Fact Sheet
Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
March 19, 2011


Presidents Obama and Rousseff share a commitment to promoting an innovative U.S.-Brazil education partnership to meet the needs of a 21st century workforce. They agreed to strengthen educational exchanges, particularly between research and higher education institutions in the Science, Technology, Environment, and Math (STEM) fields. Both presidents believe that the prosperity of a country is significantly linked to the education of its people, which is enriched by shared academic experiences in other countries.

  • CAPES-Fulbright Strategic Dialogue Program: Recognizing the contribution the bilateral U.S.-Brazil Fulbright Program has made in promoting higher education exchanges, the Brazilian Federal Agency for the Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education (CAPES) and the Fulbright Commission launched this initiative to deepen cooperation between scholars from research centers from both countries in areas that are mutually beneficial. More than 5,500 Americans and Brazilians have participated in the U.S.-Brazil Fulbright Program since the program began in 1957.
  • Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE)/CAPES: Administered by the U.S. Department of Education and the Brazilian Ministry of Education, FIPSE/CAPES provides grants for up to four years to a consortia of academic institutions in Brazil and the United States. FIPSE/CAPES fosters the exchange of students and faculty, mutual recognition of academic credits, and shared curricular development among participating institutions.
  • Cooperation in Science and Technology: The United States and Brazil, through the National Science Foundation and CAPES, have agreed to develop joint activities promoting the exchange of students and scholars as well as joint research in biodiversity.
  • Linkages between Historically Black Colleges and Brazilian Universities: The United States and Brazil agreed to promote exchanges between U.S. Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Brazilian universities, in support of the U.S.-Brazil Joint Action Plan on Racial Equality. A Brazilian delegation of university leaders will attend the annual HBCU conference in Washington, D.C., in September 2011 with the goal of exchanging ideas about how to expand education opportunities to historically marginalized groups in both countries.
  • Fulbright Public-Private Initiatives: Through their strong bilateral Fulbright partnership, the United States and Brazil have established Fulbright Distinguished Chairs with the following U.S. universities: Columbia University (sociology), Notre Dame (Human Rights), University of Nebraska, Lincoln (Agricultural Studies), and University of Texas at Austin (Environmental Sciences); and with the following Brazilian institutions: State of Pernambuco Foundation for Science (Oil and Gas Engineering) and, through a public-partnership, ALCOA at the Federal University of Western Pará (Environmental Sciences).
  • Improving Public School Education: The United States and Brazil support improvements in public school education through the U.S.-Brazil School Principals Exchange Program sponsoring exchanges of award-winning public high school principals to share best practices and experiences. The International Leaders in Education Program (ILEP), sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, provides secondary school teachers in Brazil with a semester-long academic program at an American university, coupled with an internship at a high school in the United States. The United States has also organized a number of International Visitor and Voluntary Visitor programs for Brazilian participants related to improving public education.
  • U.S.-Brazil Partnership on Education: In March 2010, the United States and Brazil issued a joint statement to reaffirm the U.S.-Brazil Partnership for Education, which was established through the 1997 and 2007 Memoranda of Understanding on Education. Under the Partnership, the two countries endeavor to share information and expand cooperation in areas including promoting educational excellence; promoting diversity and equal opportunity in education; assessment, indicators and accountability; professional development for teachers and administrators; vocational-technical education; second language learning (English/Portuguese); U.S. community colleges and Brazilian federal institutes; and Higher education cooperation and mobility.