Canada’s universities announce 59 new partnerships, scholarships and student mobility programs in Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 26, 2012 – University presidents strengthened Canada’s capacity in research and innovation today by signing 35 new agreements and memoranda of understanding with 18 Brazilian institutions.  Thirteen new scholarship and student mobility programs for Brazilian and Canadian students
were also announced by Canadian institutions.

The presidents of 12 Canadian universities signed the agreements and MOUs with their Brazilian counterparts at the University Presidents’ Roundtable in Rio de Janeiro, part of the presidents’ mission to Brazil, April 25 to May 2. These partnerships range from student and faculty mobility to research collaboration in areas of shared interest. The gathering, which began with an address by Canada’s Governor General, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, was an opportunity for university leaders from both countries to explore opportunities and strategies to further strengthen bilateral collaboration in higher education.

The agreements signed involve investments of $1.72 million (CAD) from Canadian universities and $1.45 million from the Government of Canada. New scholarships and student mobility programs announced are valued at close to $1.71 million (CAD).

“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. “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.”

“Much of the work that universities do is borderless,” said Amit Chakma, president of Western University and chair of the federal government’s Advisory Panel on Canada’s International Education Strategy. “In Brazil our universities have found many new opportunities to advance their efforts in research and education through strategic partnerships. 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.”

Canadian universities are responding to the Brazilian government’s new Science Without Borders program by taking steps to attract top Brazilian graduate and undergraduate students to Canada. Announced by President Dilma Rousseff in 2011, the ambitious SWB initiative will provide 75,000 scholarships for Brazilian students to study abroad. Brazil’s private sector has stepped in to fund another 26,000 scholarships. On April 24 2012, the Governor General made a statement in the presence of President Rousseff in Brasilia to announce that Canada will welcome 12,000 Brazilian students at the undergraduate, doctoral and postdoctoral levels under the SWB program.

Canadian universities will be recruiting these scholarship recipients in a number of ways. The Consortium of the Universities of Alberta, Laval, Dalhousie and Ottawa (CALDO) has already signed an agreement with the organizing agencies in Brazil, CAPES and CNPq, to host both undergraduate and graduate students through this program. The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, together with the Canadian Bureau for International Education, also has an agreement with CAPES to bring undergraduate students to Canada, with all AUCC members eligible to participate. Canada’s Mitacs will be working to bring 450 Brazilian undergraduate students to various Canadian universities through their Globalink program from 2012 to 2014.

Some Canadian universities will be offering funding to SWB scholarship recipients to complement the support they receive from the Brazilian government.

The delegation of Canadian university presidents now travels to São Paulo for the Canada-Brazil Innovation Nations Forum on April 27, where participants will discuss opportunities to strengthen university-private sector collaboration in the global economy.

The Brazil mission is being led the Governor General. AUCC is the national voice of Canada’s universities, representing 95 Canadian public and private not-for-profit universities.

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Note to editors: A full list of today’s announcements is included in the backgrounder.

Media Contacts:

In Brazil:
Helen Murphy
Communications Manager
Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada
hmurphy@aucc.ca
613-563-1236 ext. 238
Cell. +1-613-608-8749

Atendimento à Imprensa no Brasil
MAPA Comunicação Integrada – São Paulo
Karoline Pereira – Atendimento
karoline@mapacomunicacao.com.br
Débora Kojo – Coordenadora de Núcleo
55 (11) 6182.4881 / 5096.3137 / 2501.8374
www.mapacomunicacao.com.br
In Ottawa:
Mélanie Béchard
Communications Officer
Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada
mbechard@aucc.ca
613-563-1236 ext. 306