On the 2nd of December a meeting with the rectors and vice-rectors of 20 Brazilian universities was held in Moscow. It was hosted by the universities participating in the "5 100" program to improve the competitiveness of Russian universities among the world's leading research and education centers. The ITMO University is among them.
Today, Brazil is an influential provider of educational services in the global market. The education system in this country is well developed and open to internationalization. Every year, the Brazilian government provides its students with more than 100 thousand scholarships under the Science without borders program to support outgoing academic mobility of students and graduate students. Russia has not yet been an active partner of the program. But the meeting in Moscow can radically change the situation.
According to Daria Kozlova, the director of the Institute for International Development and Partnership of the ITMO University, there was a working meeting. Colleagues discussed the challenges of the Russian Federation and Brazil, in the context of academic and scientific cooperation. Work could be started with an exchange of teachers, professors and university staff.
"This will help us to learn more about the system of higher education in Brazil, and foreign counterparts, respectively, to get acquainted with our own system. In any case, there is difference between us. As a result, we will be able to understand what Brazilian students need. But, of course, we are ready to start the student exchange within the first short weekly and, later, semester programs. After a while, it will be possible to talk about full-fledged joint educational projects. Especially because we are engaged in research and training specialists in the areas which are very popular in Brazil: engineering, biotechnology, energy, new materials and others”.
Of course, there are problems that can hinder communication. For example, in Brazilian universities English language is not very common, as well as in many Russian universities. But it only brings us closer together. Brazil is now implementing the Languages without border program, aimed at the study of the students, staff, teachers of different foreign languages: English, German, Chinese, French, Russian, Japanese, Italian and others. The system of teaching English in the ITMO University was also changed since the current academic year.
"We are mature enough to become partners”, Daria Kozlova says. “For us, the Latin American countries and the BRICS countries, including Brazil, are the new direction, which should be actively developed. Brazil can not be ignored in the educational market; it becomes too noticeable and significant. Cooperation with this country is a trend, which should be supported by the ITMO University".
On 6 and 9 December the ITMO University will organize the meeting with the representatives of Brazilian universities. There are Federal University of Santa Maria (UFSM), Federal University of Espírito Santo (UFES), Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Federal University of the Latin America Integration (UNILA) and others among them.