Brazil was ranked 14th in the world for the number of its students now studying at American Universities, Agência Brasil announced Monday. According to the Open Doors report, Brazilians made up 9,029 of the 764, 495 international students at universities in the United States from 2011-2012, an increase of about 6 percent from 2010-2011. U.S. Ambassador to Brazil Thomas A. Shannon, Jr. expressed his hope that this rate would continue to increase.
Ambassador Shannon attributed the increased numbers of Brazilian students in the U.S. to Science Without Borders, a joint effort between the U.S. and Brazil meant to increase the number of Brazilians in higher education, specifically in scientific fields. The government of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff pledged to provide 75,000 scholarships to Brazilian students wishing to study abroad in scientific and technology-related fields.
In an article published yesterday in the new Americas Quarterly, Shannon explained that this initiative is the most ambitious in Brazilian history: “it is not confined to a single economic or scientific sector. [It] covers all aspects of scientific study: computer and information technology; mathematics; physics; biology; health science; marine science; industrial and electrical engineering; mining, oil and gas technologies; and systems analysis and industrial design."
Ambassador Shannon said that President Rousseff’s ultimate goal is to transform Brazil’s economy to include more jobs in the science and technology sectors, as well as to increase social mobility in one generation.
Although the United States is only poised to receive 20,000 of the total 100,000 Brazilian students studying abroad, Ambassador Shannon would like to see the U.S. receive between 60,000 and 100,000 students. A press briefing was held today with Assistant Secretary of State Ann Stock and the president and CEO of the Institute of International Education, Allan Goodman, in Washington DC to discuss the Open Doors data.