Students in Brazil’s public universities are still whiter and richer than average, and much more likely to have been privately schooled. And taxpayers still pick up their tab, spending five times as much per university student as per schoolchild. But explosive growth in private, for-profit universities is at last opening up higher education (see chart).
In 2010, the latest year for which figures are available, there were around 2,400 universities or colleges of further education, of which only a tenth were public. Some of the rest were charitable, mostly Catholic. But three-quarters were run for profit, including the biggest five.