The Office of International Academic Affairs has moved in recent months to bolster ties between BGU and higher institutions in Brazil, with a series of bi-lateral visits.
In August, Prof. Ofer Hadar, Chairman of the Department of Communication Systems Engineering visited seven universities around Brazil for a lecture tour, with support from the Israeli embassy in Brasília.
Some 40 representatives of higher education institutions in Brazil (pictured above) visited BGU's Marcus Family Campus this week for an afternoon seminar on the University's academic achievements, community outreach programs and discussions about creating exchange programs between BGU and Brazilian universities and colleges.
Prof. Limor Aharonson-Daniel, Vice-Rector for International Academic Affairs, described the University and discussed its achievements in various arenas.
Of special interest were the University's cyber-technology ecosystem and the interplay between academia, the private sector and itsgrowing collaboration with the IDF's intelligence and communication corps.
Prof. Steve Rosen, Vice-President for External Affairs and Prof. Jose Janguie Bezzera Diniz, president of the Brazilian Association of Higher Education Holders (ABMES) discussed the possibility of academic collaboration and student exchange frameworks.
“There is so much potential for collaboration between BGU and universities in Brazil," said Prof. Aharonson-Daniel. “We will certainly follow-up on our talks about crafting student and staff mobility programs with universities in Brazil. It was gratifying that members of the delegation were so interested in hearing about our advances in cyber research, agriculture and water technology. They were also interested to hear about our ongoing commitment to making the University an integral part of the economic, cultural and social fabric of Beer-Sheva, and of the Negev region as a whole."
In addition to a survey of BGU's academic achievements, Adv. Vered Sarousi-Katz, director of the Department of Community Action and Dr. Tsiona Elkayam, director of the Jusidman Science Center for Youth discussed BGU's commitment to community outreach and efforts to open access to university-level study to the Negev community. Sarousi-Katz presented adult education programs including The Rothschild Cube – Center for Effective Social Action, the Kidma Program for remedial instruction in basic reading, mathematics, Hebrew and English skills and the Barvaz Theater group for teenagers.
Dr. Elkayam presented the Jusidman Center's efforts to engage children as young as 13 years old in science, robotics, cyber research, engineering and more.
“Our goal is to reach every community in southern Israel, from Ashdod all the way to Eilat," Dr. Elkayam told the group. “The goal of the Jusidman Center is to excite young people about science, and about knowledge in general. We want to nurture children's natural curiosity throughout the southern region and to make sure that everyone has equal opportunities to learn and to access academic-level study."
“Obviously, our primary goal in coming here was to talk about academic collaboration with BGU and establishing student exchange programs," said Niv Santos of Fainor College in Vitória da Conquista, some 300 kilometers from the Atlantic coast in the north-eastern state of Bahia. “But there is so much for us to learn from your community outreach programs. In Brazil, there are so many poor people, and they basically have no opportunity to study in universities. BGU has given us a terrific model to try to emulate."
Above: The delegation on the Marcus Family Campus.