Monday 15 September 2014


Delegates from 12 Brazilian universities will arrive in Northern Ireland next week. 

They’re here as part of a UK-wide visit to seek out long-term academic partnerships and find out more about our Higher Education Sector.

Hailing from all corners of Brazil, the universities will look at research and institutional links with both Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Ulster. 

This is the first time such a delegation has arrived in Northern Ireland, having been invited through a joint initiative between British Council Northern Ireland and FAUBI – the Association of Brazilian Higher Education Institutions’ Offices for International Relations.  

They will be welcomed to Northern Ireland at a special reception at Belfast City Hall hosted by Deputy Lord Mayor Maire Hendron, before discovering what Northern Ireland has to offer, with discussions from the Department for Employment and Learning, Invest NI and the NI English language sector represented by English UK – Northern Ireland. 

Their trip will cumulate with campus visits to both Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Ulster to meet a range of staff involved in international partnerships and links.

Such a visit could be vital to Northern Ireland – with new reports suggesting that export sales to Brazil have helped drive Northern Ireland’s economic recovery.  

HMRC statistics have shown that export sales to Brazil were approximately £34.6m within the 2013-2014 period.  

According to Vicky Kell, Director of Trade at Invest NI, Northern Ireland must continue to find ways to develop business links with Brazil.

She said: “Northern Ireland has strong links with Brazil and visits such as this are an important way strengthen this relationship and identify new ways to partner together. Exporting services and identifying collaborative research opportunities are an important part of the export mix.

“Invest NI has assisted Northern Ireland companies to develop trade links with Brazil through commissioned market research and dedicated in market assistance, as well as hosting trade missions to key centres within Brazil which included assisting educational links with key Brazilian institutes.  Both universities are already attracting students from Brazil through the ‘Science without Borders Programme’ and we want to build on that programme and promote further links with government and business in Brazil.”

Speaking about the mission, Jonathan Stewart Deputy Director of the British Council, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for our universities and other local stakeholders to meet staff from Brazilian universities who are interested in developing strategic partners and alliances with the UK. 

“The visit also provides a chance to raise awareness of our English language offer to emerging economies such as Brazil, where there is a pressing need for English language skills. 

“The English Language sector, which contributes £16m to our economy annually, is often a hidden source of income – it is therefore crucial to keep strengthening links with these kind of emerging markets.”

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. For more information visit

Notes to Editor

Event details

The Brazilian delegates will be in Northern Ireland from September 23-24

September 23 

Welcome reception, City Hall Belfast, 6.30pm 

September 24

Morning: Discussions with DEL, Invest NI and English UK – Northern Ireland

Afternoon: Visits to the University of Ulster and Queen’s University Belfast campuses. 


  • The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We work in over 100 countries worldwide to build engagement and trust for the UK through the exchange of knowledge and ideas between people. We work in the arts, education, English, science, sport and governance and last year we engaged face to face with 18.4 million people and reached 652 million. We are a non-political organisation which operates at arm’s length from government. Our total turnover in 2009/10 was £705 million, of which our grant-in-aid from the British government was £211 million. For every £1 of government grant we receive, we earn £2.50 from other sources. For more information, please visit: or follow us on Twitter: @BCouncil_NI
  • FAUBAI is the leading institution for international education in Brazil. It was founded in 1988, and has around 250 institutional members. FAUBI aims to support the internalisation of Brazilian higher education ; to promote the diversity and potential of the Brazilian higher education system abroad. 


About the British Council

For further information please contact: 

Claire McAuley T +44 (0) 28 9019 2224 | M +44 (0) 7856524504 Twitter: @BCouncil_NI