Honors Program Theses

A Comparison of Brazil and the United States: How Higher Education Can Shape and Be Shaped by History, Politics, Culture, and Economy

Cassandra Mae Oliveira, University of Northern Iowa

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Why is this important or noteworthy? Brazil may not seem like a nation of salient importance in the United States' foreign affairs. It is a peaceful nation that shares many values with the United States. It is not considered a high-power nation, but it is certainly on the rise. This thesis will argue that, in order to cooperate, negotiate, and coexist in the future with Brazil, it is necessary to understand the way in which Brazil is educating its youth in comparison to how the United States is doing so since the products of these educational systems are the future leaders of their nations.

Also, this thesis will analyze the reasons these educational institutions evolved so differently by reviewing how they were influenced by the intricate histories, the differing political leadership, the eccentric cultures, and the fluctuating economies of each nation. It will also evaluate how these different university educational models influence the societies in return, in the sense of requirements in the dubious job markets and the graduates who may or may not be professionally and/or civically equipped. Finally, this thesis will review the relations between the United States and Brazil and how they may build a productive economic relationship in the future based on their priorities in education.