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  2. His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston
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News

Official Visit to Brazil - Statement by the Governor General on Canada’s Participation in Science Without Borders Program

April 24, 2012

Official Visit to Brazil
Statement by the Governor General on Canada’s Participation in  Science Without Borders Program

BRASILIAI am delighted to be here today with President Rousseff to announce Canada’s participation as a host country in the Science Without Borders program.

Let me begin by expressing my sincere thanks to Her Excellency, for inviting me to Brazil on this visit, and for her vision in creating this wonderful international scholarship program for Brazilians. 

Having met with Her Excellency to discuss the details and aims of this initiative, I am confident that Canada and Brazil are about to embark upon a remarkable journey of dialogue and discovery.   

My visit to Brazil comes at an important time in the relationship between our two countries. As a nation, Brazil is on an impressive trajectory, and has truly arrived as a significant player on the international stage. Canada, meanwhile, is looking to the world with a renewed sense of purpose, in which learning and innovation are key priorities.

Today, our multi-faceted ties are entering a new, more dynamic phase, in which the Science Without Borders program will play a central role. Canada’s expertise in education, in innovation and in science and technology promise to make us a valuable partner in learning with Brazil.

We have so much to learn from and share with each other. It therefore gives me great pleasure to announce that Canada is able to welcome 12 000 Brazilian students to our country under the Science Without Borders program.

This new partnership in learning holds such wonderful potential for both Brazilians and Canadians.

Throughout our history, Canadians have worked hard to build an education system devoted to both equality of opportunity and excellence. In Canada, learning is viewed as a fundamental part of our smart and caring society, and we are proud to offer high-quality education and research programs, as well as a strong professional and technological sector.

I am certain that the Brazilian students and researchers who come to Canada will quickly appreciate the depth and commitment of our learning. Allow me to share with you some specifics as to what they can expect during their time in Canada.

I have no doubt that Brazilian students will get a warm welcome from Canadians, who view diversity as a strength and who pride themselves on our embrace of multiculturalism. Throughout our history, people have come to Canada from abroad, seeking to improve their lives and those of their children. And perhaps the single most important avenue of success has been broadly accessible, quality education.

In this way, learning is the foundation of our society. Canadians appreciate that knowledge belongs to everyone, and that inclusiveness only strengthens our understanding. I am certain that Brazilian students will benefit from the richness of our learning environment, and that they will contribute to it in turn.

The diversity of perspectives within the student body and the emphasis on critical thinking, innovation and entrepreneurship in schools are all distinguishing features of Canada’s education system. And we are also very fortunate to enjoy safe and supportive environments in which to learn, both on and off campus.

Further afield, Brazilian students will encounter a country as large, varied and beautiful as their own. I truly hope each of them takes the opportunity to explore Canada during their stay—and that their families and friends come to visit too!

I can also tell you with certainty that Canadians will appreciate the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of Brazil. These exchanges will bring us closer together as peoples, and I am confident that our collaboration will result in many new insights and discoveries.

We are eager to get started. Later this week, I will lead a delegation of 30 Canadian university presidents to Rio de Janeiro for the second Conference of the Americas on International Education—an important forum for enhancing academic mobility and collaboration. Because we not only want to see more Brazilians studying in Canada, we also want to see more Canadians studying in Brazil and experiencing all of the wonderful things this country has to offer.

The first edition of the Conference was held in Canada in 2010, and the size of our delegation at this year’s event signals our commitment to being an education leader in the Americas and beyond.

Brazilians, like Canadians, recognize the critical value of education, and the role that scientific knowledge plays in building smart, innovative societies. Through education, trade and innovation, we can strengthen our communities and prosper together.

Partnerships—across borders and across disciplines—are essential to our learning today. Partnerships drive discovery, and they teach us how to live together and co-operate. I like to call this the diplomacy of knowledge, and this kind of collaboration is the essence of the Science Without Borders program.

On behalf of all Canadians, I am delighted to announce our participation in this far-sighted and important program. We look forward to welcoming Brazilian students and researchers to Canada for years to come.

In addition, Canada will adopt a distinctive multi-partner approach to its support of Science Without Borders scholars. It will be our intention to work with Canadian business, education and research institutions to offer a comprehensive support package which will include language instruction, business internships and practical laboratory experience.

David Johnston

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Media information:
Julie Rocheleau
Rideau Hall Press Office
613-998-7280
jrocheleau@gg.ca

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