Texas Tech hosted visitors from Brazil to discuss furthering engineering education in Brazil.
“It’s our first time here in Texas Tech, in Lubbock,” Luiz Loureiro, executive director of the Fulbright Commissions in Brazil, said. “We are very impressed.”
The Fulbright Program promotes engagement between education systems of different countries, according to the Fulbright website. The Fulbright Program has U.S. exchanges in 165 countries, including Brazil.
The Fulbright Association seeks to create diplomacy between countries by connecting education systems and scholars around the world, according to the Fulbright website. They also facilitate and award different scholarships to further international education.
Higher education institutions in Brazil want to make connections with fellow institutions in the United States, Loureiro said. One purpose of the group’s visit was to find departments of U.S. institutions from which they can take inspiration.
“We saw very interesting things country-wide,” Loureiro said.
The group visited other institutes, such as Harvard University, the University of Texas and Rice University, according to a Tech news release.
“We started ten days ago,” Loureiro said as he laughed. “We visit nine institutions and we left the best one for the end.”
Another purpose of this visit was to discuss a partnership between CAPES in Brazil and Tech, Mauro Rabelo, the director for international affairs for the Coordination for the Improvement of Education (CAPES), said.
“We plan to send some missions here to learn with Texas Tech and to exchange our experience with Texas Tech,” Rabelo said.
CAPES is a Brazilian federal agency within the Ministry of Education, according to the CAPES website. The foundation provides support to the Brazilian education system to improve the quality of faculty and staff in high education.
CAPES awards grants and scholarships to research centers and graduate students, according to the CAPES website. Currently, CAPES supports about 22,000 students in Brazil and about 1,500 students abroad.
CAPES specifically places Brazilian PhD students in U.S. institutions, according to the CAPES website. They also help students acquire American VISAs in order to conduct research and learn in the U.S.
Many higher education faculty and staff in the U.S. already have connections to institutions, researchers and professors in Brazil, Loureiro said. The Brazilian education system would like to increase collaboration efforts and confirm more partnerships between institutions and individuals from the two countries.
They would like to have more people traveling to and from the U.S. to Brazil, Loureiro said.
“People are very open to collaborate,” Loureiro said.
When arriving to Tech, the group received a warm welcome, Loureiro said. The group also met with a Tech students originating from Brazil to discuss their lives at the university.
They do not yet have any concrete plans with the institutions they visited, Loureiro said. They require a secondary trip in order to establish any future programs or plans.
However, Rabelo said this visit is the beginning of many connections between higher education institutions in Brazil and institutions in the U.S.
“We were very well received here,” Loureiro said. “We hope to come back soon.”