From Rio to Robie Street: Building connections with Brazil
CALDO consortium, increasing academic collaboration
Keri Irwin - December 6, 2011
Brazil is making its move on the global stage.
The country boasts the fifth largest population in the world—190 million, the largest in Latin America—and the eighth-largest economy. Its rapid growth needs a workforce to support its economic expansion, and the country is looking to global universities, including ones in Canada, to train the students it needs to support its future.
Earlier this year the Brazilian government announced its Science Without Borders program – an ambitious plan to sponsor approximately 75,000 students to study and conduct research over the next three years at top universities. The program identified 16 areas for cooperation, research and training opportunities, all in Health, Science and Technology (including Marine Sciences). These are areas where Dalhousie’s connections with Brazil are already strong.
“Dalhousie already has over 20 researchers doing work in Brazil in fields including computer science, medicine, oceans, chemistry, engineering, nursing, management and physics” explains Alain Boutet, Dalhousie’s executive director for international relations.
And while Dal currently has only a handful of Brazilian students, that number could grow quickly thanks to agreements signed earlier this fall.
On November 15, Dr. Boutet travelled to Ottawa for the signing of an agreement with Brazil’s Ministry of Education as part of the CALDO consortium, which includes the University of Alberta, University of Laval, Dalhousie and the University of Ottawa. The consortium has signed agreements with Brazil’s two premier funding agencies as the South American country looks to advance its research connections with post-secondary institutions around the world.
Under these agreements, Dalhousie will begin to receive applications, mainly at the graduate level, from Brazilian students interested in coming to campus for the 2012/13 academic year. Dr. Boutet explains that Brazil is an ideal recruitment target for Dal “because of the existing research collaborations, the agreements with CALDO and the opportunity to attract sponsored students.”
Last week, several Dalhousie leaders—Dr. Boutet, Vice-President Academic Carolyn Watters and Vice-President Research Martha Craigo—travelled to Brazil for a week-long mission focusing on internationalization and innovation organized by
Inter-American Organization for Higher Education (IOHE). Dalhousie was among 10 Canadian universities participating in the mission that will seek to establish collaboration between Canada and Brazil by developing joint academic programs, joint research projects and academic exchanges with more than 30 participating Brazilian institutions.
The IOHEC mission sets the stage for another mission in April, when Dalhousie President Tom Traves will travel to Rio de Janeiro as part of the Canadian University Presidents mission to Brazil, organized by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC), in conjunction with the Conference of the Americas on International Education (CAIE). The Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, will lead the Canadian delegation to the second annual conference that will provide a forum for academic leaders to identify issues and discuss opportunities as related to the internationalization of higher education.
Internationalization is increasingly important for universities including Dalhousie and Dr. Boutet is working hard to increase Dal’s international profile.
“We have a recognized brand, strong educational programs and research clusters, a significant presence of international students on campus that gives students the opportunity to experience international education and learning.”
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