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New Portuguese uni consortium unveiled

Three universities in the south of Portugal have formed a new consortium, Campus Sul (South Campus), in part to bolster efforts to attract international students.

The three universities signed a Memorandum of Understanding just before the new year. Photo: Pexels

"We want this joint environment of research and innovation... to attract new talents to the Algarve region"

The University of Algarve, Universidade Nova de Lisboa (Lisbon) and the University of Évora signed a memorandum of understanding just before the new year to solidify the partnership, to join study cycles in “various areas of knowledge”.

“To broaden the training base, [Campus Sul] has to get more students from abroad,” said Manuel Heitor, Portugal’s minister of science, technology and education.

“One of the main challenges, in 10 or 20 years, is the capacity of the campus and the critical mass of the three universities to attract students from all over the world,” Heitor continued.

The rectors of the three universities signed the document along with Heitor and the country’s minster of territorial cohesion, Ana Abrunhosa.

The commitment is to “support the teaching, research and innovation activities that may be developed by the South Campus”.

“The idea of this association started more than a decade ago, especially linked to Mediterranean influence on the climate and culture is South Portuguese territories,” said Alexandra Teodósio, vice-rector for internationalisation and sustainable development at the University of Algarve.

“The theme has been discussed on a regular basis… since May 2019, with the goal of addressing common problems in the Portuguese southern regions including climate change, population augmentation, literacy, health, water scarcity and more,” Teodósio explained.

The consortium is the first of its kind to focus on the needs and “contributing to the strengthening of the territorial cohesion and sustainable development” of southern Portugal.

“To broaden the training base, [Campus Sul] has to get more students from abroad”

“We want this joint environment of research and innovation to be able to stimulate the creation of scientific and technological employment and job opportunities for residents in productive context, including in social and cultural areas, but also to attract new talents to the Algarve region,” Teodósio told The PIE News.

The consortium will have an academic teaching focus, and will also look at research.

“Campus Sul offers joint study cycles in various areas of expertise, at the level of masters and doctorates, providing a unique learning experience…in sustainability, mobilising a vast academic body and offering students mobility within the three universities,” Teodósio continued.

“On a research and innovation level – Campus Sul intends to carry out research with impact and develop innovative solutions that respond to the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development of United Nations, to the EU Green Deal and to support Portugal’s Economic Recovery Plan,” she added.

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