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Researchers and staff at the University of Birmingham welcomed a delegation of senior colleagues from a leading Brazilian university to further strengthen ties between the two institutions.

Led by their Vice-President, Professor Sergio Nobre, senior colleagues from UNESP (Sao Paulo State University) took part in interactive workshops with counterparts from the Universities of Birmingham and Nottingham to help develop UNESP’s international strategy.

Professor Robin Mason, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International) hosted the visit which was arranged by international experts at the two British universities. The four-day event saw Brazilian delegates representing international engagement, research, graduate and undergraduate studies working with their colleagues from the UK.

Birmingham leaders included Professor Jon Frampton, Director of the China Institute, Professor Peter Kraftl, Director of Internationalisation for the College of Life and Environmental Sciences, Professor Jeanette Littlemore, Director of Internationalisation for the College of Arts and Literature and Peter Clack, Director of International Relations.

Professor Mason said: “The University of Birmingham is proud to work with our partners at the University of Nottingham to welcome our colleagues from UNESP. This excellent collaboration presented us with opportunities to develop new ways of working together and further map out exciting research initiatives.

“This partnership with UNESP and Nottingham is testament to Birmingham’s reputation for innovation and intellectual curiosity. As a global ‘civic’ university, we have a responsibility to enrich the life of our home city and the wider world, enabled by our world-class research and education.”

The workshops are part of a long-term relationship between the University of Birmingham and UNESP, one of Brazil’s most prestigious universities.

The visit was organised in partnership with the University of Nottingham and backed by the British Council’s ‘Capacity Building and Internationalisation for Higher Education’ fund. The fund supports UK universities with a successful track record of working with Brazilian institutions, who wish to continue to work closely with partners and help them develop their ‘internationalisation’ strategies.

The Higher Education sector in Brazil is moving forward after ‘Science without Borders’ - a large scale nationwide scholarship program primarily funded by the Brazilian federal government. A new government-funded initiative ‘More Science More Development’ will support student mobility, research collaboration and knowledge transfer. Under both schemes, the University of Birmingham has supported and will continue to support its Brazilian partners, as part of its long-term presence and engagement in Brazil.

As part of the British Council funding, a return visit to UNESP is planned, to develop further UNESP’s international strategy and deepen the collaboration between the universities.