The University of Sheffield’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Keith Burnett is joining the presidents and principals of universities from 46 countries at an international conference in Brazil.
The Universaria International Conference, sponsored by Santander Universities, focuses on developing strong global partnerships, in particular with Spanish and Portuguese-speaking universities, as well as cultural, political and economic challenges facing institutions around the world.
Santander Universities is a significant sponsor of scholarships for both staff and students at the University of Sheffield, encouraging educational opportunity and international mobility. Beneficiaries are carrying out projects ranging from management to medicine.
During the visit, the Vice-Chancellor will be visiting the Instituto Tecnologico de Aeronautica (ITA) – one of the leading engineering institutions in Brazil, where he will focus on deepening existing partnerships with the University, particularly in relation to advanced manufacturing. This work was described by the UK Ambassador to Brazil as a leading example of UK innovation at work, focused on making a difference internationally.
In addition, Sir Keith will also be paying tribute to a longstanding relationship between the University and CBMM mining company in Araxa, the world’s largest producers of niobium – a key material used in steel production, superalloys (in jet engines) and superconductors (MRI scanners).
Pioneering research into niobium was led by the late Professor Mike Sellars, a Sheffield graduate and longstanding member of staff, whose work led to the way niobium is used in high strength steels today. His work is held in the highest regard by CBMM – a mining company also known for its work in sustainability, environmental projects and ethical work practices.
The Vice-Chancellor will also meet with groups of alumni living and working in Brazil, a country of over 200 million people and one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
Brazil is also investing heavily in higher education through its Science Without Borders project which enables 110 UK universities to admit up to 10,000 Brazilian students over a four year period.
Sir Keith said: ‘I am delighted to be visiting this exciting country and taking forward important areas of collaboration between the University and key international partners in business and industry.
“Areas of historic strength in Sheffield’s research and teaching are of particular importance to this fast-growing economy and rapidly-changing society, and it is clear that the University is held in high regard as a key partner in areas of crucial national importance.
“I am also very glad to be talking to our alumni who are more than willing to share with us their insights and experience of the challenges and opportunities here in Brazil.’