor who chose one in a list of three nominees. These nominees are indicated by elections among university’s academics held every four years. Usually, the governor selects the winner of those elections.
The rector presides over the University Council (CO), comprised by directors of every institute in the system and academic representatives. There are ten students representatives. CO takes most decisions that affect the whole university.
Each institute (there are campus with more than one) has one director and a council who rules with a certain degree of autonomy.
It comprises 23 campuses and 33 institutes
ALFA III, FP7, Erasmus Mundus ECW, CAPES/FIPSE, BRAFITEC, BRAFAGRI, BRANETEC, among others.
Early March to mid-July; early August to mid-December.
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