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Since its foundation in 1986, the IEA-USP has provided the academic community and the general public with the opportunity to establish direct contact with the ideas of several Brazilian and foreign personalities from scientific and cultural areas. It has also produced essential proposals for the economic, social, and cultural development of Brazil. Due to the peculiarities of its objectives, the IEA-USP has an academic and administrative structure that differs from the usual standard adopted by most of the university institutions. The emphasis on the debate of interdisciplinary themes makes the IEA-USP able to act in the definition of research and public policy directives, but not in educating researchers or executing experimental projects. That is the reason why the IEA-USP does not offer undergraduation or graduation programs, does not have a permanent board of researchers and does not possess laboratories.

About the IEA-USP

Institutional memory


Institutional project

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Logo 80 anos USP - 207

The University of São Paulo (USP) is a public institution, maintained by the state of São Paulo and affiliated with the State Department of Economic, Scientific and Technological Development. Founded in 1934 in São Paulo, the state capital, it offers 247 undergraduate courses and 239 graduate programs (319 masters’ and 308 Ph.D. degrees) in all fields of knowledge, in addition to more than 900 extramural courses.

With 48 schools and institutes spread over seven campuses and other venues in 11 cities of the state, USP has about 84,000 students (57,000 undergraduates and 27,000 graduates), 6,000 professors (99% with a doctor’s degree, 85% dedicated full time to the university), and 16,000 employees.


USP is the largest and most important higher education and research institution in Brazil, and is responsible for 30% of Brazilian scientific production. In 2011, each USP professor published an average of 6.1 papers, with 8,501 of these papers being indexed in the Institute of Scientific Information (ISI).

According the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) prepared by the Center for World-Class Universities (CWCU) and the Institute of Higher Education of Jiao Tong University, China, USP ranks fifth in the number of published papers among 1,181 institutions worldwide, and 21st in terms of the percentage of professors with a doctor’s degree among 286 institutions worldwide. The same survey indicates that USP has the third largest annual budget for research and is the university that grants more doctor’s degrees in the world.

According to another ranking, by the Quacquarelli Symonds consulting firm, USP is the leading Latin American university, and the Reputation 2012 Top Universities index, published by Times Higher Education (THE), places it among the 70 most reputable universities in the world.


Internationalization is one of USP’s guidelines. The university attracts many students, professors and technicians from neighboring countries, and has exchange agreements with important institutions from around world.

It currently receives about 2,000 foreign students per year and sends abroad a similar number as part of its student mobility program. The university believes it is of utmost importance to establish partnerships with organizations from various countries, creating new integration bonds and preserving existing ones. It takes part in international networks and consortia, such as the Erasmus Mundus Program, the Association of Universities of Portuguese Language (AULP), and the Magalhães Network, among others.

The growing number of professors and students in exchange programs and the institution’s performance in the aforementioned world rankings show that USP continues on the right path, uniting tradition with innovation to contribute to the development of Brazilian and world society.

Community relations

USP strives to transfer the findings of its researchers to society in general. With this in mind, many university members are in permanent partnership with industries, companies, offices and health centers to develop projects and products, and apply new techniques and technologies.

The university plays an active role in disseminating science, culture and quality health care. Strongly integrated with local communities, it runs several hospitals, museums and public services that directly benefit the population, providing services that are mostly free of charge.