Dissertation Abstracts

THE PROCESS OF EXPANSION IN THE STATE OF MATO GROSSO

Author: GIANEZINI, KELLY , kellygianezini@terra.com.br
Department: SOCIOLOGY
University: FEDERAL UNIVERSITY OF RIO GRANDE OF SUL, Brazil
Year of completion: 2009
Language of dissertation: PORTUGUESE

Keywords: AMAZÔNIA LEGAL , MATO GROSSO , EXPANSION , HIGHER EDUCATION
Areas of Research: Education , Social Transformations and Sociology of Development

Abstract

he field of higher education in Brazil is rather heterogeneous, with distinct characteristics in different states across the country, according to their histories, ability to allocate resources and to articulate social agents. Departing from a socio-historical study, the present dissertation has investigated the process of expansion of higher education in the state of Mato Grosso (MT), focusing on two public universities in this state, namely the Federal University of Mato Grosso/UFMT and the State University of Mato Grosso/UNEMAT, and their role in the process of development of the state itself. The distinct developmental phases – installation, centralization, expansion and diversification – were analyzed, as well as their intrinsic alliances and conflicts. The main research questions driving the study were: is it possible to perceive that the changes operated by a global economy boosted the process of expansion of higher education in Mato Grosso? Is it possible to identify different phases in this process? How important were the projects of creation of the universities studied? In this area, which were the existing alliances and tensions between the social agents in both processes of creation and development of these universities? The hypotheses put forward were: (a) the process of expansion occurred as a consequence of the economic development, boosted by globalization, generating distinct expansion phases; (b) according to the original project of both institutions, higher education would attend to the local demand for skilled professionals. However, despite the low population rate, the expansion of the universities followed the creation of new courses, with the object of responding to new demands and requirements of the market; (c) the process of expansion of higher education in the state of Mato Grosso happened as a consequence of the process of expansion of the public universities towards the countryside. The research method included the analysis of both the creation and development projects, with the use of semi-structured interviews. To that end, a literature review of the Higher Education institutions from their first experiences to 2008 was performed, encompassing an analysis of the trajectory of both public universities according to their social agents (founders, managers, students, faculty, technicians and politicians). The process of expansion was analyzed (a) quantitatively, taking into consideration aspects like the teaching process, the areas of knowledge offered, the number of registrations, venues (campi and nucleus) and others; (b) qualitatively, by means of the analysis of the spaces of alliances and conflicts between the social agents so as to the creation and development of UFMT and UNEMAT. Results show that the reactions to the economic, political and social pressures, imposed respectively by globalization, the maintenance of power and the demand for knowledge caused the expansion and strengthening of these two universities to accompany the development of the state of Mato Grosso, by expanding towards the countryside.

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