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BRICS nations launch Unis Association

Higher education institutions from BRICS nations have established a new association to encourage greater academic cooperation and student exchange.
March 19 2024
3 Min Read

State universities from BRICS countries have established an academic association encouraging greater international cooperation and inviting global institutions to sign up for free membership. 

Eight founding institutions from Russia, India, Argentina, Brazil and Ethiopia established the BRICS+ Universities Association which has seen 125 institutions from 28 countries join the alliance during its first month of operation.  

“The idea of BUA is to create a communication platform for universities interested in academic cooperation within BRICS+ and beyond… membership is about practical benefits for institutions, not prestige,” said Yulia Yakovleva, marketing executive at BUA.

The association is developing an online networking platform for members to post announcements, contact prospective partners and to facilitate student recruitment and faculty and student exchange. 

The BRIC group of nations was established by Brazil, Russia, India and China in 2006 to bring together important developing countries and challenge the political and economic power of North America and Western Europe. South Africa joined the alliance in 2010 to make ‘BRICS’. 

Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were invited to become members with effect from January 1, 2024.  

Though the focus is on BRICS countries, BUA membership is open to institutions across the globe.  

In the next five years, BUA aims to grow to up to 5,000 member universities, and “become the number one online platform for the communication of the international offices of the universities”, said Yakovleva. 

BUA is particularly interested in promoting internationalisation among small and medium-size member institutions, that will have equal rights and equal access to all BUA resources, according to a BUA spokesperson.   

Membership to BUA is free for institutions, and the association is funded on a voluntary basis by BUA founding universities. These include two state universities from Russia, Argentina and India, and one in Ethiopia and Brazil.  

“The most challenging thing was to find financial investments and to establish all organisational procedures … we plan to attract donations in the future,” said Yakovleva.  

“BUA is not a place for political discussions. If the university is interested in academic cooperation development within BRICS+, BUA is open for this institution,” she added.  

The inaugural BRICS+ summit will be held in November 2024 in New Delhi, where representatives from the founding universities will meet face-to-face for the first time.  

The association will hold annual summits in BRICS+ countries and develop relationships with local governments that they hope will provide future financial support for the organisation.  

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