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Source: Chuck Rice, 785-532-7217,
Note to editors: Similar stories on K-State's international efforts are available at:
News release prepared by: Steve Watson, 785-532-7105,

Monday, Aug. 31, 2009


MANHATTAN -- Kansas State University has received a $257,000 four-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education for a U.S.-Brazil student exchange program.

The Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, also known as FIPSE, award will provide for an exchange of students and faculty between the two countries. The specific project title for the program is "Providing Education in Face of Climate Change, Food and Energy Scarcity."

Four universities are participating in this program. K-State is the lead university on the U.S. side, and the Federal University of Santa Maria is the lead university in Brazil, said Chuck Rice, university distinguished professor of agronomy and lead contact for the program at K-State. The other two universities involved are Mississippi State University and Brazil's Federal University of Mato Grosso.

The grant will foster collaboration between leading universities in two of the most important agricultural countries in the world, Rice said.

"We will address the challenges of providing education in face of food and energy scarcity and climate change," he said. "This program involves the exchange of students, faculty and ideas to care for the soil and other vital natural resources at a time when demands placed on global agricultural resources are growing dramatically.

"Students will participate in a combination of short -- two weeks -- and extended -- six months -- exchanges," Rice said. "This program will better prepare students to address the complex issues surrounding the most important challenges humanity faces in the 21st century."

The program is jointly administered by the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education in the U.S. and the Brazilian Ministry of Education. The program aims to improve the quality of students in undergraduate and graduate education in both countries and to explore ways to prepare students for work through:

* The mutual recognition and portability of academic credits between U.S. and Brazilian institutions;

* The development of shared, common or core curricula between U.S. and Brazilian institutions;

* The acquisition of the languages and exposure to the cultures of the United States and Brazil;

* The development of student apprenticeships or other work-related experiences; and

* An increased cooperation and exchange among academic personnel at U.S. and Brazilian institutions.

K-State students interested in participating in the U.S.-Brazil Student Exchange Program can contact Rice at 785-532-7217 or; or Scott Staggenborg, professor of agronomy, at 785-532-7214 or