Strategies for Internationalization
The internationalization strategy adopted by UFV in the last years included an effort to increase substantially the number of students participating on exchange programs in foreign countries. This task has been facilitated by an exchange program launched by the Brazilian government, known as “Science without Borders”. UFV has used more than 1500 scholarships from this program, being one of the Brazilian universities with largest participation on the program. Maintaining these good results in the next years will be a challenge, since funds for the SWB program have declined.
Another key goal for the internationalization strategy is to increase the number of foreign students at UFV. Over 7% of UFV graduate students comes from other countries – although small when compared to European universities, this number is very relevant when considering Latin American institutions. The proportion of foreign undergraduate students at UFV, on the other hand, is still small (around 2%). One of the main actions recently adopted in order to increase the number of foreign students is to offer more regular courses in English. Classes in English in public Brazilian universities are not very common yet, especially in Science, and the UFV is one of the pioneers for this initiative.
Regarding the internationalization of graduate programs, the plans include the development of more agreements for double and joint degrees with internationally recognized research institutions. Currently, UFV has already established such agreements with institutions from United States, Spain, France, Belgium, The Netherlands and Australia.
The UFV was founded with the help of American partners in the second decade of the 20th century. Years later, in the 50’s, the first graduate programs were developed again with the help of American partners. Nowadays, the relationship with American institutions is still very strong. One of the goals for our internationalization policy is to make cooperation with European institutions equally strong. Participating on projects funded by the European Union, such as the ones from the program Erasmus+, is among our main goals.