As part of a bid to internationalise, one of Brazil’s leading universities located in São Paulo State, is offering foreigners a range of free post-grad courses.
UNESP (Universidade Estadual Paulista) is a public university with 24 campuses spread throughout the State of São Paulo. The courses will being in August 2013. Most are MSc or MA, but some offer PhD specialisation.
The four course areas are: Agricultural Sciences, Alternative Energy, Dentistry, and Literature and Linguistics.
More than 50 postgrad courses are being offered in these areas, at 14 locations across Brazil’s most economically developed state.
UNESP is a research intensive university, ranked among the best in the country and has received international recognition for the quality of its research and academic activities. During their stay in Brazil, UNESP will offer foreign academics free courses of Portuguese as a foreign language and Brazilian Culture to enable better integration.
For example, in the Alternative Energy module, students can specialize in fields such as Agro-Forestry Biomass Technology Production, Biocatalysts for Biofuel Production, Fuel Cells or Renewable Energy and Electric Power Generation.
In the literature module, foreign visitors can study (in English) writers such as Elizabeth Bishop, Clarice Lispector, and Virginia Woolf.
According to Eduardo Kokubun, the UNESP vice-rector, the objective is to increase classroom diversity by attracting foreign students, to help enliven the teaching culture and bring the benefits of diversity.
The courses will be homologated under the rules of ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System), allowing students to transfer credits back to their European universities.
Although the courses are free, UNESP officials say they won’t be providing any other financial support, such as support for living costs or transportation to Brazil. It’s not yet clear whether EU institutions may be able to provide additional financial support.
Nor is it clear just how much help would-be researchers will receive with the always-problematic challenge of getting visas for their study period. Although Brazil is hungry for foreign talent and welcoming to visitors, bureaucratic inertia means it remains one of the world’s most closed economies when it comes to foreign worker participation in the economy.
You can read more about US involvement with high-level scientific research in Brazil, including the Department of Energy’s funding for major climate change research programs in the Amazon and international collaboration with leading Brazilian universities, by clicking here.
You can read about partnerships between São Paulo state’s research funding body, FAPESP, and leading US academic bodies (including the Smithsonian Instituion) by clicking here .
You can find out more about the UNESP courses taught in English by clicking here