Racial Quotas Law Increased Inclusion and Preserved Quality of Education, Says Government

Report from an agency linked to the Ministry of Economy gathers positive evidence on the measure, which completes 10 years


The law that reserves spots in federal institutions of higher education for students coming from public schools, black people, indigenous people, and low-income people completes ten years of its implementation this month with plenty of positive evidence. The latest study in this regard comes from the Jair Bolsonaro (PL) government itself, known for its resistance to affirmative action policies.

A report by the Council of Monitoring and Evaluation of Public Policies, published this month, shows evidence that 2012 (Racial) Quotas Law has led to greater inclusion at the universities and that there have been no negative impacts on students' performance.

In other words: the arrival of a higher number of young black people and poor people in the public higher education courses — in a proportion closer to the actual portrait of Brazilian society, which finances the institutions — did not harm the quality level of the institutions. The data contradicts the fears that dominated several sectors, including the press, at the time of its implementation.

The percentage of low-income students (with a per capita income of up to 1.5 times the minimum wage) in public higher education institutions increased from 50% in 2011 to 70% in 2019, approaching the proportion observed in the population. For black, brown, and indigenous students at federal universities, the percentual share among freshmen went from 42% to 51% (a variation greater than the increase in this population).

Also in federal universities, the number of students from public schools rose from 50.4% among freshmen in 2011 to 64.8% in 2019, according to an extensive report produced by the government.

Translated by Cassy Dias

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