UBC, a potted history

The vision of Doctor Petra-Manuela Schuwerack, a lecturer in Marine Environment at the University, UBC was launched in 2008. 

Here she talks about how it all began, the connections that have been established and the work that continues to progress those links.

I remember vividly how it all started:

I had a vision of an international network and student exchange program with South America and the Caribbean, a vision that started to became reality after I presented a seminar, via videoconference, to staff and students of the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC) in December 2008. 

Sharing my idea with Professor Alcir Dafre, his team and colleagues at UFSC quickly led to the birth of University Brazilian Connections (UBC). A successful funding bid to The British Council followed, and a few months later Marcela Uliano, the first student, arrived to study with Doctor John Moody and me at Plymouth.

In June 2009 I travelled to UFSC with Professors Mick Fuller and Malcolm Hart. Whilst there we visited the Federal University of Paraiba (UFPB) and by the end of this visit we had our second partnership agreement. Videoconferences between staff at Plymouth, UFSC and UFPB followed, bringing together more staff from an expanding range of disciplines to discuss collaboration.

Federal University of Rio Grande (FURG) became our third partner, followed by the Federal University of Espiritu Santo (UFES). News of UBC’s network and student exchange program spread after the first four Brazilian students came to study at Plymouth with the help of further British Council funding. Yet more students and members of staff from marine science, engineering, social science and business studies were supported in their travel and research.

It has been a wonderful journey so far with many success stories.