University to partner with Chilean govt.

USC announced plans to partner with the Chilean Ministry of Education to give Chilean doctoral students full tuition and living stipends, beginning in 2013.

The university will pay for the tuition and living stipends and the Chilean Ministry of Education will provide support needed for travel.

Of the approximately 4,800 international graduate students at USC, seven are from Chile and 24.7 percent of graduate students are international, said Anthony Bailey, associate provost for global initiatives.

“It’s an important component in our efforts to continue to broaden the geographic and cultural diversity of our graduate student body and the global nature of our research portfolio,” Bailey said.

Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are the only other universities that have the same agreement with Chile’s Ministry of Education.

The fellowships, through the Chilean National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research, follow a 2008 Memorandum of Understanding between Chile and the state of California to encourage collaboration.

The Chilean National Commision of Scientific Investigation and Technology said the Chile-USC fellowships represent a joint effort to cultivate outstanding Chilean students and scholars to pursue a Ph.D. at USC.

“We are excited to partner with the University of Southern California, one of the world’s top universities, to support students from Chile as they continue to pursue their ideas and research,” said CONICYT Program Director Denise Saint-Jean.

Bailey said that while USC works to strengthen historic ties in the Pacific Rim, the university   is also strategically deepening its engagement in Latin America.

“Chile has the most developed economy in the region and, in 2010, was the first Latin American country to join the [Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development],” Bailey said.

The OECD, established in 1960, works to improve social and economic conditions around the world through collaboration between its 34 member countries.

Bailey also said Chile has many geographic and economic similarities to California in terms of natural resource management, global trade and disaster mitigation.

“The University of Southern California benefits from the rich diversity of its students, scholars and faculty who come from around the world to become members of the Trojan Family,” Bailey said. “This fellowship program will help support outstanding doctorate students from Chile as we work together to meet the world’s most pressing challenges.”

In 2011, USC and the Ministry of Taiwan signed a similar agreement, which will go into effect in the next academic year.