Foreign Branch Campuses

  • Relevant legal structure: The National Law on Education of 1996 establishes that the federal education system includes HEIs “created and maintained by private initiative,” as well as publicly-funded HEIs of the state and federal governments. The Law does not specifically confirm or deny the ability of foreign persons, corporate or individual, to open or operate private HEIs on Brazilian soil, which implies that it is allowable so long as such persons follow the regulations for recognition and accreditation.
  • Institutional support available: The Ministry of Education (MEC) exercises centralized control over HEIs, and requires all HEIs to register for accreditation before offering courses in Brazil. Such accreditation is performed by the MEC’s National Institute of Studies and Educational Research (INEP) and is good for three years for a faculdade or centro universitario or five years for a university. The latter two types are authorized to offer graduate programs, but must declare them for monitoring, evaluation, and subsequent recognition.
  • Statistics: INEP also maintains a searchable list of accredited HEIs in Brazil.[1]