Programa de Pós-Graduação em Geografia
History and Proposal of the Program
Implemented in 1976, the Graduate Program in Geography (PPGEO) at the Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPE) was the third to be created in its field in Brazil. That was also the year that the Master course was instituted, with the implementation of the Doctoral degree in 2004. Its initial creation complements the effort that had already been underway in Pernambuco since the 1940s in order to characterise the geography of the Northeast Region.
The master's program at the PPGEO has also contributed significantly to the education of generations of researchers and to constructing Brazilian knowledge pertaining to its geography, producing valuable studies on different regions of the country and attracting students from various Brazilian states. Studies conducted in collaboration with the then Joaquim Nabuco Institute and with SUDENE were of particular prominence, included among the already classic series of Regional Studies. The Program's contribution to Brazilian geographic thinking is expressed in numerous studies characterising the country's regional diversity on the methodological grounds of acknowledged discipline.
The creation of the doctoral program in 2004 unveiled a new era in the direction of the PPGEO that emphasized, on one hand, the growth of the ability to train qualified human resources and, on the other hand, the broadening of the research skills in physical geography, intraurban studies and new themes like environmental geography, services and innovation.
The PPGEO's prominent academic performance has led to the intellectual independence of its graduates, a significant number of them who have already been established as teaching staff at federal, state and private universities, or national institutes of education, and public and private agencies.
Under the guidance of permanent professors and associates that are distributed throughout 09 research groups certified by the CNPq (Brazilian Fostering Agency), the PPGEO's student staff is composed of masters and doctoral students, some under an inter-institutional cooperation system. Since the creation of each course, more than 300 master's dissertations and more than 100 doctorate’s theses have been defended up to 2016.
Providing high-level human resources training service that supersedes the limits of the Northeast region itself, it is clear that of all the permanent professors, 25% are CNPq research productivity fellows. This underscores the quality of the critical mass that makes up the PPGEO, reflected in publications in national and international journals, books and book chapters in the country and abroad, conventions and partnerships with Brazilian and foreign institutions, a fact reinforced by CAPES (Brazilian Agency that regulates post-graduate programs) latest triennial evaluation.
The Program's thematic axes are synchronized with studies on regional analysis and regionalization, an area that the PPGEO focuses on, but they have been characterized by being receptive to the theoretical and technological innovations in geographic science. The Program has been distinguished for its promotion of a critical scientific stance and by the development of multi and interdisciplinary approaches reflected in the consolidation of the growth in its scientific and academic production, covering topics related to regional, urban, agrarian, physical and environmental phenomena. The studies generated in the Program encompasses aspects as diverse as the theoretical reflection on regional thought in Brazil and throughout the world, under the aegis of globalization, recent economic, political and cultural transformations and their territorial reverberations; the dynamics of contemporary social movements; the new theoretical and methodological instruments intended to investigate the physical natural environment, the management and handling of the territory, and others.
The Program sets forth a focus on Regionalization and Regional Analysis that is subdivided into six research topics: (i) Analysis, conservation and monitoring of ecosystems; (ii) Surface and climatic dynamics of humid and semi-arid tropical natural landscapes; (iii) Territorial dynamics of development and regionalizations; (iv) Production and dynamics of metropolitan spaces and intermediate cities; (v) Agrarian space, social movements and public policies; (vi) Education, culture, politics and innovation in the production of contemporary space.
Results of efforts within the context of these topics include the organisation of several conferences, colloquia, symposia and workshops, as well as the publication of the compilation called "Regionalization and regional analysis: perspectives and contemporary approaches" (2006), composed of articles by PPGEO teaching staff. Another example of the positive attitude of the faculty from the Program is expressed in its Journal called Revista de Geografia - regularly published since 2000 and having reached the Qualis B1 level (established by CAPES in a range from A1 to C), in 2016.
The PPGEO teaching staff has also demonstrated an intellectual maturity for the establishment of cooperation and exchange agreements with foreign institutions from European, North American and Latin American countries, as well as making reasonable efforts to facilitate cooperation with Portuguese-speaking countries in Africa. As part of these agreements, technical visits, seminars, joint courses and publications were conducted in an effort that has also inspired themes for some theses and dissertations. In this respect, there has also been a notable increase observed in visits to the PPGEO by researchers from other Brazilian states and abroad.
The PPGEO teaching staff and student body also participate in major national and international geography events, have been publishing in the most prestigious national journals in the field as well as in several international journals, have been holding seats on several scientific committees and advisory committees - among them the Area of geography at CAPES - and editorial boards. The teaching staff also serves as jury members, panel judges and ad hoc advisors to funding agencies and various national and international journals. They also conduct research along with analysis and advisory activities in conjunction with various public and civil society institutions at the local, regional, national and international levels, such as partnerships with Recife City Hall, the Secretary of Science and Technology in the State of Pernambuco, Caixa Econômica Federal, the Ministry of Cities, the UNICAMP Geosciences Institute, the USP Polytechnic School, the Graduate Program in Urban Engineering at UFSCar, the Paulo Freire Zentrum, Vienna, Austria.
In order to reach these and other goals, significant investment was made in the infrastructure involving the PPGEO's equipment, classrooms and laboratories through public actions to foster research and meet the demands for analysis and interventions submitted by governmental and non-governmental organisations. These improvements allowed the PPGEO to adapt its physical facilities to its students' needs for suitable environments for them to carry out their research. Additionally, new laboratories have been created in recent years, and the infrastructure of existing ones has been expanded.
PPGEO's trends are promising. Given the latest selections for entry into the PPGEO, an increasing trend has emerged of demand from candidates from all regions of the country, as well as countries from Latin America and Portuguese-speaking Africa, as well as the capacity to raise funds for research on the part of the teaching staff. Faced with this demand, there has been a need for a continuous boost in the teaching staff, which is already announced based on the recent hiring of professors by the department. This framework indicates that there is a growing search for the thematic areas developed in the Program and that its range extends beyond the Brazilian Northeast.
In view of the rise in research funding in recent years, the Program has been able to provide the universal granting of scholarships (equivalent to approximately R$ 1.5 million per year) and funding for scientific research and international exchanges by federal and state agencies, the PPGEO intends to further expand its activities and interactions with public and private institutions, as well as society itself, in Brazil and overseas.
Lastly, it is worth noting that the consistent implementation and monitoring of the Strategic Repositioning of the Program provides the necessary conditions to achieve new goals, guaranteeing a lasting and well-anchored phase of growth.
Master’s and Doctorate in Co-tutelage
In order to provide for an academic exchange, as well as to establish and strengthen relations with foreign universities, the Stricto Sensu Graduate Programs of UFPE can promote the conducting of masters and doctorates in a co-tutelage system. The objective is to allow for the joint orientation of theses and dissertations, which results in a double degree for Brazilian and international students.