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Brazil trip instigates future collaborations

Posted 21 September 2015

Mr de Aguiar and Professor Kettlewell during the visit to Vicosa.

Two senior members of staff from Harper Adams University have recently returned from a profile-raising trip to Brazil, where they discussed future collaborations and joint research projects.

Research Co-ordinator Professor Peter Kettlewell and Senior Lecturer Luís de Aguiar visited three universities and a research station as part of the trip, in hope of establishing future exchange schemes.

They visited two large multi-subject institutions - Universidade Federal de Viçosa and Universidade Federal de Santa Maria; as well as the agricultural-focused Universidade Tecnológica Federal do Paraná, Câmpus Dois Vizinhos (UTFPR).

Professor Kettlewell said: “All of the places that we visited had some form of link to Harper Adams, so the aim of our visit was to build on these existing relationships for future collaboration.

“Discussions included staff and student exchange schemes, joint research projects and even joint degrees.

“This proved an extremely successful visit and we received a warm welcome everywhere we visited.

“It was clear that soil management is very important to farming in Brazil, and one of the next steps agreed is to send two soils experts from Harper Adams to speak at an agronomist and farmer-focused soils conference being held at UTFPR.”

The university’s initial connection to Brazil began through the Science Without Borders scheme - a Brazilian Government scholarship programme managed by two Brazilian higher education agencies - CAPES and CNPq.

Harper Adams is one of the UK participants in this scheme and offers Brazilian students the opportunity to study Agricultural Engineering at undergraduate level for a sandwich year, as well as for PhD students to attend for either a sandwich year or a full-time three year PhD programme across a range of STEM and agri-food related areas.

Mr de Aguiar, fluent in Portuguese, said: “It was very rewarding to hear from Brazilian researchers and students who had been to Harper Adams, talking about their experiences.

“The support that the university gives to international students is second to none. Interaction with a cross section of different departments such as domestic services, catering, language support, the library, the laboratories and the option to have one-to-one sessions with the lecturers is what makes Harper Adams a special place not only for learning, but also for experiencing life in the UK.”

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