This paper analyzes a new standard of higher education established in Brazil from the late 1950s on. Its argument is that this was a consequence of the 1968 Reform. Because of the model introduced, which privileged a selective structure, both socially and academically, the growing demand for access to higher education was met by the private sector whose institutions organized themselves as educational enterprises. The text highlights the conditions that allowed this lucrative business to emerge. It concludes that this move towards privatization did not represent a democratization of the access to higher education in the country and points to the need to resume the expansion process of public universities, especially that of federal institutions.

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