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ABMES Celebrates Cedar

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Gabriel Mario Rodrigues
Chairman of the Board of Directors of ABMES

ABMES has much to celebrate in its 36 years of existence. It does a spectacular job for its associates, combining the operational with the academic, integrating the present with the future.

Last year, we celebrated the date of foundation of ABMES celebrating the age of choral, so that today we can sparkle champagne in the age of cedar [1]. These are 36 years of existence for which celebration everyone must participate, with impetus and exuberance, bursting and sounding like crackles. Each year of life has its peculiarities, and it is great that nothing has been repeated, nothing has been the same in the chaotic sameness.

It is important to highlight that, above all, ABMES is made of people. Visionary, committed and active people. People who are fighting for a greater good, building a better school and a more developed country. They are individuals who carry out responsible work that brings collective results for the members, for the Brazilian educational sector and for the progress of the country.

And during these 36 years under the baton of Candido Mendes, Edson Franco, this author, and the current president, Janguiê Diniz, ABMES has played the role of representing private higher education institutions. Its mission has always been linked to contributing to the improvement of its members and to defending free initiative in all its manifestations.

The Association also stands out for promoting integration among the entities that represent higher education institutions in order to foster the necessary articulation of the sector and to allow mutual understanding of educational problems, identifying alternatives and giving direction to the major themes in defense of ideals of private higher education as a whole.

What is important is that all the work that allowed ABMES to gain its prestige was carried out by its directorates, associates and technical teams that, in Brasilia/DF, transformed ideas and projects into achievements. In this sense, it is worth mentioning the names of Cecília Horta and Anna Iida in the past, and of Solon Caldas and Lidyane Lima in the present. It is also crucial to remember all the employees who work together to give their best and thus serve the associates beyond what they expect in terms of efficiency, efficacy and agility.

The last few years have not been easy or quiet, with all the many surprises we faced, especially with regard to the new regulations by all higher education institutions.

We were surprised by the approval of the National Basic Curricular Base (BNCC) for elementary schools, with the extension of its implementation, with the news for undergraduate degrees, with the asphyxia of financial (Fies) resources for students, and with the consolidation of the standards on accreditation and re-accreditation of institutions of higher education.

All activities and challenges made ABMES more mature and firm, the same as cedar with its hardness, but also with its aroma and secular purity.

We had very important collaborations from those who published articles on this blog, raising the cultural and intellectual level of the members, who do not always have the time and conditions to follow different readings offered by the media.

The various awards offered, such as the Journalism, Milton Santos, Top Education and Merit ABMES of Higher Education, besides the Social Responsibility Campaigns, that crown the initiatives and the personalities who deserve to be highlighted for their performance and/or innovation.

It is also worth mentioning the monthly seminars held at the Association’s headquarters. These are actions aimed at bringing members closer to government entities, allowing for understanding and consolidation, and facilitating the institutions’ programs along with the sector’s regulations.

The column “Commented Higher Education” has helped countless HEIs in the search for normative solutions with dubious interpretations of the exact sense of particular regulations.

As for the daily clipping, it contains the main subjects, abbreviating boring and not objective readings that abound in the national news.

I must also emphasize ABMES’ International program, which aims to exchange and cooperate with associations and universities in other countries, exchange experiences in order to learn about different contexts, and experience new educational realities.

ADMINISTRATIVE COUNCIL

It is necessary to highlight a new reality that ABMES has in its organizational structure, which is the Board of Directors. With operations started in July 2016, it consists of a support body whose purpose is to think about the future and to outline the entity’s action guidelines and is composed of the following directors:
Candido Mendes; Edson Franco; Gabriel Rodrigues; Carmen Silva; Antonio Carbonari Netto; Manoel Barros; Hermes Figueiredo; Hiran Rabelo; Antônio Veronezi; Arthur Macedo; Eduardo Soares; Paulo Chanan; Jânyo Diniz; Antonio Colaço Martins; Ihanmarck Damasceno and Ednilton Gomes de Soáres.

The ABMES Council is, above all, an environment of reflection and vision of the future of the educational sector. Twenty monthly meetings already held show the results of these meetings [2], seeking to exchange ideas and debates, with the participation of invited speakers, to add a differentiated contribution on the most relevant issues of Brazilian education.

For these and other reasons already enumerated, the Association has much to celebrate in its 36 years of existence. It does a spectacular job for its associates, combining the operational with the academic and integrating the present with the future.

Congratulations, ABMES! We are moving forward in the search for a better Brazil for all.
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{1} The importance of the cedar, in diverse classic civilizations, is understood by the diversity of possible uses. Its wood, homogeneous and aromatic, was enormously used by the Phoenicians, in antiquity, to build their military and commercial vessels, as well as for the construction of temples and habitation. The tree is, moreover, mentioned 75 times in the Bible.
{2} Subjects discussed by the Board of Directors include:
1. Solutions to the challenges of the survival of private higher education, especially the small and mid size institutions (PMIES) in the face of new ODL rules;
2. The need to change the image of the private higher education sector before society;
3. Projects to highlight the work of social responsibility that the private segment of higher education develops;
4. Proposals for the use of modern information and communication technologies to innovate in the process of learning and teaching (artificial intelligence, internet of things, industry 4.0 etc.);
5. The uses of distance education (EAD) for the massification of quality education;
6. Proposals to create a network integrating research among private HEIs: role for Funadesp ?;
7. Code of Self-Regulation and Conduct for the associated entities of ABMES. Elaboration of proposal for its updating;
8. Presentation, in the National Congress, of a bill to create a fund to support scholarships for students of higher education from families in the lower economic classes;
9. Analysis of the State’s investment in the universities under its administration in the last 80 years, compared to the need for resources to finance students from lower-income social classes;
10. Project for the Creation of the Memorial of Private Educational Entrepreneurs of the 20th Century, highlighting personalities who created the first private colleges in Brazil.