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'Across Brazil, multinationals and foreign investors are competing with domestic companies in a bid to capture the wallets of Brazil’s emerging new middle class. Known as the Classe C, these are working-class and lower middle-class people who not long ago were stuck in the “D” and “E” classes.

Now, thanks to increases in the minimum wage, government social welfare transfers and Brazil’s growing economy, they are emerging from the favelas and the periferia – the impoverished peripheries – of Brazil’s large cities to find themselves at the centre of the country’s remarkable resurgence. Since 2003, more than 30m people have risen out of poverty in Brazil, swelling the ranks of the middle – those earning between R$1,200 ($699) and R$5,174 per month, per household – to about 105.5m in a population of about 190m.'

'As the government improved attendance at primary and secondary schools over the past decade, more people from the lower income groups started passing through the school system, creating demand for tertiary education.

Given Brazil’s shortage of state-funded universities, these people started attending classes at private colleges after working hours. Thanks to a boom in the number of these private colleges, between 2000 and 2010 the number of Brazilians in post-secondary education rose more than threefold to over 6m students.'

'The government, through schemes such as student loans, is looking to increase the number of people in post-secondary education to 10m by 2020.'
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