FLAD and Camões Institute formalized on Tuesday the agreement to support the strengthening the study, teaching and research of Portuguese language and culture in the United States of America, also creating three new chairs of Portuguese language and culture in the USA.

The agreement was signed at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Lisbon by FLAD president Rita Faden, Camões Institute president João Ribeiro de Almeida and representatives of the four universities. The session was also attended by The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Augusto Santos Silva, and the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Francisco André.

With this agreement three new Chairs are created: the University of Rutgers New Brunswick will receive the Three Marys Chair; the University of Massachusetts UMass Amherst to Lydia Jorge Chair; and the Universities of Utah and Brigham Young to the Portuguese Culture Chair in Utah.

These chairs will also play a role in attracting American students from American universities to continue their studies in Portugal through the Study in Portugal Network (SiPN),a FLAD program that promotes the exchange of American students to Portugal.

The agreement between the two institutions also provides for the renewal of support for the joint promotion of NEWL exams in Portuguese, which credit Portuguese language learning for access to higher education in the USA and the donation of pedagogical materials for the teaching of the Portuguese language in the United States.

“It is with great satisfaction that we at FLAD once again joined the Camões Institute to promote portuguese and Portuguese culture in the United States of America. Today we renew our commitment to continue working in three areas that we have been developing: support for Newl exam registration slates in Portuguese; teacher training in the teaching of Portuguese; and helping to acquire teaching materials so that primary and secondary schools in the United States can maintain the proper functioning of programs and student learning.” – Rita Faden, President of FLAD

Flad’s president explained that the actions that have been developed between the Foundation and the Camões Institute “contribute to more students being able to enter American universities with Portuguese language and culture skills, and develop knowledge in these fields” and that, to achieve this maximum goal, it also contributes to “the Study in Portugal Network program, the SiPN, which FLAD created in 2015 and promotes mobility of students from higher education from the USA to Portugal.”

João Ribeiro de Almeida, president of the Camões Institute, highlighted the importance of chairs in the action of the institute he directs as an instrument of “pursuing a strategy of association of the Portuguese language to the pursuit of science, research and innovation for its internationalization and creation of value for the language.”

“This occasion is particularly dear to us, as it also represents the result of the deepening of the partnership with FLAD, which is with us in pursuing this plan. Creating synergies for the creation of these chairs and bringing to the equation, in addition to the work of promoting the Portuguese language and culture, the incentive to the mobility of American students and teachers to Portugal as well, closing a kind of cycle of cultural exchange and achieving by this way a significant support to the internationalization of Portuguese education” – João Ribeiro de Almeida, president of the Camões Institute.

The closing speench of the ceremony was made by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Augusto Santos Silva, who is responsible for the Camões Institute. Augusto Santos Silva highlighted the importance of these chairs as a “particularly effective way to promote the presence and visibility of Portuguese studies in different universities and promote it in the right way, bringing more students to their study, bringing more teachers to their teaching, and bringing more researchers, more researchers to research on the Portuguese language and culture.”

“FLAD already helps us a lot in promoting the training of Portuguese language teachers, also in the exchange of students between the university systems of the two countries, in the preparation of Portuguese language students for exams for access to higher education in the USA and in the dissemination of pedagogical materials. Now associating with these three chairs, it is another step that takes place in this mutually advantageous collaboration, between the Camões Institute, which is our main agency for the international promotion of Portuguese culture, and the Luso-American Foundation for Development, which is one of the major expressions of good bilateral collaboration between Portugal and the United States.” – Augusto Santos Silva, Minister of Foreign Affairs.