The Brazilian Federal Agency for the Support and Evaluation of Post-Graduate Education (Capes) was established in 1951 as a foundation associated to the Ministry of Education to play the central role of expanding and consolidating graduate degree education in Brazil.
In 2007, it also started to center its efforts towards bringing the education of elementary and secondary school teachers to a higher level. As a result, it has broadened even further its scope to include the education of qualified personnel both in Brazil and abroad.
Capes carries out actions that promote advance in knowledge areas involved in the transition to an Economy based on sustainable development and eradication of poverty, the central themes in the Rio+20 Conference.
By means of special programs, Capes induces formation of human resources in areas which are considered strategic for sustainability. Programs such as Nanobiotecnologia [Nanobiotechnology], Ciências do Mar [Marine Sciences] and Pró-Engenharia [Pro-Engineering] operate in the implementation of cooperation networks in Brazil in order to carry out collaborative research projects.
The results reached by public investments on Capes may be noted by following the indicators that represent growth in those fields of knowledge in which the themes of the Rio+20 Conference have priority: architecture, biodiversity, engineering, geography and urban planning.
Along the last 12 years, 100 new graduate courses linked to these five fields of knowledge have been created, bringing the number to a total of 228 courses in 2010. Urban Planning, for instance, which accounted for only 9 courses in 1998, shows a growth of 311% to a total of 37 courses in 2010.
The number of students who graduated as Masters and PhDs follow the same trend of growth seen for courses and research projects. The number of Geography graduates in 1998 was 167. This number leapt to 800 graduates in 2010. The number of graduates in the five fields of knowledge over the last twelve years went from 1,155 to nearly 3,500, a growth of more than 200%.
For more information visit the Capes website.