Every year millions of Brazilians hoping to study in one of the the country's public universities and technical colleges register in the Unified Selection System, known as Sisu, a system created in 2009 that did away with the bureaucratic and expensive dedicated entrance exams known as vestibular.

Together with the National Middle School Exam (ENEM) - which in 2009 also became a higher education entrance exam as well as an appraisal system of the quality of middle school - the public education system is now more open and accessible to all Brazilians.

The candidate chooses the application options from among the vacancies offered anywhere in the country. At the end of the registration stage, the system automatically selects the top-ranked candidates that applied for each course, according to their Enem results.

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Below you can see the answers to frequently asked questions about Sisu.

What is Sisu?

The Unified Selection System is an on-line platform that allows students who are completing or have already finished their secondary education to apply for vacancies in universities throughout the country.

Why is Sisu important?

Sisu created a democratic way for students to have access to state universities. With Sisu they need to pass only one single exam – Enem – to compete for vacancies. This replaced the the traditional system in which the student would have to sit several exams – one for each university – often having to travel to different towns. Because Sisu is based on the Enem exam results, which is recognised nationally, it allows all students to compete for university vacancies in the same condition.

How dos Sisu work? How can a student apply for a post?

To apply the student needs to have passed the Enem exam with at least marks in the written composition. The Enem result is used to classify all candidates and determine who is selected. The student can opt for two vacancies throughout the country. At the end of the registration period, the system automatically selects the top candidates in each course according to the Enem results.

How many times a year can one candidate have access to Sisu?

Twice: the Sisu is open for selection in first and second semesters.

What is the maximum number of courses that student can apply to?

Two, maximum.

How much does it cost?

Nothing, it's free.

Which higher education institutions offer vacancies in Sisu?

There are 65 higher education institutions which includes federal and state universities. There are also federal institutes of education, science and technology.

How many vacancies are offered? How mane people have registered in Sisu?

In 2016, a total of 228,000 vacancies will be offered with an expectation of 2,712,937 applications. In 2015, a total of 200,000 vacancies were offered and Sisu had 2,791,334 applications.

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