McMaster signs academic agreements with six Brazilian universities
McMaster's connections to its Brazilian counterparts are growing stronger this week as
president Patrick Deane and vice-president research Mo Elbestawi participate in a major
educational mission to the South American country.
Canada's Governor General David Johnston is leading a delegation that includes the
presidents of 30 Canadian Universities on the mission organized by the Association of
Universities and Colleges of Canada. Some will stay until May. 2
The mission, which kicked off Wednesday, is the largest ever such effort involving
Canadian university presidents.
In Brazil, the Canadian delegates are meeting with educational, government and
business leaders to discuss ways of strengthening educational and research connections
between the two countries.
On Thursday, McMaster signed agreements with six Brazilian universities for reciprocal
exchanges of students and academic co-operation, part of the 35 such agreements
involving 12 Canadian and 18 Brazilian universities.
"This mission is important to McMaster's commitment to extending its international
reach, and the agreements we have signed with our Brazilian partners will create vital
new conduits for the exchange of knowledge," Deane said. "We are proud that McMaster
is part of this group of Canadian universities, and honored to be in the company of His
Excellency Governor General David Johnston."
Canada is officially engaged in a focused strategy to increase its presence in the
Americas on several levels, with education being a high priority.
Brazil is expected to become one of the world's top five economies, and Canada's
investment there, valued at $11 billion in 2009, is already more than its investments in
India and China combined.
The government of Brazil recently announced a program called Science Without Borders,
under which it will fund 75,000 scholarships for students to study abroad and acquire
skills and experience the country needs to meet its new economic challenges. The
Brazilian private sector has pledged to fund another 26,000 scholarships.
Canada will welcome 12,000 Brazilian students at the undergraduate, doctoral and
levels under the SWB program.
The university presidents' mission is meant to increase the profile of Canada's
universities in Brazil, to position Canadian universities as destinations of choice for
Brazilian students, and strengthen research collaborations between Canadian and
The AUCC has a comprehensive website on the mission.