Brazilian economy fuels HE exchange

Nieuws | de redactie
7 maart 2012 | Brazilian state-run oil giant, Petrobras, announces it will contribute €139 million to the country’s €1.5 billion scholarship program aimed at ambitious students planning to study abroad. Oil revenues in the booming economy are tied with R&D, education investments – even by law.

Last year, Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff introduced “Science without Borders”, ascholarship program worth 3.5 billion reais (€1.5 billion) to send100,000 talented Brazilians to study abroad. Rousseff planned toget economics stakeholders on board as well by having businessespay for 25,000 of these spots.

Now, the National Petroleum Agency (ANP) announced that it authorized Brazil’s largestoil producer, Petrobras, to finance 5,000 students to study abroadas part of “Science without Borders”. With funds of 320.9 millionreais (€139 million), Petrobras will support undergraduate,postgraduate and doctoral students.

1% of oil revenues for R&D andeducation

This development is directly linked to the economic boom Brazilcurrently experiences. Only recently, it became public that the country overtook the UnitedKingdom as the 6th largest economy in the world drivenby income from natural resources.

The state owned firm Petrobras significantly contributes to thisgrowth which also benefits higher education. Part of the firm’s oilconcession contract with the government is a clause that obligesthe firm to invest 1% of gross revenues from high yield oil fieldsinto R&D and education projects. This is also where the moneyfor Petrobras 5,000 scholarships comes from.

Universities in the United States, France and Great Britainmight be especially happy about this news. During her diplomatictravels abroad, Rousseff signed agreements paving the way fortalented Brazilian students into American, French and Britishuniversities.

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