Dal on a mission in Brazil

Agreements to be signed with Brazil’s top research universities

- April 25, 2012


Dalhousie plans to be big in Brazil.

Dalhousie President Tom Traves will be raising our profile during his first trip to the world’s fifth most populous country, from April 25 to May 2, where he will sign new research partnerships and scholarship agreements with Brazil’s top research universities.

The agreements cap several years of hard work by Dal faculty. They recognize existing research projects with Brazilian connections–in fields like marine science, engineering, agriculture, health and computer science–and open the door for new projects in other scientific areas.

“We have very, very good conditions to build strong, sustainable partnerships with Brazilian institutions,” says Alain Boutet, Dalhousie’s executive director for international relations, who will accompany the President to Brazil. “Many of these connections already exist and we are trying to formalize it to develop well-rounded partnerships.”

Led by Canada’s Governor General, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Dr. Traves travels with thirty other Canadian university presidents in the largest higher education mission ever organized by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC).

The AUCC mission is a reaction to the Brazilian government’s $2.02 billion (US) investment in science education in 2011. A Brazilian government program, Science Without Borders, is sponsoring 75,000 students to study and conduct research at universities around the world over the next 3-4 years.

As American, European and Canadian universities compete to attract Brazilian students at the undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral levels, the AUCC estimates at least 3000 students will study in Canada over the next four years.

Dr. Traves will attend a press conference, deliver a speech and sit at round table discussions with other university presidents. Most importantly, he will sign agreements with the following six universities:

  • University of Sao Paolo
  • State University of Sao Paolo
  • University of Campinas
  • Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro
  • Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul
  • Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul

Twenty-five per cent of this recruitment drive comes from CALDO, a consortium of research-intensive Canadian universities. Given our research strength, and membership in CALDO, Dal stands to attract many new students from Brazil, but Dr. Boutet is quick to emphasize that travel opportunities will open up in both directions with these new agreements.

“It will also give our students the opportunity to go to Brazil to study, to learn the language and to experience another culture.”

So Dal students can start planning research projects that will take advantage of these agreements.

Expect more in DalNews on the impact of these agreements on the Dal community in the coming weeks, after Dr. Traves return.



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