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IIE celebrates US-Brazil ties at gala

The Institute of International Education (IIE) used its prestigious annual gala dinner in Manhattan, New York, to help bond Brazil and the US over their tertiary education ties. And Brazil’s Education Minister, Aloizio Mercadante, confirmed a long-term plan to commit significant revenue earned from the oil industry towards empowering Brazilians through education.

Minister Mercadante with some of the Brazilian recipients of Science without Borders scholarshipsMinister Mercadante with some of the Brazilian recipients of Science without Borders scholarships

"We want to transform a non-renewable wealth into a permanent wealth"

President Dilma Rousseff was not in the US to accept the the Henry Kaufman Award for having the vision to set up the Science without Borders scholarship programme, bestowed during the gala evening, but Mercadante accepted on her behalf.

He said, “I consider this award an honour for the Brazilian people, who are the true protagonists of the economic achievements that our country has made.”

He  affirmed the Brazilian government’s long-term commitment to education, citing a recent law through which 65% of oil royalties will be devoted to education over the next 35 years. “We want to transform a non-renewable wealth into a permanent wealth, which is the education of a nation.”

A number of Brazilian students who are in the US on the Science without Borders scholarship programme were also in attendance, mingling with a Who’s Who of IIE patrons, supporters and international education stakeholders.

Dr Henry Kaufman is IIE’s Chairman Emeritus and the award honours a national leader or public official for his or her work in promoting and developing international education at the tertiary level.

Also accepting award on the night was Stephen F. Angel, CEO of industrial gases company Praxair, who accepted IIE’s Opening Minds Corporate Leadership Award on behalf of his company in recognition of its leading role both on the Brazil – US Business Council and as one of the founding corporate partners of the Brazil Scientific Mobility Program. Praxair has hosted 10 interns in each of the first two years of the programme.

IIE President and CEO Allan E. Goodman used the platform to highlight similarities in aim between Brazil’s mobility programme for STEM students and the USA’s Fulbright Programme, which IIE administers. “America’s Fulbright program and Brazil’s Ciencia Sem Fronteiras program share a common vision when it comes to having the beneficiaries return to their home countries,” he said. “Both are examples of the kind of brain circulation that wins Nobel Prizes, builds new cities and serves societies by what people learn from and about each other.”

To see more photos from the event, click here.

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