HomeBy Elizabeth Redden. If it seems like all the university presidents and vice provosts are visiting Brazil these days, that’s because they are. Just last week, a delegation from the University of Michigan made the trip and, a month earlier, representatives from 66 colleges traveled to Brasilia, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro in what the U.S. Department of Commerce billed as its “largest education services trade mission ever.”  In April, nearly a third of Canada’s university presidents traveled to Brazil on a weeklong trip that produced 75 new partnerships and scholarships (on paper, that is).
“In Canada, we talk about the ‘nanosecond of opportunity’ for working with Brazil,” said Paul Davidson, president of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. “This is not something we can get around to. This is something we need to do now.”
A number of forces have converged to inspire the interest in Brazil. Its rapidly emerging economy is the world’s sixth- or seventh-largest, according to different assessments, and there's no shortage of buzz about how the BRIC countries -- Brazil, Russia, India and China -- will be major world powers in the future.