As Latin America’s largest economy, Brazil still dominates the list of the best universities in the region, according to British magazine Times Higher Education. The latest THE ranking, which is based on 13 performance indicators, has six Brazilian institutions among the top 10 (including the two best ones), and 43 among the best 101 Latin American universities.
The region’s two best universities are the University of Campinas (Unicamp) and the University of São Paulo (USP). In common, these institutions have partnerships with the private sector to produce knowledge and patents. Marcelo Knobel, Unicamp’s rector, credits the success to a high share of postgraduate students and a recent focus on innovation.
Unicamp researchers, for instance, have recently patented the extract of jabuticaba (a native Brazilian fruit) skin, which is used to help fight obesity and even to treat two types of cancer: leukemia and prostate tumors. The university also aims at investing in the incubation of startups, and in June launched a crowdfunding campaign to expand its science park.