The letter sent by the Superior Council for the Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (Capes) to the federal government caused apprehension in the academic community. In the document, the council claims that the decrease in money passed through in 2019 may cause all of the 93,000 masters, doctorates and postdoctoral fellowships to be suspended from August next year. In the State, if the cut of funds materializes, only in the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC) 2,100 research grants can be affected. 

Impact on universities in Santa Catarina

In SC, the cut of resources can affect thousands of students and researchers. At the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC), 2,100 research grants would no longer be financed. The number would also be considerable in the two largest universities in the Acafe System, Furb and Univali, which would lose 200 scholarships each.

UFSC’s Dean of Graduation, Hugo Moreira Soares, believes that the academic community will mobilize to keep the same budget for 2019, which was already considered low because it is lower than in previous years. The professor believes that Capes has a very large program to be simply limited by the law, so that Congress needs to be sensitized to see this problem.

– Impact of a Capes cut would be very large, as it would lead to a reduction of the workforce and research and, consequently, a reduction in the scientific and technological development of the country. This is a very big cut for a country that already invests very little in scientific research – analyzes the Pro-Rector of Graduation of UFSC.

Hugo Moreira Soares explains that the figure of 2,100 fellows affected is still preliminary, considering the grants of the postgraduate program financed directly by Capes and other modalities of masters, doctorates and postgraduates. This number represents 75% of all grants offered at UFSC, which makes the rest available through agreements such as the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) and the Foundation for Socioeconomic Studies and Research (Fepese).

For Udesc, limitations are inadmissible

 The State University of Santa Catarina (Udesc) has stated, by means of a note, that it rejects any court of the Ministry of Education that may affect the payment of scholarships. Capes funds 401 masters and doctorate scholarships and 17 postdoctoral fellowships at the university. Projects such as the Institutional Scholarship Initiative Program (Pibid) and the Pedagogical Residency Program grant 234 scholarships to students, professors and researchers. The decrease of the budget for Capes may make it impossible to maintain all of these grants in 2019. 

Udesc’s statement also states that the institution “has absorbed with its own resources the federal resources cuts in these areas, in order not to affect the students, teachers and research involved.” It also considers the limitations to Capes inadmissible:

– It is precisely in times of crisis and economic stagnation that the country should invest more in scientific and technological development, besides supporting programs that encourage graduation and support basic education. – says the note.

Capes program is essential for Furb

The Furb, based in Blumenau, has about 500 students in its 11 graduate programs. According to the University’s Research and Graduate Pro-Rector, Alexander Christian Vibrans, 60% of them receive a scholarship funded by Capes, which corresponds to almost all scholarships offered at Furb. In this way, the doctor professor classifies the possibility of cutting these scholarships as “a setback” and “catastrophic”.

– The Capes program is essential for universities to operate. We need to invest in science, technology and education and keep these investments, which are not large and have already been cut in half in recent years. This should be one of the last investments that can be cut, even because the budget of the MEC is tiny compared to other folders. The president needs to raise awareness and not veto the budget next year – says the Pro-Rector of Research and Graduate of Furb.

Professor Dr. Christian Christian Vibrans still highlights an indirect consequence of the possible suspension in the Capes scholarships: the weakening of the Support Foundation for Scientific and Technological Research of the State of Santa Catarina (Fapesc). The foundation has an agreement with Capes to offer research grants, which could also be cut off and “affect the development of the state.”

Cuts may lead to discontinuity at Univali

The number of students and researchers affected at Furb is almost the same as that of Univali, which estimates that 200 beneficiaries of postgraduate, sandwich and post-doctoral fellowships funded by Capes. Professor César Albenes Zeferino, Research and Graduate Manager of the university, emphasizes the importance of investment for the maintenance of research.

– These cuts may lead to the discontinuation of important research projects at Univali, as well as difficulties for the students themselves to complete their studies, as they depend on the scholarships they receive to devote the maximum amount of time possible to their research activities. Univali Research and Graduate Studies.

The report sent a request that Capes list all the universities in Santa Catarina that have scholarships financed by the council, but had no response until 2 pm on Friday.