Itaú Unibanco announces the creation of Potências (Powers) – Itaú Unibanco’s Stay At University Scholarship Program to finance university scholarships that will help quota students to stay at the university and complete their graduation in Brazil’s public universities. This will be the largest project of this nature supported by the bank with an initial investment of R$25 million and the purpose is to grant monthly support scholarships to more than 300 quota students of federal higher education institutions during the entire regular period of their graduation studies for both in-person or online courses. The scholarships will be offered to students nominated by the participating universities starting in the first half of 2023.
In addition to the offer of the scholarships, Itaú will create academic monitoring centers in partnership with the universities for the purpose of developing a tool for monitoring the university dropout rate and the academic performance of all scholarship students. Therefore, the universities will be able to have data and measurements of the impacts of the affirmative actions on their students that may be used as guidance for the adoption of public policies focused on the development and progress of education in Brazil.
In the opinion of Leila Melo, Itaú Unibanco’s Legal and Corporate Affairs officer, the initiative is a demonstration of the essential role of companies to drive Brazilian social and economic growth and development: “The support to the improvement of the educational system in Brazil is a priority topic for Itaú, which we do directly, through the bank, and also by means of our social arms. We note that the major bottleneck, the greatest difficulty faced by the quota students is staying at university since, even though the courses are free, many of them cannot afford books, housing, food and transportation,” says Melo. “By means of the aid programs that we already support, we were able to note that the dropout rates are reduced among these beneficiaries in relation to quota groups that do not receive this kind of aid. And the impact goes beyond: the average grades of the students benefitted by these initiatives are not only higher than those of the other quota students who do not participate in the program; they also exceed the general average grade, including students who are not quota students,” the officer adds.
In addition to the Potências (Powers) – Itaú Unibanco’s Stay At University Scholarship Program, the bank sponsors two other student support programs: Prosseguir (Continue), which has been offering, until this current cycle, 250 scholarships to students from both public and private universities, from different courses, in São Paulo, Salvador and Rio de Janeiro; and the USP Diversa (Diverse USP) Program, which offers 92 monthly support scholarships to students who declare themselves black, brown or indigenous from public schools (Quotas Law).
Commitment to Education and Culture
Itaú Unibanco, by means of institutes and foundations, has been working for 40 years to improve Brazilian public education, focused on Brazil’s social transformation and sustainable development.
This work is cross-cutting and specialized and it includes its own initiatives, partnerships with the public authorities and support for projects throughout the educational cycle, from basic education to professional education, thus contributing to the qualification of public policies and strengthening of civil society.
“Investing in youngsters is to ensure an opportunity for a future to these people and, consequently, for the progress of Brazil. Education is the greatest vector of social and economic development of a nation and the commitment of the entire society to this right is essential. We have the responsibility of ensuring opportunities for youngsters to build their life projects and of reducing racial and social inequalities,” says Ana Inoue, superintendent of Itaú Educação e Trabalho (Itaú Education and Labor).
“Among the efforts that we need to make to ensure dignified education for all is the effort of making viable the inclusion and continuation of vulnerable youngsters who reach higher education. Investment in education is one of the driving forces towards social transformation and a basic pillar of sustainable development. And this is the vision that guides our work,” she adds.