Canada’s university presidents embark on largest-ever mission to Brazil

Guelph, ON, April 24, 2012 – Close to a third of Canada’s university presidents are leaving for Brazil today on the largest-ever initiative of its kind. Their goal is to showcase Canada’s universities as among the best in the world and strengthen relationships with a rapidly growing economic powerhouse. In an unprecedented effort to promote Canada’s universities internationally, about 30 university presidents will join with their Brazilian counterparts in announcing new partnerships and memoranda of understanding to advance research, innovation and student mobility.

The delegation of university presidents will be led by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, who will deliver the opening address at the Conference of the Americas on International Education in Rio de Janeiro on April 26, 2012. The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for Science and Technology, will also be in attendance.

“This is a rare opportunity to raise the collective profile of the excellence of Canada’s universities in a country that’s our strategic partner,” says Stephen Toope, president of The University of British Columbia and chair of the board of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. “Many significant agreements will be announced during the mission, opening up exciting new opportunities in research, innovation and international mobility for students, researchers and faculty in both countries.”

Highlights of the mission include the Canada-Brazil University Presidents’ Roundtable in Rio de Janeiro on April 26, where presidents will discuss opportunities and challenges involved in building and strengthening bilateral university collaboration. On April 27, Canada’s university presidents will take part in an innovation forum in São Paulo to explore successful models of university-industry collaboration to enhance research and innovation in areas of shared interest.

The Canadian delegation will also visit advanced research facilities at the University of Campinas (Unicamp), and other high-end research institutes in Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia. On May 2, the mission will conclude with meetings between the presidents and Brazilian government officials in Brasilia.

“There are clear synergies between our two countries in important areas of research and discovery,” says Paul Davidson, AUCC president. “The strategic investments announced during this mission will help drive trade, build prosperity and enhance quality of life in both Canada and Brazil.”

The presidents are departing from Guelph today following successful AUCC membership meetings at the University of Guelph.


Media Contacts:

In Brazil:

Helen Murphy
Communications Manager
Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada
Cell. +1-613-608-8749

In Ottawa:

Mélanie Béchard
Communications Officer
Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada
613-563-1236 ext. 306