SFU strengthens educational ties to Brazil
Andrew Petter, SFU president, 778.782.4641, firstname.lastname@example.org
Marianne Meadahl, SFU media relations, 778.782.9017, email@example.com
Dixon Tam, SFU media relations, 778.782.8742, firstname.lastname@example.org
Simon Fraser University president Andrew Petter will join Canada’s Governor General David Johnston in Brazil next week at an international conference of academic leaders.
"The mission enables SFU to increase its visibility as a destination of choice for Brazilian students and to deepen its mutually beneficial partnerships in areas such as clean energy, business and innovation, digital media, and public health," says Petter.
The delegation—featuring a group of 28 university presidents—is attending the Conference of the Americas on International Education (CAIE), April 25 to May 2, under the auspices of the Association for Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC). The group aims to raise the profile of Canada’s universities in Brazil and help improve academic and research links in support of Canada’s growing relationship with Brazil and Latin America.
While in Brazil, SFU will join three other Canadian universities—Concordia, Ryerson, and York—and the Foundation for Research Support of the State of São Paulo to announce $400,000 in funding for joint research projects. The partnership includes graduate student and faculty mobility opportunities.
SFU will also sign an agreement with the University of Campinas (UNICAMP), an internationally recognized centre of academic excellence in technology, health sciences, natural sciences, human sciences, and the arts.
Brazil is investing heavily in science, technology and innovation education: its Science Without Borders program will send 100,000 undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral students abroad on international fellowships. Canadian universities, including SFU, will receive about 12,000 of these Brazilian scholars by 2016 for programs that include language training, academic study and internships.
SFU already has strong connections to Brazil (see backgrounder below). For example, a newly created Americas MBA for Executives will allow students to study management issues in each of the four largest economies in the Americas.
The program—a partnership between SFU’s Beedie School of Business, Brazil’s FIA Business School, Mexico’s Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México, and the U.S.’s Vanderbilt University—launches in August 2012.
“These partnerships will foster deeper connections and create opportunities for researchers and students in both countries,” says Petter. “SFU’s growing, multi-faceted relationships with Brazil are one more way that we are ‘engaging the world.’”
Canada has become Brazil’s top study-abroad destination; 20 students from Brazil currently attend SFU, including seven graduate students.
SFU has numerous ties to Brazil and South America in a multitude of fields:
- SFU’s Beedie School of Business has partnered with three business schools in Brazil, Mexico and the U.S. to deliver a two-year Master of Business Administration program for international executives. The Americas MBA for Executives covers management issues specific to the four largest economies in the Americas.
- Beedie School researchers Jeremy Hall, Stelvia Matos and Bruno Silvestre, all experts on Brazil, recently published a study of entrepreneurial activities in impoverished communities and proposed policies for innovation and sustainable development.
- International students Thiago Silva and Lucas Socio launched a new magazine, Brazilian Vibe, which highlights Brazilian culture in Vancouver. Written in English and Portuguese, the magazine was developed through the support of SFU’s Venture Connection, an early-stage business incubator.
- Sociologist Hannah Wittman studies local food systems, farmer associations, and citizenship with the Landless Rural Workers Movement and La Vía Campesina in Brazil to address issues related to food sovereignty.
- Biologist Carl Lowenberger collaborates with research institutes in South America to study vector-borne diseases such as malaria. In Brazil he is helping sequence the genome of Rhodnius prolixus, a bug that transmits a lethal parasite to humans.
- Evolutionary geneticist Willie Davidson leads the Consortium for Genomic Research on All Salmonids Project. The international group, including scientists from Chile, is working to advance Atlantic Salmon genome-mapping and to breed fish that tolerate climate change.
- Political scientist Andy Hira has published studies on Brazil’s development of its aerospace, petroleum and biofuels industries. He has also studied international trade with a focus on Latin America’s economic development.
- Duncan Knowler of the School of Resource and Environmental Management studies the economics of natural resource management in developing countries. He has studied the prospects for community wildlife management in Mexico, where he runs a field program.
- Maureen Maloney of the School of Public Policy has been actively involved in international governance, dispute resolution and human rights projects in Brazil and several other nations.
- SFU’s School of Communication is developing a program in Latin American Media and Communication Studies. An annual field school focuses on innovation clusters and creative industries in Mexico and pairs students from SFU and the University of Guadalajara.
- SFU’s Centre for Sustainable Community Development delivers economic development training programs in Bolivia’s marginalized communities. With Bolivian academic and NGO partners, the CIDA-funded project has trained community members and indigenous leaders to steer their own locally defined projects. The centre has a leading role in organizing the upcoming Local Governments for Sustainability World Congress in Brazil June 14-18, 2012.