Universities hit back as Brazil slashes scholarship funds

University deans and education experts in Brazil are pushing back against the government's decision to block all forthcoming scholarships for master's and doctorate students.

Antonio Claudio is the dean of Fluminense Federal University. He said Thursday the move "compromises our ability to do research."

The education ministry said Wednesday that it was shutting down the system awarding new higher education scholarships as part of an effort to slash public spending. A week ago, it announced a separate 30% budget cut at all federal universities and public education institutions.

Critics say the overhaul has gone too far and could be politically motivated.

President Jair Bolsonaro contends that Brazil's schools are biased and full of teachers who "indoctrinate" students with a leftist ideology.