Athlone Institute of Technology has signed an agreement with a leading Brazilian university which will promote student exchanges between Ireland and Brazil.
The memorandum of understanding was signed today at the Euro-Pós education fair in São Paulo, Brazil. AIT is one of six Irish colleges exhibiting at the event on an Education in Ireland stand. The agreement was witnessed by the Irish Ambassador to Brazil, Frank Sheridan.
PUC Minas (Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Minas Gerais ), located in the city of Belo Horizonte, is one of the largest and most prestigious Brazilian private universities. In 2006 and 2010 it was chosen as the best private university in the country.
AIT president, Prof Ciarán Ó Catháin, said that: “AIT has pursued an active policy of building relationships with leading higher education institutions around the globe. The benefits of this can be seen in AIT’s multicultural campus, where students of over 50 different nationalities work together and socialise.
“We are looking forward to a fruitful exchange programme with PUC Minas, where AIT students will have the opportunity to study in one of the leading Brazilian universities. Similarly, students from PUC Minas will receive a warm welcome when they travel to Athlone,” he said.
Prof Rita Louback, head of the International Office at PUC Minas, said that she anticipated that the agreement would deliver benefits for all parties. This was the start of a new relationship between higher education institutions in Brazil and Ireland she said.
The agreement allows for undergraduate and postgraduate student exchange for up to one year. Staff exchanges are also facilitated under the terms of the memorandum, as is cooperation in research, teaching, and the development of new pedagogical products.
The Brazilian government has recently announced its Science without Borders initiative, which will support up to 100,000 Brazilian students travelling overseas to international third level institutions.