FinCEAL+ LAC organized a Finnish delegation to attend FAUBAI 2016 conference in Fortaleza, Brazil

FinCEAL+ LAC organized a delegation of Finnish university representatives to participate in the FAUBAI 2016 conference in Fortaleza, Brazil, on April 16th to 20th. The Brazilian Association for International Education – FAUBAl – organizes this yearly conference, which is the main event on the internationalization of Higher Education in Brazil. The theme for this year’s conference was Social Responsibility in the Internationalization of Higher Education. This was the first time Finland has been present at the conference that every year attracts hundreds of experts from Brazil and all over the world. The roughly 600 participants of FAUBAI 2016 represented a wide range of actors in the field of internationalization of universities: heads of international offices and other university representatives, specialists on internationalization, as well as associations and other related organizations from Brazil and abroad. The Finnish delegation was composed of representatives of Aalto University, University of Turku, Turku University of Applied Sciences, UniPID, FinCEAL+ and the Embassy of Finland in Brazil.

The first conference day on April 16th consisted of a EURAXESS Tour of Brazil event and a networking session in the afternoon. The aim of the Tour of Brazil event was to present about the various opportunities European countries offer for researcher mobility and scientific cooperation. Alongside representatives of Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Norway and Spain FinCEAL+ LAC Coordinator Kajsa Ekroos was invited to speak about what Finland has to offer for Brazilian scientists.

The conference continued with an informal networking day on the Praia do Futuro on Sunday to warm up for the three intensive conference days that followed. The conference sessions focused on different issues related to the general theme of the conference, such as diversity, reciprocity, minorities, and global citizenship, aiming at promoting more inclusive internationalization.

In addition to traditional conference sessions, three matchmaking sessions were organized during the conference days to allow foreign institutions to make direct contacts with the Brazilian universities. The Embassy of Finland hosted a matchmaking table, which was shared by all the participating Finnish institutions. Representatives of various Brazilian universities visited the table of Finland discussing cooperation possibilities with the different Finnish delegates.

The conference proved to be an efficient means for Finnish universities to network and create contacts with a good number and variety of potential Brazilian partner universities. The event also served for widening the general understanding of the volume and variety of the Brazilian HEI sector and the cooperation possibilities it offers. Based on the delegation’s experiences, Finnish attendance to FAUBAI conferences in the coming years can be recommended.

Picture credit: Johanna Kivimäki/UniPID