Mission of the Office

Erasmus Policy Statement

The development of an international dimension into the major areas of activity is a key strategic goal in the mission of ISPA – Instituto Universitário. 

The international strategy of ISPA – Instituto Universitário is anchored in four main objectives: 

  • to promote international cooperation for education and research
  • to support international education for students and staff
  • to integrate international academic staff and students
  • to promote deeper engagement with key countries or regions.

The establishment of inter-institutional agreements is central to the promotion of international cooperation for education and research. Partnerships between institutions, departmentally led or researcher-to-researcher are driven by shared academic and research interests and focused on generating sustainable outcomes in terms of teaching and research projects. Working in close connection with the Dean’s Office and the Centre for Research (Centro de Investigação) the  Office for Strategic Development and International Relations (Gabinete de Desenvolvimento Estratégico e Relações Internacionais – GDERE) regularly hosts delegations from governments, sister institutions and research centers from around the world. Further specialized associations are also pursued at department level to enhance the research capacity and the quality of students’ experience. 


The mission of GDERE is to promote ISPA internationally, which includes the activities of designing, implementing, endorsing, monitoring and coordinating the international strategy for the institution, as well as framing the different facets of international cooperation.


GDERE provides a wide range of support services for key aspects of ISPA’s internationalization strategy, such as promoting a deeper engagement with international programs, increasing international collaborations for research and education, fosteringthe exchange of international educational experiences for all students, and furthering the integration of international academic staff and students, promoting ISPA overseas and supporting staff with international expertise.


The promotion of international exchanges for students offers a unique worldwide dimension in the student experience at ISPA. Activities promoted by GDERE are structured in two different levels: the development of foreign languages’ skills and the participation in international exchange initiatives. 


In order to encourage our incoming and outgoing students to develop their language skills Ispa has celebrated partnerships with schools of languages. First and second cycle students are urged to participate in international exchange experiences whether for study purposes or traineeships programs, and third cycle students benefit from a customized teaching and international research environment. 


The integration of international academic staff and students is enabled by GDERE that offers a comprehensive support system with specialized international functions aiming to maximize the international experience of our visiting partners.  


The overseas promotion of ISPA has been organized in three main regions:  USA, Europe and Africa/Brazil. Through the use of academic exchange agreements with USA and European universities, an effective institutional framework is provided which in turn that supports the creation of international research groups and spurs the development of joint research projects. A common historical heritage facilitates the promotion of collaborations and inter-institutional agreements with higher education institutions from Portuguese-speaking African countries and Brazil.  


Organization and implementation of international cooperation projects

As a small higher education institution, ISPA – Instituto Universitário focuses its international strategy in a restricted number of strategic targets and alliances with international partners. 


While mobility activities for students and academic staff involve the majority of partners, strategic cooperation for curricula development and research projects only is established with a limited number of partners. 

These latter projects involve the definition of strategic agreements with EU and non-EU partners for long and intensive cooperation regarding curricula development, additional learning training experiences for third cycle students, in particular, and research projects.


In what regards future projects, ISPA is interested in participating in selected networks along with other partner HEI and research centers for learning and research purposes and explore additional cooperation activities within the new EU program. 


Policy objectives regarding Modernization Agenda

ISPA’s participation in the program will contribute to the modernization of the institution through the definition of specific targets in the internationalization agenda comprising the maintenance of current achievements, improvement of educational quality and increased synergies between research, education and business on an international level.


The compliance with the Bologna process, the implementation of the ECTS system and the awarding of the ECTS and DS Label are strategic achievements that document ISPA’s commitment to the program. In reference to the priorities of the Modernization Agenda, ISPA focuses on the following:

  • In what concerns increased attainment levels, tutoring and mentoring initiatives have been explored both for national and international students in order to minimize drop-out rates. Additional support is presented by the Office for Social Welfare (Gabinete de Acção Social – GAS) that promptly identifies cases of potential abandonment and provides guidance and financial advice. 
  • The launch of the Alumni program allows continuous monitoring of graduate employability and the development of programs informed by and adapted to labor market needs. Increased knowledge transfer is also aimed by the promotion and support of partnerships and cooperation with business associated with professional training and internships initiatives. In addition, the close cooperation with business and local organizations will also contribute to a curriculum with improved quality and relevance.
  • Mobility activities will continue to represent a priority although additional efforts are required to support staff mobility and to stimulate double degree and intensive international programs.

Working Hours & Contacts


10:30h to 17:30h



Phone: +351 218 811 700

Fax: +351 218 860 954

E-mail: international@ispa.pt