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Equality in the face of inequalities

Equality in the face of inequalities

The United States Supreme Court, reflecting the conservative turn, through its new composition, which threatens to roll back progress on abortion, ends the possibilities of quota policies in the country.

As liberalism usually does, it takes refuge in the constitutional principle, by which “everyone is equal before the law”, they promote the cancellation of any type of quota policy, which favors the most neglected, in the name of this principle. It is accompanied, as always, by statements from the parents, who ensure that their children obtained better scores than others, but were surpassed by those who benefited from the quota policies.

Quotas in Brazil

Quota policies in Brazil were initiated by UERJ’s Public Policy Laboratory (LPP). We start from the obvious observation that, although blacks are the majority in the Brazilian population, they were a small minority in Brazilian public universities.

It was a practice that already existed in the United States, which we sought to implement, in another way, in Brazil. The initiative was bombarded by a large number of arguments, all of a liberal nature.

They always started from the constitutional principle of equality for all. The quota policy would violate this principle, favoring those with lower grades than others, who would be victims of this policy, being postponed in favor of those with lower grades.

Added to this formulation was the equally elitist one, according to which the entry of a contingent of students through a quota policy would lower the level of universities.


None of that happened. On the contrary. The democratization of access to universities, facilitated by the quota policy, strengthened the universities and, supported by the policy to combat social and regional inequalities, significantly increased the number of university students throughout the country.

The Northeast, which used to send its children to study at universities in the South and Southeast, saw the founding of 9 new universities, all of them with rectorates in the interior of the states. As a result, the Northeast now has more college students than the South of the country.

Those who considered that the level of the universities would drop with the quota policies, had to face the situation in which, in the policy of promoting Brazilian students with scholarships abroad, there were more than 200,000 black students, who had entered through the quota policies. They won these scholarships by competing with all the students.

In short, inequalities would decrease in Brazilian universities with the quota policy, their level increased and the country now has universities in all its regions.

Brazil has become a better country, because it is less unequal in social and regional terms, a more democratic country. With the quota policy, not everyone became equal, but we began to live in a less unequal country, with less social exclusion, with universities closer to expressing the social conditions of the country as a whole.

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