MELBOURNE, FLA.—Florida Institute of Technology has been an international university since its founding in 1958. The tradition continues today with students from more than 100 countries, including an estimated 25 from Brazil.
Dean of the College of Engineering and Harris Professor Fredric Ham visited Brazil recently in an effort to develop another academic partnership to join two others that Florida Tech already has ongoing. In July he visited the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, meeting with like-minded academicians there.
Already in place is Florida Tech’s participation in the Brazilian government’s Science without Borders program, which provides scholarships to undergraduate students for a year of study in the United States. Scholarships go primarily to students in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. In 2011-2012 six students attended Florida Tech through this program and returned to finish their degrees in Brazil. This fall eight more such students will study at Florida Tech. Additionally, an estimated 17 more students from Brazil, who are self-funded, are at the university completing degrees in a variety of subjects, including engineering, business administration, marketing and aviation management.
An agreement with the University of Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil, was also established in 2011with the help of Ronaldo Menezes, a Florida Tech computer sciences department faculty member. This agreement has facilitated a dynamic exchange of faculty and students between the universities and has produced several joint technical papers.
“This exchange of quality faculty and students enriches teaching and promotes collaborative research,” said Ham. “These agreements and our participation in international education programs, such as Science without Borders, offer cultural experiences to everyone involved that remarkably enhance the educational experience.”