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08/06/2017 - 16:24hs

Brazilian and Lebanese universities strike partnership

Grupo Coimbra, with 77 institutions in Brazil, is signing cooperation agreements with five universities from the Arab country. The partnership includes research and innovation projects and academic exchange programs.

São Paulo – The higher education group Grupo Coimbra de Universidades Brasileiras (GCUB) is signing a partnership with five universities from Lebanon for cooperation in many areas. The executive director of the group, Rossana Silva, is in the Arab country this week to sign the memoranda of understanding.

GCUB is a civil association of academic, scientific and cultural nature that gathers 77 higher education institutions throughout the country. Among them are the University of São Paulo (USP), Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), University of Brasília (UnB) and other private and public institutions.

“The Coimbra Group is a network with international cooperations agreements with universities from all around the world. We answered an invitation from Brazil’s embassy in Beirut,” said Silva, explaining how the partnership came to be between her group and the Lebanese institutions.

“The goal is to intensify international cooperation between Brazil and Lebanon. The actions aim to systematize the cooperation between the higher education institutions, holding seminars, bilateral exchange of researchers and students, alignment of the educational systems, innovation, research, language education and understanding of cultures,” says the director.

The Lebanese institutions that signed the partnership with the Coimbra Group are the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK), Saint-Joseph University, Lebanese American University, Lebanese International University and Lebanese University.

The agreement with USEK was signed this Thursday (8) by Silva and by the dean of the Lebanese university, Georges Hobeika. Roberto Khatlab, director of the Latin American Studies and Cultures Center (LASCC) of USEK, explains that after the signing of the memorandum of understanding, joint actions between the Lebanese and Brazilian universities will be developed.

According to him, partnership agreements can be signed in many educational areas, but in general, the main fields of interest between the institutions from Brazil and the Middle East are Political Science, History, Business Management and Trade.

“USEK currently has 13 academic partnerships with Latina America, from which three were signed with Brazil. Now, with the Coimbra Group, we have 77 more Brazilian universities. To LASCC, this relationship is important since there’s a large Lebanese community in Brazil and USEK strengthens this academic connection with the country. USEK’s LASCC already runs many research projects and students and teachers exchange programs. These are practical agreements that we signed and that now are expanding,” says Khatlab.

In the Arab world, in addition to the Lebanese universities, the Coimbra Group has signed cooperation agreements with a university in Morocco and with the Association of Arab Universities, in Jordan.

*Translated by Sérgio Kakitani

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