Dissertation Abstracts

Transformations in Research Universities: A Study about the University of São Paulo

Author: Moura, Bruno A, bruno_moura@hotmail.com
Department: Deparment of Sociology
University: Federal University of Rio Janeiro, Brazil
Supervisor: Maria Eloisa Martin
Year of completion: 2012
Language of dissertation: Portuguese

Keywords: Research Universities , World Class Universities , classic Humboldt mod , university transformations
Areas of Research: Education , Local-Global Relations


This research aims to develop a sociological inquiry regarding the transformation of higher education research universities. Specifically, the dissertation focuses on the Escola Politécnica of the Universidade de São Paulo and the changes and new trends in the academic profession in Brazil. This study is divided into three parts. First, this research aims to offer a historical analysis of research universities from the classical Humboldt university model up till the development of world-class research universities. Second, it carries out data selection techniques in multiple data banks to analyze the performance of the University of São Paulo (USP)in terms of the concentration of talents, excellence in research and abundance in resources; this analysis is conducted using statistical data about graduate programs’, published material, and resources accumulated for research and development. The dissertation argues that the principle of the Matthew Effect could justify the tendency of the USP to accumulate a progressively larger amount of resources compared to other research universities in Brazil. By being able to distinguish itself in many quality indicators, the dissertation finds that the USP is privileged, garnering world-class treatment by public national institutions, even though there isn’t a Brazilian governmental program that directly targets world-class university development. Finally, the research highlights and analyses the data obtained in interviews with graduate faculty at the Escola Politécnica in USP, analyzing the academic perspectives in relation to research and teaching activities in the graduate program, publication, and challenges and trends between university and market-led sectors.

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