An English version of the manifesto issued by a group of distinguised professors from the Universidade de São Paulo, mentioned in an earlier posting, is now available here. A versão original em português está disponível aqui.
This year, a new rector for the University will be elected, and there is a strong feeling among its faculty that a change in direction is urgently needed. USP is the most important university in Brazil and one of the most important universities in Latin America, awarding several thousand doctoral degress every year, and having some of the country’s best professional degree programs in medicine, engineering, law, agriculture, economics and the social sciences, among others. It is difficult to understand why, in spite of all its strength, USP is still so low in the international rankings of universities (in the ranking of Webometrics, it figures as the 38th in the world and the first in Latin America, followed by Universidad Autonoma de Mexico in the 44th place. In the Shanghai Jiao Tong University ranking, it is in the 101-150 place). (I have discussed this in an earlier paper) (a versão brasileira está aqui)
In recent years, USP has been plagued by a succession of very disruptive power conflicts and strikes, creating what the subscribers of this manifesto believe to be a loss of its committment with quality and social relevance. This manifesto is a call to redress this situation.