Executive Vice-Rector for International Relations from USP, Professor Adnei Melges de Andrade, visited the University on Tuesday 11 September to discuss the establishment of research collaborations and staff and student exchange programmes between the two universities.

The Universidade de São Paulo has around 90,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students and has a strong track record for world-class research, publishing around 9,000 papers per year.

USP will also be involved in the preparations of the athletes competing in the 2016 Olympic Games to be held in Rio de Janeiro and so hopes to learn from the successful experience of Bath, which hosted athletes preparing for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Professor Melges de Andrade said: “I am delighted to be at the University of Bath and to help form this new partnership between our universities.

“Internationalisation is very important for universities so that they can provide their students the best conditions in which to understand the world, enabling them to work without frontiers by understanding the language and also the culture of others.

“Each country has its own solutions to research problems, whether in science, engineering or in the social sciences, so this partnership will enable us to share our different approaches to the global challenges that affect society.”

Professor Melges de Andrade was keen to stress that the Memorandum of Understanding would not be “simply a piece of paper that gathers dust” but would be followed up swiftly with actions aimed at strengthening collaboration between the universities.

He said: “We signed this Memorandum of Understanding today and are already putting plans into action. Professor Marilia Mendes Ferreira, from our Department of Modern Languages, is currently based in Bath’s Faculty of Humanities as a visiting professor.

“I foresee that we will have many such exchange visits of academics and students in the future.”

A senior delegation from Bath is already being planned to visit USP in November to discuss potential collaborations in, for example, architectural and engineering research, social policy, management and science - with a return visit from USP researchers also due to take place later in the year.

Professor Colin Grant, the University of Bath's Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Internationalisation, said: “I am very proud indeed to welcome Professor Melges de Andrade to the University of Bath.

“We have worked together before and have both have a strong commitment to internationalisation as a value in itself and also to creating concrete outcomes such as research collaborations, student mobility, innovation and knowledge sharing.

“It’s very exciting for the University of Bath to be partnered with such a high profile international university. Bath will be investing its efforts into a select range of very high quality partners such as the Universidade de São Paulo.

“This is a tremendous step for the University of Bath as it further develops its international strengths.”