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The University in Halmstad has through the scholarship programme Science without Borders received two Brazilian PhD students who are beginning their postgraduate studies at the turn of the year. The University’s exchange with Brazil is growing steadily and new partnerships have been initiated.
The Brazilian government has set up a scholarship programme called Science without Borders. The programme includes both undergraduate and postgraduate education. The reason that Brazil is investing in Science without Borders is to increase internationalization and to strengthen the country’s scientific expertise.
– There are very few Swedish universities which have been granted fully funded scholarships for postgraduate students through the Science without Borders. It is therefore particularly gratifying that Halmstad University this spring will receive two postgraduate students through the Brazilian scholarship programme, says Antanas Verikas, professor of image processing with specialization in artificial neural network technology at Halmstad University. Professor Verikas will become the main supervisor for one of the doctoral students.
The two PhD students are Maria Luiza Recena Menezes and Gregório Correa Barbosa Junior. Both are going to study for their doctor’s degree at the School of Information Science, Computer and Electrical Engineering starting at the beginning of 2015. Maria Luiza Recena Menezes will have Antanas Verikas as main supervisor, Anita Sant'Anna as co-supervisor and Wagner Ourique de Morais as mentor. Håkan Petersson, professor of physics, will supervise Gregório Barbosa Correa Junior.
During the next three years 100,000 scholarships will be awarded to undergraduate students at Brazilian universities for a year of study abroad. All Swedish universities have been allotted 186 of the 100,000 scholarships. Halmstad University received the first Brazilian student through Science without Borders in the autumn term of 2013. The following year six students were admitted. By autumn 2015 the University is hoping for ten Brazilian exchange students. Stig Perttu at the Student Affairs Office at Halmstad University can see many advantages in that the Brazilian students come through the scholarship programme:
– Students who come through the Science without Borders are fully funded by the Brazilian government. Brazil is otherwise a country that is difficult to recruit paying students from. By receiving the students, we also get new contacts at other universities, in addition to those we are already cooperating with.
Recently a group from Halmstad University visited Brazil to strengthen cooperation with several Brazilian actors. They participated, among other things, in CISB’s (The Swedish-Brazilian Research and Innovation Centre) annual general meeting in São Paulo. CISB is an association between Halmstad University, Lund University, the Royal Institute of Technology and Linköping University and companies such as Volvo, Saab and Scania. CISB is appointed by Vinnova to be a Swedish node for collaborative projects with Brazil in areas such as renewable energy, defense and security, transport and logistics, urban development, and the aerospace industry.
The group from the University also visited FAPESP, a regional research financial backer, and a number of Brazilian universities with the intention of finding potential research collaborations. They were also invited to the Militar de Engenharia (IME) in Rio de Janeiro. IME is a military institution that educates engineers and only admits 100 students per year out of 6,000 applicants.
– IME is interested in the courses and study programmes at Halmstad University which feature innovation and how to develop creativity and entrepreneurship among students. Halmstad University was not entirely unknown to them since our first own doctor, Edison Pignaton de Freitas, did his undergraduate studies at IME, says Thorsteinn Rögnvaldsson, Halmstad University’s Deputy Vice Chancellor who is also a professor of computer science.