First University Exchange Program between Brazil and China Begins

By Dialogo
July 28, 2009

Shanghai (China), July 26 (EFE).- Brazil and China today inaugurated the Top China program, the first academic initiative for university exchange between the two countries, which will move a hundred students between the Asian and Latin American giants each year. Supported by Banco Santander through its global division “Santander Universidades,” which is contributing 400,000 dollars (281,480 euros) to the project, the Top China program will encourage training and research in the environment, climate change, and life sciences. Shanghai Jiao Tong University, located in China’s economic capital, today welcomed forty Brazilian students and eleven professors for a three-week course in the metropolis together with some fifty Chinese university students. “This is a very important agreement which stimulates student exchange and mobility, as well as collaboration among professors to move forward on joint research projects,” Suely Vilela, the rector of the University of São Paulo and coordinator of the program in Brazil, assured EFE today. The University of São Paulo will be joined in Brazil by the Getúlio Vargas Foundation, Anhembi Morumbi University, the University of Brasilia, the State University of Campinas, the UNESP (São Paulo State University), the Federal University of Alagoas, Mackenzie University, Paulista University, and UNISINOS (University of the Sinos Valley). “We believe that without universities we will not be able to solve the great challenges facing the world at present,” noted the deputy general manager of Banco Santander and director of its global division Santander Universidades, José Antonio Villasante. Villasante indicated that “no other bank in the world puts as much money into education as Santander,” which last year invested 100 million euros in higher-education projects, 1.5 percent of the bank’s profits. “Today is the beginning of a very productive project that will also serve to strengthen relations in strategic areas of great importance for Brazil and China,” added the rector of the University of São Paulo, the leading research university in the Iberian world, Spain and Portugal included. In addition to the newly-inaugurated program, Santander Universidades holds agreements with Peking University, Tsinghua University (located in Beijing), the Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT), and the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS).