Gov. Jay Nixon today witnessed the signing of two exchange and collaboration agreements between Missouri State University and two Brazilian universities. The agreements will promote exchanges of students, faculty and research and facilitate other partnerships between Missouri and Brazil.
"These agreements will help ensure that more Missouri students are prepared to compete in the global economy of the 21st Century," Gov. Nixon said. "Brazil is one of the world's fastest-growing economies, and strengthening the ties between these institutions will help open doors for Missouri students in this emerging market and bring talented Brazilian students to our state. I commend Missouri State University for leading the way in building these bridges, and my administration will work with other Missouri colleges and universities to help promote these mutually beneficial exchanges."
Under these agreements, Missouri State University will bring students from a leading public university, the State University of Maringa, and the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo, a prominent private institution, to Missouri. Missouri students also will have more opportunities to study in Brazil, and faculty and researchers will collaborate on projects.
Today, Gov. Nixon also met with senior leaders from the Federation of Brazilian Industries in São Paulo, one of the largest and most influential business groups in Brazil. The business leaders were especially interested in the Missouri State partnerships and expressed a desire to look for additional opportunities to collaborate on issues concerning higher education and specialized worker training.
"The jobs of the future will require workers who can compete globally," Gov. Nixon said. "By partnering with universities and business groups in Brazil and other countries, we can create opportunities for Missouri students to get a leg up on the jobs and careers of tomorrow, especially in fields like science, technology and engineering."
Brazil recently launched a new national initiative, Science Without Borders, which aims to send 100,000 Brazilian students to study science and technology at colleges and universities in other countries, with more than 50,000 of those students to study in the United States.
Gov. Nixon said Missouri colleges and universities should capitalize on this opportunity to bring high-performing Brazilian students to Missouri, while also fostering more opportunities for Missouri students to study in Brazil.
"Education is the foundation of economic growth and development in Missouri and around the world," Gov. Nixon said. "Today's agreements by Missouri State University are another important step toward making Missouri's economy more competitive in the 21st Century, and my administration will continue to work with all of our colleges and universities to make the most of this historic opportunity."
Also today, Gov. Nixon received briefings from Brazilian-based executives from Boeing and Monsanto on their operations in Brazil. Tonight, Gov. Nixon will travel to Brasilia, the national capital. He will have meetings with senior cabinet officials and the U.S. Ambassador to Brazil on Wednesday. The Governor will return to Missouri on Thursday morning.