The top 10 Brazilian Universities Ranking Danish Education Professionals Should Know About


For the first time in Brazilian history a ranking of university emcompassing multiple criteria was created. This ranking is important because until this very moment Brazil did not have a ranking capable to evaluate multiple criteria. This ranking was done by Folha de São Paulo, a major newspaper in Brazil.

The importance of this ranking is that it will be a stimulous for universities all over the country to pursue excellence, and therefore become more competitive within Brazil, Latin America and hopefully worldwide.

This methodology emcompasses 5 criteria, and each criteria has subcriterias, that in the end will give an X-Ray of a given university and show what are the stronger and weaker areas of each university. An important thing about how this ranking was evaluated it is it’s practical purpose, therefore the methodology emcompasses the views of scholars and the views of the labour market.

It is important to give a closer look at the study. When looking closely, the majority of the Federal universities are occupying the first positions due to their high level of research and internationalization, but the federal universities, according to professionals of the labour market, are not serving their needs. This difference is quite clear when you look at the ranking and you compare the position these top universities are occupying when factors like research and internationalization are confronted against the labour market factor.

Rio de Janeiros Federal University
Rio de Janeiros Federal University


#1. What are the factors utilized for the ranking methodology in Brazil?

1. Internationalization

  • International Citations from the institution in international publications
  • University Publications with international Co-autorship 
  • Foreing teachers in comparison to the total number of local teachers within the University

2. Research

  • Scientific papers and works published by the institution
  • Citations of these papers and works on other reaserches
  • Proportion of citations per publication
  • Publications per faculty member
  • Citations per faculty member
  • Publications in national magazines
  • Funds raised in development agencies

3. Job Market Insertion

  • The Data Folha team has surveyed 1681 Human Resources directors 

4. Quality Of Education

  • Survey from the Data Folha team with 464 teachers responsible for evaluating the graduation courses for MEC, Education Ministry in Brazil
  • Teachers that holds a PHD per faculty
  • Teachers that are fully dedicated to their activity
  • ENADE grade ( The ENADE it is an index that evaluates the students performance all over the country)

5. Innovation

  • Patents sent per faculty from 2002 till 2011

#2. Who are the top 10 Brazilian Universities

The top 10 Brazilian Universities Ranking is comprised by federal universities. The reason why Federal universities are ranking so high is mainly due to their level of Research, Innovation and internationalization. These factors have contributed significantly for increasing the ranking of Federal Brazilian universities.

If you are a Danish researcher or an education professional you would probably like very much to be in touch with specialists from these universities. Over time I’ll also post their main areas of specialty so you can have a clue of which university could be the best fit for the type of work you are looking to for.

Below I’m posting the ranking with the 10 first universities. In case you would like to see the full list, please drop me a line at requesting for the full list of universities or put it on the discussion thread. I Hope you enjoy, and that it is of use to your needs.

Latest Ranking from Brazilian Universities from 2013, made by Folha de São Paulo
Latest Ranking from Brazilian Universities from 2013, made by Folha de São Paulo

#3. The need for cooperation and research between Denmark and Brazil

Denmark and Brazil have fantastic research centers, which could surely have more work and cooperation. Recently I spoke with two people in my network. The first person I spoke to, is an associate professor at Århus University. He is doing a research on how football talents are brought up, what is their environment like and so on and so forth.

His subject is surely very interesting and I’m pretty positive that in Brazil he can and will find the right people to talk to, and exchange ideas on his subject, which will make his research even richer.

The other associate professor I spoke to, had already travelled to Brazil. She works for a cell of Århus university and they do research on Cachaca. Another very interesting subject for Danish universities, which in the future can be something extremely valuable for companies.

What I mean is, there are tons of fields to be explored, both in Brazil and Denmark. The educational segment, specially this cooperation between universities can be extremely fruitful for both countries and be the start not only of quality research but also of an amazing intercultural exchange.

I Hope you have enjoyed this article. If you did, please all I ask you  is to share.

If I missed out on something or in case you would like to post a comment, please drop a line at or put it on the discussion thread.



Carlos Monteiro is a Brazilian citizen, graduated in Business Administration by the Catholic University of São Paulo. He lives in Odense, Denmark with his Danish Wife, Cathrine, and their half Danish /Brazilian daughter Ines Marie. You are very welcome to be in contact him at any time.
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