In Brazil, the official assessment of higher education quality is carried out by federal Government agencies. The National Institute of Studies and Educational Research (INEP) evaluates undergraduate programs. It produces indicators and an information system that supports the regulatory process (SINAES), performed by the Ministry of Education (MEC), and ensures data transparency on the quality of higher education throughout society. SINAES establishes that the assessment of each institution will be expressed in three grades: (1) Grade of the Institution, which is the basis for authorization and renovation of it by the Ministry of Education and is a result of an on-site evaluation, made by INEP, and considers the results of self-assessment; (2) Grade of the Programs, ranging from 1 to 5; and (3) Grade of ENADE, based on student assessment, and available for some undergraduate programs. The measures used are based on the students’ performance and input variables (faculty, infrastructure and education program).
The evaluation of the graduate programs is held by CAPES (the division of the Ministry of Education devoted to graduate programs) and includes an annual monitoring and the completion of a triennial assessment of performance for all graduate programs. The results of this process are expressed by the award of a grade (Nota Capes) in the range 1-5, valid for three-years. This grade is used as a base for renewal or withdrawal of a program in the three subsequent years. CAPES may attribute grades 6 and 7 to programs in recognition to international excellence.
Regarding rankings established by newspapers and magazines, in order to assist the high school students to choose a program and an educational institution, Abril Publisher created the Student Guide and the Best Universities assessment.