Press Releases

IFC, Grupo Ser Educacional to Expand Affordable Higher Education in Brazil

In Washington, D.C.:
Ludi Joseph

Phone: (202) 4737700

Adriana Gomez

Phone: (202) 4585204


Recife, Brazil/Washington, D.C., June 24, 2010—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group has signed agreements with Brazil’s Grupo Ser Educacional, a leading post-secondary education company in the country’s Northeastern region, to bring quality education to underserved areas, including to lower-income students.

IFC’s 65 million Brazilian reais loan to Grupo Ser Educacional’s holding company, Ensino Superior Bureau Juridico S.A., will be used to improve existing campuses and acquire six new campuses and a library.  The new campuses—located in urban centers easily accessible by public transport in Northeastern Brazil—include João Pessoa in the state of Paraiba, Fortaleza in Ceara, Maceió in Alagoas, and three campuses in Pernambuco: Caruaru, Boa Viagem, and Paulista.

“This investment will help us respond to demand for affordable post-secondary education in a region where higher education rates are quite low,” said Jânyo Diniz, Chief Executive Officer, Grupo Ser Educacional.  “Partnering with IFC, which has global experience of investing in private education in emerging and developing markets, will facilitate our expansion and enable us to increase efficiency and raise standards.”

Fewer Brazilians are enrolled in higher education compared to other countries in the region and increasing their access to post-secondary education is key to ensuring a better educated workforce and making the country more competitive.  A college-educated worker earns about three times more than a person without a college degree, thus making higher education a significant factor in improving people’s lives.

“IFC’s global education strategy includes supporting providers that can operate in multiple markets with the potential to increase access in underserved areas and reach lower-income groups,” said Guy Ellena, IFC Director for Health and Education.  “This investment is a good example of that priority and will foster centers of excellence.”  

Andrew Gunther, IFC Country Manager for Brazil, said, “The private sector plays an important role in complementing the public sector to expand access to post-secondary education, and IFC is proud to support Grupo Ser Educacional’s commitment to education.  We hope this project sends a positive signal to other investors about this sector in Brazil.”

IFC’s strategy in Brazil focuses on promoting access to finance and developing capital markets to reach low-income individuals, microenterprises, and small businesses.  IFC seeks to strengthen infrastructure and public services and promotes socially and environmentally sustainable practices, specifically in the Amazon region.  As of June 2009, IFC’s committed portfolio in Brazil was $2.2 billion.
About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing capital for private enterprise, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit

About Grupo Ser Educacional

Headquartered in Recife, Brazil, Grupo Ser Educacional is a for-profit higher education company providing undergraduate, graduate, and technical education to students in Northeastern Brazil. The company operates several campuses under the brand names of Faculdade Maurício de Nassau and Faculdade Joaquim Nabuco and currently provides education services to about 30,000 students from mid- to lower-income groups. The proposed project aims to double the number of student enrolments by 2014. For more information, visit