Biobased Economy under Higher Education International Cooperation

By:DeputyRepresentative Belo Horizonte


mar 2015

Traditional commercial and educational partner of Brazil, the Netherlands is increasingly committed to stimulate scientific cooperation between the two countries.

In this context, since early March, the Director General of Higher Education, Professional Education, Science and Emancipation of Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, Mr. Hans Schutte is visiting Brazil. He is accompanied by a delegation with representatives of higher education institutions and meets in Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, Brasilia and Sao Paulo. Among those present are the institutes Shipping Transport College (STC), The Hague University of Applied Sciences (THUAS) and Skills Netherlands. The delegation will visit various federal government ministries and state agencies to discuss opportunities through cooperation in research, higher and professional education.

The exchange of experiences and knowledge on innovation in education area are important topics on the table when the delegation is expected at the Ministry of Education (MEC), in Secretariat of Vocational and Technological Education (Setec). The intention of the mission will indicate new prospects for further deepen the already established cooperation between the two countries. “The goal is working to implement the projects discussed during the mission and further deepen relations between Brazil and the Netherlands in the area of higher education; identify areas of excellence in vocational education area and explore potential for internationalization of this, “said Han Peters, Ambassador of the Netherlands in Brazil.

With 11 of the 14 research universities allocated in the top 200 ranking of the best universities in the planet (6 of them being in the top 100), the Netherlands has the third best higher education system in the world, according to the prestigious Times Higher Education Ranking (2014-15). A result to be highlighted for a country with only 17 million inhabitants and a smaller land area that the State of Rio de Janeiro.

The group of Brazilian students having The Netherlands as their “target-country” doubled in the past two years. The Science without Borders to The Netherlands has achieved highly positive results: The first phase of the program took about 2000 Brazilian scholarship holders to the country, including the students already selected which will take up studies in September 2015. Fifty percent of graduate students participating in program in universities of applied sciences, and many of them had the opportunity to complement the academic experience performing practices and research stages. The Netherlands also has received several students of the Federal Institutes of Education of the Federal Education Network Professional, Scientific and Technical. As a result, there was an increase in the number of agreements cooperation between Dutch universities of applied sciences and these institutions.

In scientific cooperation area, the Netherlands maintains excellent relations with, for instance, CNPq and FAPESP and has the intention to expand cooperation with SENAI. One of the Netherlands’ strengths is the intense connection between business and applied research. An example of a public-private partnership between researchers and companies is the Be-Basic. For details, see

The country is also investing to expand the number of Dutch in Brazilian universities through the new scholarship program of the Government Dutch Holland Scholarship, which aims to stimulate mobility students to countries outside Europe. In addition, cooperation between Dutch and Brazilian universities facilitate the exchange between the two countries for education and research. An innovative project in this area is the Living Lab Biobased Brazil, where three of Minas Gerais universities and three Dutch are developing projects together, seeking to maintain a permanent flow of knowledge between countries through the exchange of students and teachers. Learn more about this project

Brazilian institutions, who wish to know more about higher education in the Netherlands, are information on

Mr. Hans Schutte, Mrs. Ellen Bijlsma and Arjen Uijterlinde

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