MEC wants to resume offering unfilled vacancies at Fies

MEC wants to resume offering unfilled vacancies at Fies

University education

New call should be in September or October

The Ministry of Education (MEC) will offer, later this year, vacancies that were not filled in the Student Financing Fund (Fies). The measure is part of a series of changes being discussed by the department in a working group that seeks to restore the social character of the program.

The announcement was made by the director of Higher Education Policies and Programs at the Ministry of Education, Alexandre Fonseca, at the Dialogue seminar on the reconstruction of Fies, promoted by the Brazilian Association of Higher Education Supporters (Abmes).

“We will retake the remaining vacancies. We have been filling around half of the vacancies in the last 3, 4 years. They discontinued the opening of remaining vacancies. We are working to open Fies now in September, at the latest in early October”,

he said.

The new call, according to Fonseca, should be aimed at students already enrolled in higher education institutions.

The so-called remaining vacancies are those that were not occupied during the regular selection process, due to pre-selected candidates withdrawing or lack of documentation when contracting financing, for example.

Fonseca highlighted that Fies needs to be thought of in conjunction with other MEC policies on access to higher education, such as the Unified Selection System (Sisu), which offers places in public educational institutions, and the University for All Program (ProUni), which offers scholarships to low-income students at private institutions. In all of these programs, there were drops in both enrollment and the percentage of filled places.

“When we think about access to higher education, we think about filling the vacancies that are being offered, we have to expand access, but expand by first establishing diagnoses of why there is this decrease. We have explanations for this, there was the pandemic, which is not something minor, and there was a period when the federal government considered the university as an enemy”,

he said.

Fies is a shared management program, with the participation, for example, of Caixa Econômica Federal. The MEC is responsible for the selection process.

In a note, the department informs that the deadlines and details of the remaining vacancies that will be offered will be announced “as soon as all the information about this new call process to fill Fies vacancies is consolidated”.


The MEC is currently discussing a reconstruction of Fies. The program was created in 1999 and offers financing to students at private educational institutions at more favorable conditions than the market. The program, which signed more than 732 thousand contracts in 2014, has undergone a series of changes and downsizing since 2015.

One of the main reasons for the changes in Fies rules, in accordance with previous administrations of the Ministry of Education, was the high default rate, that is, students who take out financing and are unable to pay off their debts.

The MEC intends to return to the social nature of the program. The ministry is expected to soon launch Fies Social, which will cover 100% of tuition costs at private higher education institutions.

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