14 Mar 2023

Fernanda Leal & Marcelo Knobel: A briefing on Brazil

Fernanda Leal & Marcelo Knobel: A briefing on Brazil


What’s new these days in (international) higher education in Brazil, home to the largest higher education system in Latin America? For starters, in 2022, the country elected a new president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who returns to the role after having served as president from 2003 to 2010. In the face of many challenges, he’s also making a promise: to deliver 'more books in place of guns.' What does his return to office mean for Brazilian HEIs and what is on the horizon when it comes to internationalisation in particular?

In this podcast episode we talk to Fernanda Leal, Director of International Relations at the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC), and Marcelo Knobel, President at Insper Institute of Education and Research. Interested in learning about the importance of digital learning and the role of inclusion, equity and diversity in this highly diverse society? Or how Brazilian institutions deal with international ranking systems, and what exactly the place of English or other foreign languages in the country’s higher education system is? Tune in to this podcast episode to find out more!

About Fernanda Leal

Fernana Leal is Director of International Relations at the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC), Brazil. She has a PhD in Administration from Universidade do Estado de Santa Catarina (UDESC), Brazil and is a former visiting scholar at the Center for International Higher Education (CIHE), Boston College (BC), United States. She is also former temporary faculty at the Universidade Federal de Sergipe (UFS), Brazil, as well as leader of the theme "University, Society and State in Contemporaneity" of the Division of Organizational Studies of the Associação Nacional de Pós-Graduação e Pesquisa em Administração (ANPAD), Brazil. She is also a member of the interinstitutional research groups "Multiple Perspectives on the University: People, Territories and Projects"; and "Education, Multilingualism, Internationalization, and Technology". Fernanda has written several articles and book chapters on internationalization of Higher Education, with a focus on South-South Cooperation and decoloniality.

About Marcelo Knobel

Marcelo Knobel is President at Insper Institute of Education and Research. He held other leadership roles, including: Rector of the University of Campinas (Unicamp), Executive Director of the Unicamp Exploratory Science Museum, Vice-Rector for Undergraduate Programs, Vice-President of the Brazilian Physics Society and Executive Director of the Brazilian Nanotechnology National Laboratory (LNNano). Knobel has already published more than 300 scientific papers, in addition to numerous opinion pieces in both national and international newspapers and magazines. He is the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials (Elsevier). Knobel is an Eisenhower Fellow (2007), Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (2009) and Lemann Fellow (2015). He is Member of the Governing Council of the Magna Charta Observatory.

Additional resources

For further insights into the topics touched on in this episode, the following resources may be of interest:

→ University World News article: Cautious optimism in universities greets new president Lula

→ Internationalisation: rooted in resilience

→ 2021 Spring Forum: Europe and the Global South


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