CHALLENGES TO PROMOTE SOCIAL INCLUSION AND DIVERSITY IN A BRAZILIAN PUBLIC UNIVERSITY
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Access to primary and secondary education has been expanded in the country. The public high school system serves 87% of young people, mostly from economically disadvantaged social classes, with quality that riqueres improve, as shown by the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). In 2012, only 30% of young people, aged between 18 and 24 years old, were enrolled in higher education. Of these, 26.8% attended public universities wich in general are characterized as research universities and receive mostly graduates from the private secundary schools, considered of better quality. The Brazilian population in 2010 consisted of approximately 8% of pretos(blacks), 43% of pardos (brown) and 0.4% of indigenous, named here PPI groups, this distribution remains. The sum of the students enrolled in higher education, which belong to one of these ethnic groups, account for only 14.7%, in high school this percentage is around 40%. The transition from high school to higher education in Brazil represents a serious bottleneck that hinders or prevents the social mobility, especially for PPI. Public policies to increase access to higher education for students from the secondary public schools, including PPI, and its implementation imply significant challenges for institutions. The Sao Paulo State University UNESP, supported by the government of the State of Sao Paulo, Brazil, has 37,000 undergraduate students enrolled, with approximately 7,500 entrants per year. On average, 44% of total students came from secondary public school, with 16% self-declared belonging to the PPI groups. These percentages are much lower in the most prestigious courses, with high demand. This work describes the actions related to expansion and diversification of access to UNESP, through the reservation of places, as well as discusses results obtained from the monitoring of academic performance of students who entered through the reservation system. The access program reserved 15% of places in 2014 and increase gradually to reach 50% of total enrollment, in each course, in 2018; 35% of reserved places intended for PPI. The results show that, in this first year, the average academic performance of students entering the reservation program, from PPI groups or not, differ little in relation the students accessing by universal system (without reserve). The difference between the average yields are higher for low-demand courses and decrease for high-demand courses. The data indicate that the differences will be larger in the next years, when there will be increased the percentage of students favored by the program. The most significant challenges to the institution are to provide financial and educational support to allow the permanence of these students at the University and to establish and develop strategies to make use of greater diversity in favor of academic development in teaching, research and extension.
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