LECTURE: CONNIE MCMANUS PIMENTEL
Rethinking internationalization of Brazilian Higher Education Institutions
Internationalization after the end of the CsF
CAPES International Relations Director presented the agency’s strategy for the next few years
One of the lectures that attracted the most attention from the 2017 FAUBAI Conference participants was presented on Monday, April 10th by Professor Connie McManus Pimentel, current International Relations director at Capes (Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel). With the title of “Rethinking internationalization of Brazilian Higher Education Institutions”, the lecture given by the University of Brasília professor addressed the federal government’s strategy to internationalize Brazilian Education Institutions after the extinction of the Science without Borders program.
Connie began her presentation by indicating that the growth in the number of Brazilian scientific publications observed over the last few decades was not accompanied by an increase in their impact. In this context, internationalization by means of collaborations with international partners is affirmed as the factor that is capable of improving the impact factor of the papers.
At the same time, for the Capes director, the Science without Borders program, predominately aimed at undergraduate students, placed Brazil as a “buyer” of educational services from foreign universities instead of investing in the construction of teaching and research networks and collaborations.
“The new proposal will invest more in the institutions and individuals”, said Connie. The Capes director added, “If the foreign universities wish to continue being our partners, we will fund international collaborations but we do not want to be merely buyers of services”.
The new program, whose temporary name is “More Science, More Development” was kicked off with the sending of questionnaires to the IES to better understand their internationalization strategies and specificities. The program is expected to be officially launched in July this year.
“We want to encourage the IES to propose the development of new internationalization programs, to think outside the box. Each IES will have its own internationalization plan and expect them to create proposals, choose their partners and reflect on how to build more stable and long-term cooperation. We want improvements in quality and do not only an increase in quantity”, said Connie.
The expectation is that the new strategy will collaborate so that the IES can attract more foreign researchers, train their faculty and staff and better select the students sent abroad.