The Chronicle reports on the recent Congress of the Americas and the debate on the opportunities and challenges of interest from North American institutions in partnering with Latin American universities http://chronicle.com/article/In-Brazil-a-Conference-on/131721. Interest from both Canadian and American university representatives was high- especially with Brazil in light of its emergence as a global economic power. The essay was interesting in noting concerns about “the increasingly commercial focus of internationalization.” Somehow I doubt this was a concern shared by North American educators looking for added revenue from a new wave of international students (i.e: it was reported that Canada’s delegation signed 35 new partner agreements with 18 Brazilian institutions.
Trying to allay fears that a new era of “brain drain” was on the horizon, the EAIE president, Gudron Paulsdottir stated: “People will find a way home. And when they study, they will build knowledge and build networks.” The Canadians want to increase the number of Brazilians studying North from 500 to 12,000 – a huge shift of brainpower and labor market talent out of the country…How long before they return home?