Internationalization is, at ISEC Lisbon, a true factor for change and institutional improvement, helping to develop the necessary skills for the century we live in, in a global world in accelerated transformation, also stimulating innovation and the creation of sustainable development alternatives, ultimately promoting the creation of jobs that promote quality of life. The institution is permanently involved in initiatives that accompany the increasing globalization of teaching, research and innovation activities, through the definition of a policy of strong and lasting alliances, capable of promoting a global competitiveness profile. Thus, internationalization interactions are a priority across different ISEC Lisbon’s activity projects, from the training offer involving partnerships with foreign educational institutions, to R&TD practices, to community liaison projects under Strategic Partnerships.
Internationalization at ISEC Lisbon is, therefore, part of a broader strategy, which aims to offer students and teachers valuable benefits in terms of developing skills and capabilities, and also to stimulate strategic thinking leading to innovation and facilitating quality assurance procedures and technological development. With the consolidation of internationalization in ISEC Lisbon's culture, the entire academic community can achieve a greater awareness of global issues that mater to humanity, since it transcends countries, cultures and languages. At the same time, it is ISEC Lisbon understanding that internationalization actively contributes to:
- The preparation of students;
- Internationalize curricula and study plans;
- Enhance the international profile of the institution;
- Strengthen scientific and research production;
- To develop scientific and pedagogical knowledge;
- Diversify the academic community, faculty and non-teaching staff, students, by atracting the best international talent.
Thus, the achievement of present Internationalization Policy invests mainly in the establishment of privileged partnerships in Europe, CPLP and Latin America, having as main objectives:
- The improvement of academic and quality standards;
- The integration in international cooperation networks at the education / training and R&TD level;
- The increase of ISEC and its academic community visibility and international and transnational recognition
- The increase of technical and scientific competences and qualifications, as well as the cultural enrichment resulting from exchange and mobility experiences; and
- The diversification of the sources of recruitment of teachers and students.
The choice of partners for the implementation of the internationalization strategy is based on the preference given into the establishment of protocols with institutions and organizations with intervention in ISEC Lisbon's areas of activity. The priority in the choice of our partners is established based on the potential of concrete and effective cooperation actions and the involvement with partners from geographical regions of particular interest for the implementation and strengthening of our internationalization projects.
ISEC Lisbon’s international cooperation involves the integration in networks and cooperation groups, the participation in European programs of teaching, training staff, the involvement in projects of innovative character and, in the near future, hopefully, the realization of courses in partnership.
One of the pillars of the Internationalization Policy is based on the European ERASMUS+ Program, in which ISEC Lisbon has had unique opportunities, such as obtaining the ERASMUS Charter 2021-2027 (ECHE). Under this program, more than 60 bilateral agreements have been established with higher education institutions in Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Spain, Slovakia, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Czech Republic, Romania and Turkey.
The establishment of international partnerships within the CPLP and Latin America has also been of great relevance to ISEC Lisbon's internationalization project, having been established, to date, about twenty cooperation protocols, namely in Brazil, Mexico, Macau and Angola, Cape Verde and Guinea Bissau.
The operationalization and development of ISEC Lisbon's internationalization strategy is ensured by the International Relations Office (IRO), which ensures the coordination and development of international cooperation actions, having as main atributions the development of cooperation strategies with higher education institutions and companies, inside and outside Europe, within the scope of student and faculty mobility programs; the development of international cooperation actions at the level of R&TD projects, and the support and coordination of exchange and mobility of faculty, students and non-teaching staff.
This Internationalization Policy is operationalized by the following instruments:
- Strategic Development Plan;
- Internationalization Plan;
- Annual Activity Plans;
- Erasmus+ Mobility Processes Regulation;
- UNIVERSITAS Mobility Grants Regulation.
ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY PRACTICES
For us, sustainability is a key concept and, within it, environmental sustainability is a transverse goal in all our actions. We accomplish it through the following:
- Daily activities carried out by the Office for Social Responsibility (GRS);
- Our membership in the Network of Sustainable Campuses (which involves about 30 Portuguese HEI);
- Our commitment to the Principles of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development;
- Daily education practices concerning the preservation of the Environment, both in the curricula of our courses, and in several free courses;
In the context of the ERASMUS+ Programme, the following environment sustainability practices are worthy of reference:
- In different moments throughout the year, organization of sessions for sharing and debate about topics related with Ethics for sustainability and enhancement of Environmental Practices and consumer behaviour, destined for students and staff, both incoming and outgoing;
- Adoption of all the principles inherent to ERASMUS Without Paper, which, apart from responding to the challenges of the digital era, also intends to include more environmentally friendly procedures.
- Adoption, in all our internal procedures, of the maximization of digital tools and the minimization of paper consumption, as well as continuous efforts towards awareness of daily sustainable practices, and promotion of that awareness among incoming and outgoing participants;
- Incorporation, in all the steps of mobility (before, during and after) of environmentally friendly practices.
Promoting social awareness and responsibility, as well as active and responsible citizenship, is a pillar of conduct of our organisation. Aware of the relevance of this, ISEC Lisboa has always observed these fundamental principles in its institutional mission: “ISEC's mission is to promote the whole fulfilment of individuals through the development of teaching and research with high quality standards, adopting an individualizing view of Man, and awareness of social responsibility. This mission is fulfilled through the conception, transmission and dissemination of professional culture and knowledge, according to high standards and exigency, while promoting cooperation and awareness of the social and humane dimension of citizenship”.
In order to operationalize and develop a sense of social responsibility and commitment to active citizenship among the academic community, the GRS - Office for Social Responsibility conducts several activities towards that end, in compliance with the SOCIAL CHARTER OF ISEC Lisboa and with its SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY POLICY.
The whole community (students, teachers, staff, external partners, etc.) is involved in multiple activities organised by the GRS throughout the year. Therefore, all incoming and outgoing participants are invited and encouraged to take part in these activities (before, during and after the mobility). These activities are of different types:
- Voluntary service programmes for non-governmental organisations;
- Solidarity campaigns;
- Support to populations in need;
- Campaigns for environmental sustainability and responsible consumer behaviour;
- Senior Students Solidarity Campaign;
- Organisation of an annual SOCIAL MARKET, whose profit accrues to solidarity associations, etc…
In the interest of promoting active citizenship and civic commitment from incoming and outgoing students, the following aspects should be highlighted:
- Availability, in the Course Catalogue for mobility, of curricular units related with Ethics and Deontology in different courses offered by ISEC Lisboa, where the above principles are under focus;
- ISEC Lisboa is involved in the European research project “Learning to Be”, funded by the Erasmus+ Programme, within Key Action 3 (https://learningtobe.net/), which aims to conceive evaluation methods and tools towards the development of social and emotional competencies in education schools, thus contributing for the definition of public policies for the improvement of quality in education as well as social cohesion and fundamental values of a democratic society. The obtained results were thoroughly disclosed among our academic community.