Head of Engineering at the Institute, Dr Ken Thomas and Don O’Neill of WIT’s International Office took part in an Enterprise Ireland education and trade mission to Brazil, led by the Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn TD.
Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) this week announced a further expansion of its academic and research links in Brazil. Head of Engineering at the Institute, Dr Ken Thomas and Don O’Neill of WIT’s International Office took part in an Enterprise Ireland education and trade mission to Brazil, led by the Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn TD.
“The Institute, which has longstanding partnership agreements with a number of Brazil’s leading universities, signed an agreement for staff and student exchange with Unversidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP) one of the country’s largest public universities based in São Paulo’ commented Dr Thomas. The agreement, to enable closer cooperation between the two institutions was signed at a ceremony attended by Ruairí QuinnTD, Minister for Education and Skills.
Welcoming the announcement Minister Quinn said: “This agreement between WIT and UNESP is further confirmation of the very strong relationships between Irish higher education institutes and their Brazil counterparts. Under the Brazil Government’s ‘Science without Borders’ scholarship programme, the potential for deepening these relationships further is tremendous. Ireland’s policy of supporting collaborative education exchanges and research partnerships between Ireland and Brazil is delivering tangible results. This latest agreement further cements this strong connection between our two countries, and it is to be greatly welcomed”.
Brazilian students now make up one of the largest international student groups at WIT, with over 180 students enrolled on a variety of Bachelor, Masters and Doctoral programmes in the current academic year. Many of these students are scholarship recipients from the Brazilian government under the ’Science without Borders’ programme, which will fund 101,000 students to spend a period of study at higher education institutions throughout the world. “Of all the Irish institutions, WIT was the number one choice of Brazilian students this year, bringing a valuable contribution to the classroom and campus life of the Institute and a most welcome economic boost to the city” said Don O’Neill.
Jennifer Condon, Head of Internationally Traded Services and Software at Enterprise Ireland, added, “This agreement is very welcome and underpins Ireland’s strong relationship with Brazil in the education sphere. It is an important boost for the international third level education sector in Ireland and we will support the sector in every way possible to exploit this huge market”.
Pictured on 21 October at the MOU Signing Ceremony in São Paulo, SP, Brazil from back l-r: Frank Sheridan [Ambassador of Ireland Embassy]; Jennifer Condon [Divisional Manager E.I.]; Ruairí Quinn [Minister TD for Education and Skills]; front row: Dr. Ken Thomas [WIT]; Don O`Neill [WIT]; Prof. Carlos Eduardo Vergani [Deputy Head of International Office]; (behind) ]. Photo: Túlio Vidal/I.E.