Claflin Presents Higher Education Partnership with Brazil to Columbia World Affairs Council

Aug 04, 2015

Partnership with Claflin and BrazilClaflin University President Henry N. Tisdale’s goal of increasing global awareness for the University was vividly articulated during his recent presentation to the Columbia (S.C.) World Affairs Council.  Dr. Tisdale and Dr. Karl Wright, provost and chief academic officer at Claflin, provided an overview of the University’s partnerships with eight Brazilian universities.

The World Affairs Councils of America represents and supports the largest national non-partisan network of local councils that are dedicated to educating, inspiring and engaging Americans in international affairs and the critical global issues of our times.  Fred Monk, the current Columbia WAC manager director and chairman emeritus, helped create the organization in 1994.

“These partnerships are consistent with Claflin’s mission of producing visionary leaders with global perspectives,” said Dr. Tisdale.

“They also combine the key elements of the importance of what students learn both in and outside of the classroom and how they adapt to a totally new environment.  We want our students to appreciate and respect diversity.”

The partnerships are designed as exchange programs that will introduce both American and Brazilian educators and students to different cultures, enhancing their academic experiences. 

Dr. Tisdale and Dr. Wright visited Brazil in June when an agreement was signed to establish an exchange program between Claflin and Universidade Salvador (UNIFACS).

Representing UNIFACS were Rector/President Professor Marcia Barros and Chancellor Joaquim Fernandes Manoel de Barros Sobrinho.  UNIFACS is located in Salvador, the capital of the state of Bahía and the third-largest city in Brazil. It is one of the top private post-secondary institutions in Salvador. More than 26,000 students are enrolled in UNIFACS’s undergraduate and graduate programs.  The Ministry of Education has recognized UNIFACS as the best private university in the state of Bahía and the best private university in the northeastern and northern regions of Brazil.  The UNIFACS law school is the only law school in Bahía that holds the Brazilian Bar Association certificate.

During the signing of the agreement, representatives from both institutions discussed the challenges of education in Brazil and the United States, the value of globalization, and the importance of crossing frontiers through knowledge of new languages and cultures. 

The agreement was signed in the chancellery room on the Graduate Campus of UNIFACS in the Stiep section of the city in Salvador, Brazil.

“This agreement expands the internationalization possibilities for both institutions," said Barros. “It will contribute to increasing the exchange of teachers and students from these institutions.  This agreement is based on a reciprocity that focuses on both English and Portuguese language learning."

Claflin’s partnerships with other Brazilian universities include Metodista University (Sao Paulo); Bahia University (Salvador); State University of Feira DeSantana (Bahia); Universidade do Extremo Sul Catarinense (Santa Catarina); and Terezinha Moreira De Oliveira (Aracaju Sergipe).

Claflin also has partnership agreements with universities in India, Kenya, Portugal, China and Taiwan that include study abroad and international research opportunities for students and faculty.  In 2013, Claflin established a federally-approved Intensive English Language Program (IELP) which has enrolled students from Brazil, Mexico and China. 

“We are reinforcing -- to our students, faculty and the community – that the visionary leaders of the future will be citizens of the world,” said Dr. Tisdale. “These partnerships are indicative of Claflin’s leadership in escalating discussions on global and multi-cultural awareness in higher education."

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