São Paulo has a broad network of public and private schools, providing basic and vocational education for children and young people living in the State. According to the Ministry of Education (MEC), São Paulo has approximately 15,000 elementary education centers; 73% public and 27% private. Of the 6,000 Paulista centers providing high school education, 64% are part of the municipal, state or federal network and 36% offer private education (2011).
A number of international schools included in the private education network offering basic education in two or more languages and compliant with curricular structures required in other countries. São Paulo also offers 1,255 vocational education centers, making up around 32% of the national total (MEC – 2010).
In the area of higher education, São Paulo provides approximately 7,400 on-site undergraduate courses, offering almost 1.1 million places, which is the equivalent of 34% of the national total. Furthermore, the State offers around 794,000 places on 191 distance learning undergraduate courses. A number of higher education institutions in the State of São Paulo are internationally recognized for their high levels of excellence in teaching and research. (MEC – 2011)