Getting a good education in Brazil has historically been a challenge for students who do not come from wealthy families. A study by the United Nations in 2009 should that Brazil only had 427 college graduates per 100,000 citizens.
This is ironic, because most of the top universities in Brazil are owned by the government – and are free. There are other nonprofit colleges but they are expensive. With the government colleges, the problem is that even though they are free, lower-income students are often closed out. Their education when they were younger was often not very good, so they are not properly prepared for the tough entrance examinations at the big colleges.
This gap in the education sector has opened up big opportunities in online education websites and other for-profit educational institutions. Many of these young professionals cannot be admitted to the really top shelf schools, but they have the ability to pay for online classes to boost their job potential.
According to experts, the private sector in Brazil will provide a larger part of the country’s post-secondary education possibilities, because almost 80% of the budget in Brazil for education must go for K-12.
Similar things are happening in other nearby countries. In Columbia, Argentina and Mexico, there also is a surge in demand for workers with a good education. But Brazil seems to have the strongest demand of all for well-educated workers.
Because of the strong demand in Brazil, many online learning institutions are making plans to invest here. Devry already has put in $40 million into the firm Fanor, which is a for-profit college in Ceara.
Pearson PlC out of London paid $500 million to buy out SEB, which provides college education in Sao Paulo. This was the largest investment Pearson has made since 2006.
Overall, there are 2,000 for profit schools in Brazil, and many of them are ripe for investment. Online education opportunities are set to only expand in Brazil in the coming decade.