Brazil the first stop for Midlands partners

May 16, 2011

A joint mission to Brazil is taking place this week, the first step of a groundbreaking partnership between the universities of Birmingham and Nottingham.

The two institutions, which collectively have about 67,000 students and 14,000 staff, announced their “framework for collaboration” in February.

Senior academics from the universities are this week visiting Brazil to strike up research links with universities and funding agencies in the country.

Areas of interest include energy, environmental and physical sciences, economics and social sciences.

When the partnership was announced, the institutions said they would cooperate to establish themselves in “new markets” such as South America and would share the costs of doing so.

Malcolm Press, pro vice-chancellor at the University of Birmingham and joint leader of the mission, said it was an “exciting opportunity to look at ways in which two of the UK’s leading research-led universities can work in partnership with organisations of equivalent standing, reputation and global ambition in Brazil”.

Bob Webb, the University of Nottingham’s pro vice-chancellor for research and the mission’s other leader, said the plan was to “draw on Nottingham’s presence in China and Malaysia, countries where Brazil already has strong research links”.

The Birmingham and Nottingham delegation will visit institutions including the University of São Paulo, the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation and the University of Brasília during the week-long mission.

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