The University of Birmingham’s Brazil Institute celebrated its official opening in the presence of His Excellency Mr Antonio Patriota, Brazil Ambassador to the UK.
Building on the work of the Birmingham Brazil Forum, the new Brazil Institute aims to deepen and widen the University’s engagement with Brazil, as well as strengthening the partnership between the UK and Brazil.
Launching the Institute follows the signing of an agreement earlier this year between the University of Birmingham and the Brazilian Ministry of Education. The protocol of intent set out a shared commitment to collaborate more closely through a Brazil Institute at the University.
The Institute will host the University’s long-standing Birmingham Brazil Visiting Fellows scheme, through which nearly 100 Brazilian academics have come to the University and its joint funding programme with FAPESP.
Working with key agencies like the Brazilian federal funding agency for graduate education CAPES (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior), the Institute will support new opportunities to deepen collaboration.
His Excellency Mr Antonio Patriota, Brazil Ambassador to the UK, commented:
“Brazil is back with a renewed commitment to advance democracy, sustainability, and peace. The Brazil Institute at the University of Birmingham will be an important partner to translate common goals into a fruitful academic cooperation.”
The event also marked the launch of the Chico Mendes Chair Programme – a partnership with CAPES. Named after Brazilian land rights leader and environmentalist Chico Mendes (1944-1988), the five-year programme brings 15 Brazilian academics to Birmingham to build research partnerships across Environmental Sciences, Climate Change, Ecosystems, Sustainability, and Societies and Environment.
University of Birmingham Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International) Professor Robin Mason hosted the launch and commented:
“Launching the Brazil Institute marks the long commitment that the University of Birmingham has had to engaging with Brazil. Our new Institute will serve as an excellent platform not just to enhance the University’s long-standing engagement with Brazil but help to strengthen Brazil-UK cooperation in research and education.
“We look forward to playing our part in strengthening Britain’s academic ties to Brazil. While the Latin America studies centres, set up in the 1960s, died off one by one, the University of Birmingham is committed to further developing relationships that help to build collaboration between our two countries.”
Brazil’s Minister of Education, Camilo Santana and Professor Mason signed the protocol of intent for the Institute in May.
In the same month, the Brazilian Ambassador also decorated Professor Mason with the Order of Rio Branco (Officer Class) for championing academic co-operation between Brazil and the UK at an investiture ceremony at the Embassy of Brazil in London. The accolade is a mark of Professor Mason’s individual contribution, and of the University of Birmingham’s long-standing commitment to engagement with Brazil.