The Institute for Applied Economic Research (Ipea) published, last month, the 2021 Brazilian Cooperation for International Development (COBRADI) preliminary report, which included the participation of the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC). Invited to speak in the launch event, UFSC was recognized as one of the federal public institutions with the best international cooperation practices, standing out in the fields of internationalization and educational and scientific cooperation.
“The COBRADI research has been carried out by Ipea since 2010 and, in this edition, it has included the participation of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and the collection of data on South-South cooperation. We decided to participate in the research due to the importance of knowing and disseminating the University’s contribution to international cooperation for development. In addition, the data obtained may support our institutional internationalization policy”, says the Director of International Relations at UFSC, Fernanda Leal.
Since its implementation, COBRADI has helped the Federal Government in the planning of its external actions, and, from 2022, the survey has become the official source of information on Brazil’s contributions to the progress of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in other countries. The results are also regularly shared with the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), so that the Brazilian external expenditures on SDGs can be integrated with those of other countries, as well as with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), to help measure and quantify South-South Cooperation.
Ms. Leal observes that there are several methodological challenges involved in carrying out this research, mainly related to the fragmentation of internationalization data at the University. “However, through the collaboration of SINTER [Office of International Relations] with the International Relations program and the support from various University units, such as PROPESQ [Prorectorate for Research and Innovation], PROEX [Prorectorate for Outreach and Extension], the Internationalization Coordination Office at PROPG [Prorectorate for Graduate Studies] and the Personnel Training Coordination Office at PRODEGESP [Prorectorate for Personnel Management and Development], we have been able to advance and design a methodology that may even guide other HEIs that decide to participate in the next editions of the research.”
Professor Iara Leite, from the International Relations program, has been coordinating the data collection methodology and involving her students in the analyses. “The participation of students is essential to promote the curricularization of outreach at our university, including by carrying out classroom activities, and it would be interesting to take this model to other International Relations programs at universities that want to collect their data.”
“With the emergence of new evaluation indicators of graduate programs in Brazil, which begin to assess social impacts, we considered it important to involve the Graduate Program in International Relations too. This is happening through the outstanding participation of the master’s student Tayane Tjader Martins in the team, who is not only transforming data into information, but also developing a thesis on the subject”, adds Professor Leite.
For the Secretary for International Relations at UFSC, Luiz Carlos Pinheiro Machado Filho, the University’s participation in the 2021 COBRADI research is the result of the good practices carried out by various university units, as well as of the efforts made by SINTER’s staff to provide information to Ipea. “UFSC was one of the three federal higher education institutions (FHEIs) to be invited to speak in the event, represented by our administrative coordinator, Rafaela Céspedes. The evaluation of the institutions’ work fundamentally depends on the quality and quantity of the data made available. By innovating in the design of a methodology for collecting data from different sources, UFSC contributes to a better evaluation of the work carried out at the FHEIs”, he stresses.
“Precisely from 2022, the results of the COBRADI survey will guide the Brazilian Government in planning its external actions, being a reference for the progress of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in other countries. The reliability of the data is of paramount importance for this purpose. An interesting data from the 2021 COBRADI report is the cost per full-time equivalent student at the FHEIs, which was R$ 21,936.29/year in 2021. Considering the quality of the education and the student assistance provided (university restaurant, scholarships, housing), it is an extremely low cost, which demonstrates the high efficiency of Brazilian public higher education”, adds the Secretary.
The 2021 COBRADI preliminary report consists of four chapters. The first presents an overview of the new research methodology and discusses the themes that represent methodological challenges for this year and the years to come. Essentially aimed at public policy makers and decision makers inside and outside the Brazilian Government, the second chapter is unprecedented compared to the previous editions of the report. It brings the main research data at an intermediate level of disaggregation, allowing a quick reading and understanding of the trends in Brazilian international cooperation in 2021.
The third chapter is aimed at the executors of cooperation actions and provides a maximum level of detail of the data collected, describing the Brazilian institutions, the cooperation initiatives and the types of cooperation. Finally, the fourth chapter is intended for all those interested in the topic of internationalization of Brazilian HEIs, particularly in the areas of mobility and international research networks.
More information about COBRADI and the preliminary report, which will be complemented with new data from UFSC until the end of January, are available on the Ipea website. SINTER also promoted a webinar on the University’s participation in the research, available here (in Portuguese).
Translated by SINTER/UFSC.
Read the original article here.