Brazil mission sees $6.74 million invested in Canada-Brazil university partnerships and scholarships

Mitacs announces $10.25 million for undergraduate internships, graduate fellowships  

São Paulo, Brazil, April 27, 2012 – Canadian universities and their Brazilian counterparts are announcing 75 new partnerships and scholarship programs worth $6,736,800 (CAD) in university and government funding during the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada’s university presidents’ mission to Brazil, April 25 to May 2. Stephen Toope, president of The University of British Columbia and chair of the board of AUCC made the announcement at a news conference in São Paulo today.

New announcements made today build on the 46 agreements and 13 new scholarship and student mobility programs unveiled yesterday at the Canada-Brazil Presidents’ Roundtable in Rio de Janeiro. The total of 75 agreements, MOUs and scholarship programs also includes announcements to be made in Campinas on April 28 and Brasilia on May 2.

“The connections between our universities and those in Brazil are sparking discovery and innovation that will yield tremendous benefits for both countries,” said Prof. Toope. “These ambitious investments in research, innovation and higher education will lead us to become more prosperous economies and more globally successful nations.” These partnerships are being signed with Brazilian partners during visits to Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Campinas and Brasilia.

Today’s announcements in São Paulo include an additional $10.25 million investment in undergraduate internships and graduate fellowships through Mitacs. Canada’s Mitacs connects university-based researchers, including graduate students and faculty members, with Canadian companies through collaborative research projects and provides research internships to top international undergraduate students. Mitacs announced $6.75 million – co-funded by the Brazilian government’s new Science without Borders program, the Government of Canada, Canada’s provinces and several Canadian universities – to bring 450 Brazilian undergraduate students to Canada from 2012 to 2014 through its Globalink program. Brazil’s CAPES (Federal Agency for the Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education) has signed an agreement with Mitacs to support the first 100 students. The Mitacs announcement includes another $3.5 million to fund Globalink Graduate Fellowships – opportunities for student alumni of the Globalink program, including those from Brazil, to pursue graduate studies in Canada.

“We look forward to working closely with our partners to establish a closer relationship with Brazilian universities and students through Mitacs Globalink and the Globalink Fellowship Program,” said Arvind Gupta, CEO and Scientific Director of Mitacs. “By connecting countries around the world through our young researchers, we will improve the global economy.”

“These university initiatives signal a turning point in our bilateral relationship and tremendous opportunities for students and faculty in the years ahead,” said Heather Munroe-Blum, principal and vice-chancellor of McGill University and member of AUCC’s board of directors. “Ultimately these are investments in people – students, researchers, innovators and, more broadly, the people of Canada and Brazil.”

Ten Canadian universities signed partnerships today with the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) worth $1.18 million.

AUCC is the national voice of Canada’s universities, representing 95 Canadian public and private not-for-profit universities.