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The aim of the article is to examine the main causes of the crisis in private higher education in Brazil since 2015, characterized by the mass dismissals of teachers, the reduction of salaries of those who remain in private higher education institutions, the overcrowding of classrooms and the greater adhesion of students to distance education in the light of the high costs of classroom-based courses. In addition, one of the objectives is also to offer recommendations for overcoming this situation. The research follows the methodological steps of Sécca & Souza (2009) for the analysis of private higher education in Brazil. The bibliographic research consisted of reading, selecting and organizing topics on the general causes of the crisis of the private higher education sector in Brazil since 2016. The next step was the research of information on specific private higher education institutions in Brazil, divided per region: Southeast, South, Midwest and North / Northeast. The central argument points out that the crisis is closely related to the financial crisis in the country, motivated by the adverse international economic situation and the political chaos caused by allegations of corruption and misappropriation of funds by politicians and businessmen. This forced the Brazilian government to reduce and limit access to student financing contracts drastically from 2015 on, and most students from low-income classes were excluded from entering higher education or had to stop studying. Besides, in the light of a higher number of unemployed people and lower salaries, students were less able to afford the tuition fees of a higher education course at a private institution. To overcome difficulties and attract new students, private higher education institutions can rely on multiple strategies, such as scholarships, alternative financing, discounts for those who pay the current monthly fees and the creation of academic endowments.
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