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Brazilian UEL graduate wins national competition to become Science without Borders ambassador

UEL east london aerial 2

Closer ties between UEL and Brazil

A University of East London architecture graduate has won a national competition to become Brazil’s newest Science without Borders (SwB) ambassador to the UK.
The SWB scheme is funded by the Brazilian government to give students from Brazil the opportunity to spend up to a year studying a science or engineering subject at a university in a partner country.

The scheme is currently funding Brazilian postgraduate students, having previously funded undergraduates.

Luiza Miranda Negri, 25 (picture left, next to UEL study abroad officer Tom Collier)​, was announced as the winner at a prestigious gala dinner held at the British Council Consulate in San Paulo on 7 March. 

“I was really surprised and so happy to have won,” she said. “It has been a whirlwind week, as I won on a Monday and then on Saturday I was on a plane travelling to England for a week-long tour.”

Luiza was a SwB student at UEL from 2012-13, pursuing studies in Architecture at the School of Architecture, Computing, and Engineering.

She also secured a research internship working with UEL academics on a public health project over the summer before heading back to finish her studies in Brazil. 

UEL has been ranked the second most popular university for SwB undergraduate students in the UK, with more than 350 Brazilians choosing UEL as their choice of destination. There are currently 56 Brazilian students at UEL this year.

Luiza stopped off at UEL as part of a tour of the country promoting SwB at English universities. During a roundtable discussion with staff, she spoke about her own experience as a SwB student at UEL, her new career-coaching business venture and what it was like to be chosen to represent her country. 

“SwB held a national completion for alumni of the scheme,” she said. “I made an application which asked us to write about our experiences as a SwB student, so I am thankful that UEL gave me a lot of good things to say.”  

Beating off competition from more than 100 applicants, Luiza was one of four former SwB students who were shortlisted for the ambassadorial role. Following a round of presentations by the contestants, Luiza was picked by panel of judges.

Tom Collier, UEL Study Abroad Officer, said, “It was fantastic news to hear that a former UEL student had won. It is always good to see UEL SwB students go on to do great things for Brazil and for the SwB programme after they graduate.” 

During the roundtable she recalled her ‘very happy and fond’ memories of UEL.

“There were from students from Africa, Asia, and other parts of Europe,” she said. “It was a real mix of cultures and it made studying and living together interesting. 

“We got to travel to Finland for a 20-day study trip. It really expanded my knowledge of architectural theories and working practices – the UK way is much more hands-on.” ​