As we begin the 2013–14 academic year, I am reminded again that the world we live in is rapidly getting smaller.
The global borders are shrinking and intellectual capital is a prized possession around the world. At UW–Platteville, we strive to offer the best education in various specialties, at an affordable price, not only to United States students, but also to students from points across the globe.
This year we welcomed 92 degree-seeking and exchange international students from locales such as Saudi Arabia, Germany, The Netherlands, South Korea and Brazil, among others. Those numbers have increased during the past few years. There are 32 international students studying through our online program this year, an increase from 21 in 2006–07.
The inclusion of international students on campus enhances our diversity, as well as diversity in the community. These students also gain the experience of living and learning in Southwest Wisconsin.
Students from Brazil are on campus thanks to a working partnership we have secured with the Brazilian government. Through the Scientific Mobility Program, Brazil is working to enhance its economy with intellectual capital. The program’s goal is to have 100,000 Brazilian undergraduate students studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics and one year studying abroad, with 75 percent of those students studying in the United States. The Brazilian government and sponsors cover the costs of these students studying in the United States, including at UW–Platteville.
The first Brazilian students arrived on campus last year.
During the life of this partnership, enhanced with the participation of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, I have had the opportunity to travel to Brazil for tours and meetings with high-ranking education officials.
The American Association of State Colleges and Universities, with the support and collaboration of the United States Consulate in Brazil, led a delegation of university presidents and chancellors to Brazil.
The purpose of the trip was to begin the work of establishing working relationships with Brazilian universities both public and private, Brazilian governmental agencies that oversee post-secondary education that would lead to significant numbers of Brazilian students to spend a year studying at AASCU member institutions, foster faculty exchanges and other mutually beneficial activities.
The program is in the early stages, however I am confident as we move along the education Brazilian students receive alongside their UW–Platteville counterparts will provide global dividends for many years to come.
Through this experience, we can also show our international friends that “cada día es un gran día para ser un pionero” (“every day is a great day to be a Pioneer”).