Governor-General David Johnston is accompanied by 30 university presidents in the biggest delegation ever sent abroad to promote Canadian education. They will travel to Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo to meet academics and business leaders in the hope of attracting Brazilian students to Canada, and forging academic partnerships with Brazilian researchers.
Johnston said that Canada has an average record in attracting foreign students, but he sees “a huge appetite in Brazil for Canadian education. To my great delight, Canada is the most favoured nation for Brazilians studying abroad.”
Patrick Guimaraes, owner of IE Intercambio, a growing study abroad agency in Brazil, confirms that Canada is the number one choice for his clients. “The main destination is Canada because the visa process is easier, they don’t have to apply in person, they can send it by mail – and the prices for the Canadian schools are cheaper than the others” he told The PIE News.
He added that Canada’s work experience opportunities also help attract Brazilian students.
Last year, the Brazilian government announced funding for 75,000 scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students to study abroad. The private sector stepped up to finance an additional 26,000.
“We’re anxious in Canada to obtain not only a good share of that, but to use that initiative to promote the diplomacy of knowledge between the two countries,” said Johnston.
While in Brazil, the 30 education leaders will, along with other Canadian stakeholders, represent Canada at the Conference of the Americas on International Education, (CAIE) in Rio de Janeiro.