Brazil seeks association with US in education, science


Brasilia : Brazil’s drive to establish a partnership with the US in the spheres of education, science, technology and innovation will be a key topic of President Dilma Rousseff’s visit to Washington next week, the education minister said Tuesday.

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“Cooperation in the areas of education and innovation is now one of the priorities of Brazilian foreign policy,” Aloizio Mercadante told foreign correspondents in Brasilia.

Mercadante said that this priority has been “materialized” in the Science Without Borders programme announced by the government last December.

The programme particularly emphasizes the scientific and technological fields, with emphasis on mathematics, engineering, computer science, biology and nanotechnology, as well as other more specific sectors like petroleum, gas and aeronautics.

In all these fields, the US is a leader and the government of President Barack Obama has said he will cooperate and ease access for Brazilian students to universities in his country, Mercadante said.

According to the minister, an estimated 20,000 Brazilian college students could do postgraduate studies in the US, making it Brazil’s chief partner in the Science Without Borders programme.

So far this year some 1,500 students in the programme have already enrolled in colleges in the US, one of the first countries that agreed to cooperate with the plan, together with France, Italy, Germany and Russia.

This will be Rousseff’s first state visit to Washington as head of state.

Besides the working session with Obama, her trip will include a visit to Harvard University, which will accept some 2,000 Brazilian graduate students over the next few years.