In December 2012, the Ministry of Education (Ministério da Educação – MEC) launched the English without Borders Programme, with a view to promoting English-language training for Brazilian undergraduate university students and preparing them for the English-language examinations required by universities in English-speaking countries.
The next step taken in Brazil in relation to the internationalization of higher education involved launch of the Languages without Borders Programme in 2014. The initiative increased the number of target languages to include German, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, as well as Portuguese for non-native speakers. The purpose is to strengthen training in academic communities for student participation in the Science without Borders Programme and other international programmes abroad by providing students with better command of host country languages and, in this way, developing the skills required for academic mobility.
In this context, the object of the action was to organise an international conference in Brasilia to foster in-depth discussions on the internationalization of higher education and language education in Brazil and the development of policies to promote multilingualism. The event included the participation of European Programme partners, including representatives from Germany, Belgium, Spain, Italy and France, in addition to the contribution and dissemination of policies applied in multilingual countries such as Austria, the Netherlands and others. The initiative served to support mutual understanding of the issue and to identify opportunities for cooperation in language teaching and learning in Brazil and the EU.
To execute the event, a local expert was contracted with primary responsibility for framing the conceptual structure of the conference, preparing reports on scheduled debates and systematizing data for purposes of publishing the respective outcomes. In addition, the action sponsored the participation of five European professors to conduct panels on European and Brazilian Practices for the Internationalization Management of Higher Education and the Role Played by Linguistic Policies and Multilingualism in the Internationalization Process of Universities.
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