Dean of EPGE praises the quality of FGV students: “They are our greatest treasure”

FGV News spoke with the Dean of EPGE, professor Rubens Penha Cysne, about the impressive results of the School and FGV as a whole.
07 January 2019
Dean of EPGE praises the quality of FGV students: “They are our greatest treasure”

The year of 2018 was quite positive for Fundação Getulio Vargas with regard to excellence and quality evaluations. Part of this success comes from FGV’s Brazilian School of Economics and Finance (EPGE).

For three years, the School has led the General Course Index (IGC) of the Ministry of Education (MEC), has ranked first in the country in seven out of 11 evaluations made by the MEC, and has ranked first among centers for graduate studies in Economics from all over the country in the last three Exams of the Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics (ANPEC). EPGE is also the best school of Economics in Latin America in the general ranking drawn up by the University of Tilburg (Netherlands).

FGV News spoke with the Dean of EPGE, professor Rubens Penha Cysne, about the impressive results of the School and FGV as a whole.

“Indexes are always volatile and imperfect.  Thus, they should be analyzed with caution. First, it’s important to consider them in the context of a large period of time, encompassing a reasonable number of years. They should also be compared with each other, through a sample involving the observation of several different indicators. This kind of longitudinal and transverse analysis is required to provide them reliability and robustness, allowing an adequate use by those who need to compare different courses, especially by potential students. When so viewed, the quality indexes for educational institutions show the excellence of all of Fundação Getulio Vargas’ schools, not just EPGE”, he said.

Despite successive indicators showing the excellence of FGV’s courses, the professor prefers to praise another aspect, which according to him is more important than any index or ranking: the quality, employability and contribution to the country by FGV’s alumni.

“FGV’s greatest treasure is our students, who finish their studies at an institution with unmatched quality to contribute to the corporate area, whether nationally or internationally, as well as to the government”, he said.

According to professor Cysne, FGV’s success stems from several factors, and four of them may be easily identified. First, the corporate governance of excellence, which provides the different units with the benefits derived from suitable long-term strategies, properly integrated action, management quality and financial soundness. The contribution to national development steers all these actions. Such elements enable the units to hire the best talents, as well as constantly take advantage of the best opportunities to achieve their respective missions. Second, FGV’s success is due to continuous integration between research and teaching, which prevents technological obsolescence in the teaching activity and fosters the training of high-quality researchers. Third, he mentions the constant lectures and guidance to high school students across the country, helping to identify vocations, promote talents and social inclusion. Fourth is the internationalization of professors and students, through which the institution discusses with and contributes to, on equal terms, the most prominent researchers in social sciences throughout the world.

“Those are some of the factors that allowed this success story to be forged over the past 74 years”, said the professor, who added: “Our excellence stems from the quality and employability of our students and alumni, a reputation that took decades to build and requires a huge effort by all of FGV’s employees to maintain. In my opinion, this is the most complete and important quality indicator for FGV’s schools. An extensive relationship with FGV’s students over time, including their respective contributions to the corporate and government areas, is really impressive. It’s a huge and inviolable asset acquired by Fundação Getulio Vargas over the years”.

Finally, the Dean of EPGE addresses the need to identify and develop talents. According to him, it’s not uncommon for people of great potential to have difficulty identifying their vocation. The role of a center of excellence is also to provide the means for innate talent to be identified and developed inclusively and proficiently.

“I devote a lot of time to lectures at high schools, as well as to the opportunities when FGV welcomes such students. It’s really satisfying. A few words from someone more experienced can make a big difference in the lives of our youth. Not only for those who happen to have a vocation for economics. But also the others, who need to identify their natural talents, preferably before they go to college”, said professor Cysne. 

And he added:

“Talent, especially when backed by effort and determination, isn’t measured by the existing knowledge when one joins the institution, but what one can add to it over time, over one’s formative years. The way this acquired knowledge is subsequently used is even more important in one’s career. The degree to which it can increase the community’s wellbeing, whether nationally or internationally. Scientific progress, social inclusion, corporate development and significant contributions to the public sector are some examples of how our youth, defending their own interests, naturally and automatically reward society when it provides them with an education of excellence”, he said.

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