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Harper Government Celebrates Brazilian Students Completing Term in Schools Across Canada

International students help create good jobs here in Canada, contribute billions of dollars to the economy and build people-to-people ties that help boost our trade and investment abroad, says Minister Fast

December 17, 2012 - The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, and Don McRae, British Columbia Minister of Education, today visited Abbotsford Senior Secondary School in Abbotsford, B.C., where they met some of the 410 students from the Brazilian state of Pernambuco who are completing their term in Canadian high schools. Other federal and provincial representatives held similar events at schools across the country.

“Strong people-to-people ties are helping Canada continue to strengthen its relationship with fast-growing Brazil,” said Minister Fast. “That is why we are delighted that so many Brazilian students have chosen to come to Canada to study. When these high school students return home in January, they will forever be goodwill ambassadors who will help grow the Canada-Brazil partnership for years to come.”

The students are in Canada under an agreement between the Canadian Bureau for International Education, a non-governmental organization, and the government of Pernambuco.

The student visits are part of Pernambuco’s Ganhe o Mundo, or Win the World, program, which offers improved educational opportunities, including the chance to learn English, to children from families of modest means. Overall, 1,000 students were chosen from 20,000 applicants to participate in the program, which is designed to prepare Brazil’s workforce for the future. Brazil is also preparing to host two signature global events: soccer’s World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Summer Games in 2016.

“Four hundred and ten Brazilian high school students are studying in Canada, and half of them chose to come to British Columbia,” said Minister McRae. “That’s an indication of the cultural diversity of this province, and we have an international education strategy to attract even more students to B.C. as it enriches our schools, our communities and our economy.”

Brazil and Canada have many strong education links. For example:

  • In 2011, there were more than 2,400 Brazilian students studying in Canada for more than six months.
  • Canada is the number one destination for Brazilians wanting to study English as a second language and is second only to France for the study of French, with more than 20,000 students, usually for under six months, choosing Canada annually.
  • The Canada-Brazil agreement on academic mobility supports some 100 Canadian and Brazilian PhD students in joint research projects.
  • Close to 200 agreements are in place between Canadian and Brazilian educational institutions.
  • During his official visit to Brazil in April 2012, the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, announced that by 2015 Canada will welcome 12,000 Brazilian students at the undergraduate, doctoral and post-doctoral levels under the Government of Brazil’s Science Without Borders scholarship program.

“Brazil is a priority market for our exporters, and Brazilians’ interest in Canada’s world-class education sector is further proof that more must be done to unlock the true potential of the Canada-Brazil partnership,” said Minister Fast. “As part of the most ambitious plan to open new markets in our nation’s history, our government will continue to work with our Brazilian partners to bring prosperity to people in both countries—now and into the future.”

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Rudy Husny
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
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