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University College Cork and Universidade de São Paulo

Monday October 21st 2013

Minister Quinn attends ceremony as University College Cork and Universidade de São Paulo cement Brazilian-Irish relationships

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The Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn TD witnessed the signing of a bi-lateral agreement between Universidade de São Paulo (USP) in Brazil and University College Cork (UCC).  The event took place during this week’s Enterprise Ireland education and technology mission to Brazil, led by Minister Quinn.

Welcoming the agreement, Minister Quinn said “This agreement confirms the tremendous potential for Ireland’s higher education institutions to continue to build on their relationships with Brazil, one of the world’s leading economies.  This year, more than 1,200 Brazilian students have come to Ireland to study at our institutions.  This latest agreement will help drive further collaboration and growth between Ireland and Brazil, and it is to be greatly welcomed”.

Dr Michael Murphy, President of UCC, welcomed the Minister’s support and added that “this exciting initiative solidifies existing relations between two internationally renowned institutes and will further enhance teaching links and research collaboration between UCC and USP in mutually strong fields that include Coastal and Marine Research, Materials Science, Microbiology, Portuguese, Religious, Irish, and Nursing Studies amongst others”.

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The agreement was signed off by Professor Robert Devoy, UCC and Prof. Aluisio Augusto Cotrim Segurado, USP in Brazil on Monday. UCC President Michael Murphy also signed the agreement before the UCC delegation departed. Recently, Dr Murphy welcomed 29 Brazilian undergraduate students to University College Cork under the Brazilian funded Science Without Borders programme. This is the largest scholarship scheme in the world and aims to place some 100,000 Brazilian students in overseas higher education institutions over the next four years to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects as part of a major Brazilian government initiative to meet skills deficits in their rapidly growing economy.

Brazil is currently the fifth largest economy in the world and therefore it is essential that Irish researchers are working together with their Brazilian counterparts and industry to realise economic opportunities. This has been recognised by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) who has put significant resources through their International Strategic Cooperation Award programme to fund the Research Brazil Ireland (www.rbi.ie) project. Research Brazil Ireland supports research collaboration between nine third level institutes, including UCC, and some twenty Brazilian Universities in mutually important areas including Agriculture, Environmental Science, IT, Material Science, Nanotechnology, Pharmaceuticals, Energy and Health.

Unfortunately, Ireland will not participating in World Cup Brazil 2014, however Professor Claire Connolly from UCC’s School of English will be travelling to deliver the W.B. Yeats Memorial Lecture in 2014. UCC is also offering a scholarship to a Brazilian student in USP to undertake UCC’s Summer School in Irish Studies next summer so there may yet be a World Cup interest from Ireland.

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