The forum, involving Universities Australia and the Council of Rectors of Brazilian Universities (CRUB), brought together representatives from 10 Australian Universities, 12 Brazilian universities, relevant Brazilian and Australian government agencies and departments, and Brazilian business representatives.
“The event is part of Universities Australia’s strategy for enhanced engagement with Latin America and is the first step to much deeper and more meaningful higher education engagement between our two countries,” said Chief Executive of Universities Australia, Belinda Robinson, who led the Australian delegation.
“The forum is the result of a growing appetite in Australia and Brazil to increase university and industry collaboration and further realise the benefits that higher education provides in driving economic and social prosperity in both countries,” Ms Robinson said.
The forum allowed participants to explore opportunities for institutional cooperation; collaborative research projects; and student, academic and staff exchanges. Discussions focused on three main themes: mobility, industry engagement, and research and research training.
The forum agreed a number of actions to further the bi-lateral higher education and research relationship:
- Mapping current bilateral research and education activity including co-authored publications;
- Mapping joint strategic research priorities and capability including areas of existing and potential or emerging research alignment;
- Laying the groundwork for developing joint degrees;
- Supporting the development of key strategic partnerships;
- Identifying and providing information about support mechanisms for bilateral collaboration; and
- Hosting a second forum in 2016.
These actions will be reflected in a joint work plan and Memorandum of Understanding to be developed following the forum.
The two day forum (9-10 June) was supported by the Department of Education and Training, the Australian Embassy in Brazil and was facilitated by Professor Paulo de Souza from CSIRO.