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Academics protest ‘medieval’ cuts to Brazil’s universities

Brazilian researchers have warned that swingeing government cuts to university budgets, humanities funding and postgraduate support signal a “medieval phase” for the country, as tens of thousands took to the streets in protest.

The country’s national students’ union UNE declared 15 May the “national day in defence of education” in response to a series of government cutback announcements, and there were reports of violent outbreaks as some protesters fought police.

Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro (pictured) renewed his simmering feud with the academic community with a tweet on 26 April, saying his government was considering withdrawing central funding for philosophy and sociology “to focus on areas that generate immediate return to the taxpayer”.

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