UnB´s Bachelor in International Relations (REL) is Brazil’s most traditional. The course was created in 1974, being recognized by the Ministry Of Education in 1976, and has, since its beginnings, contributed to the sedimentation and development of this field of study in the country. At REL, the study of International Relations is multi-disciplinary, offering students a diverse program based on elements of Political Sciences, Economics, Law and History.
As the world faces more and more rapid transformations, the study of International Relations, besides focusing on the interactions between National States, has turned, in addition, to the analysis of various recent and complex phenomena, such as globalization, national integration, formation of economic blocks, cooperation and security on national and international levels and structuring of international regimes in areas such as climate, environment and economic policy.
Professionals in International Relations are able to face with intellectual agility and competence the facts of the modern world, which are influenced more and more by events and decisions which transcend the power of States and national institutions. Important requisites today for a growing number of positions in the labor market today include good knowledge of foreign languages, particularly English, a cosmopolitan posture and vision, a solid general knowledge and constant updating on main world issues, acquired from a multi-disciplinary perspective.
The Bachelor in International Relations offers a program that answers to these demands and consists of contributions from the various fields of study that comprise the International Relations area. The Bachelor’s diploma in International Relations requires the acquisition of 164 credits, 108 of those being made up of compulsory subjects, the rest being composed of optional ones. The course has a duration of four years.
The Institute of International Relations has recently concluded a complete curricular reform, which will update the graduation program in International Relations offered at the University of Brasília, responding to the radical transformations taking place in contemporary international relations. The conclusion of these reforms, which satisfied all the quality criteria stipulated by the Ministry of Education (which were, in addition, created by the Institute itself), will allow the alignment of the Bachelor program with the best graduation programs in the world.
Professional Qualification in International Relations
International Relations has been a higher education course sine the 1950s, beginning in important European and North American universities. This began as a follow-up of the emergence of International Relations as a field of study, which occurred in the inter-war years, as a consequence of idealist tendencies that dominated political thought at the time. Idealist theories considered feasible the possibility of regulating or preventing disagreement between nations and, in this way, prevent another war of proportions comparable to the last one.
In Europe and in the United States, professionals in International Relations began to undertake studies and analyses of the complex international reality characteristic of the Cold War, as well as formulating and implementing so called “international policies” of various public and private sector actors, whose interests were expressed in contacts with corresponding institutions in other countries, as well as in the formulation of international cooperation policies on all levels.
The purpose was to qualify human resources that would help the agents of the State in the formulation/implementation of foreign policies, or, that would be able to exercise, with additional training, diplomatic functions, or even, to play the fundamental role in democratic societies of critic and interlocutor to the public sector in the preparation of its international insertion.
In Brazil, an increase can be verified in the demand for professionals who can understand, analyze and process all these conditioning factors, as well as propose to public and private sector actors, each with different capacities to project and defend their interests and points of view, various alternatives of adaptation and realistic intervention in the international scene, both regional and sub-regional. This is evidenced by the exponential growth witnessed in graduation programs in the country, both in the Bachelor level and in post-graduation programs, made for professionals who are already in the market.
In Brazil, higher education in International Relations has existed for almost three decades, having been created at the UnB and having existed only here for most of this period, making it the most traditional in the country and one of the most traditional in Latin America. Since the 1990s, there has been an explosion of new graduation in International Relations programs, bringing the present total to the impressive number of 60 institutions, of which only three are public. UnB is the only federal institution in the country to offer a Bachelor in International Relations, and is also a reference center for the organization of the area.
International Relations graduates from UnB have, in their majority, been holding positions in public organizations, with a minority being employed in private companies, and are well accepted by labor market. Surely, this acceptance stems from both the solid analytic capacity developed by students as well as from the professional flexibility conferred by the programs offered at the Institute. In addition, the high demand for International Relations courses at UnB (the candidate/available places ratio in University Entrance Exams – Vestibular – has been, on average, the second highest in the humanities area since the early 1990′s) has resulted in a very qualified student body. This is evidenced by the good academic performance levels reached by the median student, something that further increases demand for professionals in International Relations in the nation’s capital.
These are the factors that explain the excellent employment levels reached by professionals certified by the University of Brasília, as well as the top positions held by graduates from the Institute of International Relations in both the public and private sectors, as well as in the academia, in Brazil and abroad.