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Education in Brazil is based on class. The majority of state schools are notoriously bad, suffering from underfunding and desperately low morale among the underpaid teaching staff, so parents who can afford it send their children to private schools. Most schools work on a two shift basis as the number of pupils greatly exceeds the number of places available.

Although there are both good private and state universities, most students who manage to pass the entrance exams are those from private schools. Brazil has some excellent universities which attract international students and visiting lecturers.