The presidents of 12 Canadian institutions signed 35 new agreements and memoranda of understanding (MOU) with 18 Brazilian institutions at the University Presidents’ Roundtable in Rio de Janeiro. Investments reached CAN$1.72 from Canadian universities and an additional CAN$1.45 million from the Government of Canada. New scholarships and student mobility programmes announced are valued at close to CAN$1.71 million.
“This unprecedented commitment to bilateral collaboration will expand opportunities for students and researchers in both countries for many years to come,” said Stephen Toope, president of The University of British Columbia and chair of the board of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC). “We are all engaged in a worldwide enterprise to address our toughest problems. These agreements will help bring together some of the world’s best minds; we are up to the challenge.”
At a meeting with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Tuesday, Governor-General David Johnston announced that Canada will welcome 12,000 undergraduate, doctoral and postdoctoral Brazilian students under the Science Without Borders programme introduced by Rousseff last year. The programme combines government funding for 75,000 scholarships with private sector support for an additional 26,000 for Brazilian students to study abroad. Johnston’s announcement will make Canada the second-largest host country under the programme after the United States.
“I can think of few initiatives more likely to foster the diplomacy of knowledge”
“I can think of few initiatives more likely to foster the diplomacy of knowledge and lead to a smarter, more caring world than student exchanges between countries,” said Johnston in an address at the University President’s Roundtable. “The students and researchers who move between our two countries represent our best hope for meeting the complex, interconnected challenges facing our planet.”
As the country’s economy continues to grow, Brazilian students now able to afford to study abroad favour Canadian universities over their competitors for the ease in visa processing, lower fees and post-study work opportunities. The new funding will make Canada even more attractive and boast Brazilian universities’ programmes.
“In Brazil our universities have found many new opportunities to advance their efforts in research and education through strategic partnerships” said Amit Chakma, president of Western University and chair of the federal government’s Advisory Panel on Canada’s International Education Strategy. “By working together, these universities will be able to bring great ideas to the marketplace faster and help drive economic growth for the benefit of people in both countries.”