LAKELAND, Fla. – Florida Polytechnic University has signed historic education agreements with organizations in Brazil and Morocco as part of its efforts to recruit international students to the university.
The memoranda of understanding (MOUs) will help the universities develop student and faculty exchange programs, student internships, and joint research projects.
The MOU with the Centro Universitário de Brusque (UNIFEBE) in Brazil creates study abroad opportunities between the university and Florida Poly. The MOUs with organizations in the Kingdom of Morocco create partnerships with the Dahkla Oued Dahab region of the country for academic and scientific studies, as well as study abroad programs with Al Akhawayn University.
“We see Florida Poly as an ideal partner for our university and our students, said Professor Günther Lother Pertschy, President of UNIFEBE. “Students from Brazil who want to study in the United States are looking for a place to grow and develop personally and academically. Florida Poly is that place for our students.”
The MOU with UNIFEBE will enhance relations between Florida Poly and Brazil’s Center for Technology and Innovation in Manufacturing. That center plays a pivotal role in tourism, transportation and technology industries in Brazil – and will provide research and internship opportunities for Florida Poly students and faculty.
“For us to truly be a world-class university, we need to develop and grow these types of international relationships,” said Florida Poly President Dr. Randy K. Avent. “By partnering with our friends in the country of Brazil and the Kingdom of Morocco, we will create exciting learning opportunities for Florida Poly faculty and students for many years to come.”
Florida Poly and Al Akhawayn University, as well as the Dahkla Oued Dahab region of Morocco, developed their partnerships due to several shared interests – such as tourism, agriculture and phosphate. Morocco was the first country in the world to mine phosphate and currently holds about 75 percent of the world’s known phosphate reserves. Polk County, home to Florida Poly, is well known for its phosphate mining, and Florida Poly is home to the Florida Industrial and Phosphate Research Institute. The two partners hope that phosphate mining and research will be an area of future collaboration.
“At Florida Poly, we believe that innovation occurs when research and creativity are applied to real-world challenges,” said Scott Rhodes, Vice Provost of Enrollment Services at Florida Poly. “What better way to tackle real-world challenges than through collaboration with colleagues in another country with similar interests? I’m thrilled to be able to open our programs to international students and look forward to seeing the creativity that occurs when great minds come together from all over the world.”