May 2, 2012

Coady Institute at StFX forges ties with Brazil

  • Agreement promotes exchanges of community leaders.
  • Seminars, exchanges and joint research will highlight best practices in community-based leadership and sustainable development.
  • Partners to explore how universities, governments and private sector can promote effective citizen participation.


ANTIGONISH, Nova Scotia – The Coady International Institute at StFX University today announced a five-year agreement with the Government of Brazil and the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil that promotes the shared goal of building active, engaged citizens in both countries.
 
“We are very excited to work with our Brazilian colleagues,” says Dr. Sean Riley, president of St. Francis Xavier University. “StFX, particularly through the Coady International Institute, has had a long history of promoting citizen-led and community-led development. And Brazil has been recognized for its exemplary commitment to civic engagement at all levels of society. It’s a perfect match.”
 
Dr. John Gaventa, director of the Coady Institute and vice-president of International Affairs at StFX, says Brazil has built a solid reputation for using adult education to engage citizens at all levels.
 
“Brazil has a systematic process of awareness and mobilization that promotes dialogue and active participation,” says Gaventa. “We can learn from their work as we share techniques and approaches that support social and economic participation. We hope the lessons learned will benefit not only our two countries, but emerging democracies in other parts of the world.”
 
"Today it's our honour to have this agreement because we're talking about the construction of democracy," said Gilberto Carvalho, chief minister of the General Secretariat of the Presidency in Brazil. "This is not only a partnership between universities, but also a partnership between the humanity and the people of Canada and Brazil.
 
Canada's ambassador to Brazil, Jamal Khokhar, said the StFX partnership agreement shows how the two countries can "work together in a spirit of cooperation, generosity and support for our shared role in building an active, capable and engaged citizenry."
 
Thirty Canadian university presidents were in Brazil to strengthen relationships with their counterparts. Their tour was organized by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC).They announced new partnerships and memoranda of understanding to advance research, innovation and student mobility.  
 
The Federal University of Minas Gerais is one of Brazil’s five largest universities. It offers 75 undergraduate degrees and has a total student population of more than 37,000. Its origins go back to the late 1800s. The Brazilian government has been funding the university since 1949.
 
Coady International Institute at StFX University has been educating development professionals from around the world since 1959. Through its unique, community-based approach, the Coady Institute equips citizen leaders to address contemporary global challenges and opportunities. Our network includes thousands of graduates and partners working in 130 countries.
 
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Contact:  

Richard Perry
Media and Communications Officer
Coady International Institute
Tel: (902) 867-4933 or 870-9662  
Email: rperry@stfx.ca