Magazine article Times Higher Education

Brazil Hopes for Science without Borders Relaunch

Magazine article Times Higher Education

Brazil Hopes for Science without Borders Relaunch

Article excerpt

Revamp should not drain funding from research, says São Paulo provost. Chris Havergal writes

Brazil's universities are confident that the flagship student exchange programme Science Without Borders will be relaunched, but want to ensure that it does not drain funding from other academic activities.

Between 2011 and 2016, more than 90,000 Brazilian students and researchers travelled to international universities under the scheme, but it now faces an uncertain future because of the country's ongoing financial crisis.

The scheme's annual funding was cut last year from nearly R3.5 billion (£85 million) to R2.1 billion and new scholarships have been frozen because of lack of funds.

Raul Machado Neto, provost for international cooperation at the University of São Paulo, told Times Higher Education that policymakers were "committed" to Science Without Borders continuing.

"I am confident that it will be relaunched because it is an important experience for the students," Professor Machado Neto said.

However, Professor Machado Neto said that universities hoped that Science Without Borders could be redesigned. They wanted to have a stronger role in the scheme and a bigger say in where students went, ensuring that relationships can be built up between institutions, not just between students and foreign institutions, he said.

And he suggested that Science Without Borders may need to operate on a more modest scale, in order not to impoverish other areas of higher education, such as research. …

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