M.R.C. Duran1, C.J. Costa2, T. Amiel3, W. Ramos4

1Universidade Estadual de Londrina (BRAZIL)
2Universidade Federal Fluminense (BRAZIL)
3Universidade Estadual de Campinas (BRAZIL)
4Universidade de Brasília (BRAZIL)
The Open University System of Brazil (UAB) is a kind of consortium between universities, municipalities and federal government that was created in 2005. UAB has the mission of not only qualifying professionals to teach at elementary level, but also of offering higher education courses, at semi presential and distance learning modality, in areas where there is not a regular offer of those, thus strengthening the democratization policy by providing that to the population of towns and smaller cities with lowers levels of development. Hence, there is an intention to promote a redistribution of higher education funding resources in order to reach underprivileged communities which are, in some cases, located in areas of difficult access. 

Having said that, we aim to analyze the impact of UAB’s implementation on former student’s profiles throughout a qualitative study case of 10 institutions of higher education and a quantitative survey of professional employment of graduates of this 10 UAB undergraduate courses offers. As a final result, we aim to build a profile and professional development of UAB former students, per institutions, per presencial support center as well as to identify the factors that compose the effects (positive or negative) of this national policy. We hope the analysis of the results can prompt improvements to such courses, taking into consideration the needs of development and job placement of former students. 

Meanwhile, we hope to define and conceptualize the notion of hybrid spaces and analyze the face-to-face classroom as examples of formation spaces, as they foster educational activities that go beyond their original role in the UAB system. From this perspective, the UAB campus, better nominated as presencial support centers, is seen as a space that originate a variety of educational opportunities in traditionally excluding territories. Moreover, such hybrid, frontier spaces, form a fertile ground for the investigation on the emerging of new settings for teaching and knowledge acquisition that happen in an “open learning” (AMIEL, 2012). It is part of an ecosystem that encompasses the hyperlocal and the national, working, many times, as a magnetic “pole” - hence its name in portuguese, "polo" - for learning, that works as a node in a web of agents and opportunities. Far from universities, near communities, this spaces can create a several kinds of complementary educational materials, giving to the local students the opportunity to make their culture public online. We sought then to list the types of activities conducted in the UAB campuses as formal or informal. In parallel, we aimed to understand to what extent the praxis and resources that are a result of these activities are openly divulged, indicating the campuses’ potential for knowledge production. We seek, then, to understand how campuses currently promote learning and which routes can be taken in order to contribute to open educational practices and the production of open resources.

Ultimately, we wish to contribute to a broader view to the qualitative evaluation of campus productivity and the UAB system as a whole.