Quotas for Blacks

Quotas for Blacks

The University of Brasilia (UnB) was the first federal university in Brazil to institute, in June 2004, a system of quotas for Blacks. The quotas exist because Brazilian universities are a venue for the education of professionals, an overwhelming majority of whom are white. With just one ethnic group allowed to shape the way we think about Brazilian problems, the supply of solutions is limited.

The aim of affirmative action policy on behalf of the population of African origin is to confront a situation of racial inequality recognized by the Brazilian government and observed at UnB.

Twenty percent of the admissions through the vestibular are designated for the quota. To enrol in the university through the quota system for Blacks, the candidate must be of African origin, either with black skin or mulatto (mixed), and opt to participate in the system. On the vestibular, the candidate must obtain at least the following:


  • a score greater than zero on the test of a foreign language;10 percent correct on the test of Languages and Codes, and Social Sciences;


  • 10 percent correct on the test of Natural Sciences and Mathematics;


  • 20 percent correct on the tests as a whole.


Vestibular candidates who opt for the quota system for Blacks when applying will be called in for a personal interview on a date subsequent to the day of the tests of knowledge and prior to the release of the final results of the selection process.

Should it be determined by the examining board that the candidate does not qualify to compete via the quota system, he or she will then compete for a place offered through the universal system. For candidates whose application via the quota system was approved in prior vestibulares, the interview is waived.



The commission that implemented the quota system for Blacks was also responsible for the agreement between UnB and the National Indian Foundation (FUNAI), signed 12 March 2004. In accordance with that agreement, every semester, ten indigenous Brazilians approved on an admission test enter the university. The listing of courses of study for these students varies in accordance with the needs of the tribe and the availability of places in the institution.


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