The School of Education of Leiria(ESE), the oldest school of the Polytechnic Institute of Leiria, became, in 2002, the first and only public institution, in mainland Portugal, to grant a degree in social work, first a baccalaureate’s degree, then a bachelor’s degree, after decades in which the field was a monopoly of private education.
As a result of the focus of the then ESE-IPL in the area of Social Sciences, in addition to the training of teachers and childhood educators, a legacy of the Primary Magisterium, the institution changed its name, with the new statutes published in 2008 (II Series DR No 139, of July 21) and was renamed School of Education and Social Sciences (ESECS). Along with Social Work and Human Relations and Communication at Work, a course that began in 1993, were created and developed the degrees of Social Education, Cultural Animation, Social Communication and Multimedia Education (which was recently transformed into Communication & Media) and Sports and Well-Being, among others related to the Chinese language and culture.
It was in the department of Social Sciences of ESE, then ESECS, that was born, in 2003, the first research unit (RU) of the Polytechnic Institute of Leiria evaluated by FCT (2007): CIID-IPL - Research Centre for Identities and Diversities of IPL, as called then.
In 2015 the CIID has become a pole of a new RU (Network centre with 5 poles) created at the FCSH of the University Nova of Lisbon - the CICS.NOVA.Ipleiria. This Centre has invested in the study of multiculturality, migration, accessibility, intercultural mediation and social intervention. It was due to this research work that in 2013 these researchers proposed the master’s degree in Intercultural Mediation and Social Intervention that was accredited by A3ES, being, so far, unique in the area in the Portuguese higher education system.
In terms of scientific dissemination, CICS.NOVA.Ipleiria has organized numerous national and international conferences, resulting in 4 books already published (Pedagogies of Intercultural Mediation and Social Intervention, 2016; Concepts and Practices of Intercultural Mediation and Social Intervention, 2017; From Intercultural Mediation to Community Mediation, 2018; The Look of Children and Youth: Intercultural Mediation and Social Intervention, 2019; being in preparation in 2020: Migration, Ethnic Minorities, Social Policies and (Trans)Formations).
Registration for the 8th International Conference on Intercultural Mediation and Social Intervention is currently underway, under the theme: “Leisure, Games and Play: Learning and Intercultural Mediation” whose presentations and keynote conferences will be published, respectively, in an online edition and in an international distribution book.