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The academic profession in Brasil: recent trends in a comparative perspective

Grant number: 06/03329-0
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: October 01, 2006 - March 31, 2009
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Political Science - Public Policies
Principal Investigator:Elizabeth Balbachevsky
Grantee:Elizabeth Balbachevsky
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


This project is designed to permit the participation of Brazil in the international project The Shifting Boundaries of the Changing Academic Profession (the CAP project, jointly directed by Professor William Cummings from US and Ulrich Teichler from Germany). From this comparative point of view, the project will examine the nature and extent of the changes experienced by the academic profession in recent years. It will explore both the reasons for and the consequences of these changes. The project, relying on a six-stage model of change, will make comparisons on these matters between different national higher education systems, institutional types, disciplines and generations of academics. The following countries are committed to conduct national studies Argentina (Universidad Nacional General Sarmiento), Australia (University of New England), China, (Huazhong University of Science and Technology), Hong Kong (University of Hong Kong), Finland (University of Tampere), France (Centre for Organizational Sociology), Germany (Kassel University), Japan (Hiroshima University), Netherlands (University of Twente), Norway (NIFU-STEP), Portugal (Fundação das Universidades Portuguesas), UK (Open University), and US (George Washington University e outras). Other countries that have being invited are Russia, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, Sweden, and South Africa. From the Brazilian point of view, taking part in this international effort will enhance our comprehension of the changes that are taking place in the Brazilian academic system and provide a rare opportunity to compare these changes against the wide movements that are taking place worldwide.For more than 25 years now, higher education systems all around the world have been experiencing wide changes. Brazil is not immune from these tendencies: the winds of change are also been perceived here. The numbers and facts associated to this changes are not always welcome but they can be sensed in all institutions: the increasing number of students, which is at odds with the slower growth of the higher education institutions; the new student profiles that put new demands over the teaching; the budgetary constraints, the growing pressures to increase and tight evaluation over the academic's work and the impact of the new information technologies over the knowledge production and dissemination. These changes are creating a new institutional environment that puts new and different pressures over the academic profession. Thus, this project aims to provide tools for better understand how this changes has impacted the every day life of the academic profession in Brazil, how academics perceive such changes, and what their responses for this changing environment are. Research design: The project uses a quantitative approach. It will realize a survey with a representative nationwide sample of the Brazilian academic profession. From our previous experiences with similar researches, we know that a survey with 1.000 respondents is enough, provided the sampling procedures assure that the diversity of institutional experiences present in Brazilian HE System is represented. In order to assure its representative ness the sample procedures should follow the basic parameters used worldwide in researches of same design, which have been summarized by The Carnegie Foundation in 1992. (AU)

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