With Brazil having the largest source of international students in Australia outside of Asia, strong links with South America are more important than ever. University of Southern Queensland (USQ) Vice-Chancellor Professor Geraldine Mackenzie welcomed around 30 of her Brazilian counterparts as part of an international delegation visit to USQ Toowoomba this week.

SEMESP (Sindicato das Entidades Mantenedoras de Estabelecimentos de Ensino Superior no Estado de São Paulo) represents a network of private higher education institutions in Brazil and is currently undertaking a tour of Australia to explore new strategic alliances with academia, research, government and industry. The group, comprised of university rectors and presidents, met with USQ leaders and staff to discuss shared interests such as community engagement, research expertise and online education.

Toowoomba Regional Council Mayor Paul Antonio attended the welcome and gave the group an introduction to the region and its economy, including the impact of education. USQ Deputy Vice-Chancellor Carl Rallings said the university welcomed all opportunities to deepen academic and research engagement between USQ and Brazil. “SEMESP is a fantastic organisation that connects and protects Brazilian private universities and whose members work closely with overseas universities,” he said. “Sharing knowledge is mutually beneficial, we have a lot to teach each other in the areas of research, teaching and community engagement. In particular, USQ’s expertise in online education is something they’re very interested in. Hopefully, we will see some wonderful collaborations between our two organisations emerge from this visit.”

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