The School of Education of Leiria (ESE), the oldest school of the Polytechnic Institute of Leiria, became, as of 2002, the first and only public institution, in mainland Portugal, to grant a degree in social work, first 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 commitment of the then ESE-IPL in the area of Social Sciences, in addition to training teachers and early childhood educators, the institution changed its name in 2008, and became the Higher School of Education and Social Sciences (ESECS). In addition to the bachelor's degree in Human Relations and Communication at Work, a course started in 1993, new baccalaureate and bachelor's degrees were created and developed, starting in 2000, in Social Work, Social Education, Cultural Animation, Social Communication and Multimedia Education. (currently Communication & Media), Sports and Welfare, among others related to Chinese language and culture. After this development, several master's degrees were created in the area of educational sciences and social sciences.
It was in the Social Sciences Department that the first research unit (UI) of the Polytechnic Institute of Leiria, evaluated by the FCT (2007), was born in 2003: CIID-IPL – IPL's Identities and Diversity Research Center.
As of 2015, CIID became a hub of a new UI (Network Center with 5 hubs) created at the FCSH of Universidade Nova de Lisboa – CICS.NOVA.IPLeiria. This pole has invested in the study of multiculturalism, migrations, accessibility and intercultural mediation and social intervention. It was as a result of this research work that in 2013 the Master in Intercultural Mediation and Social Intervention was proposed, which was accredited by the A3ES, being, so far, the only one in the area in the Portuguese higher education system.
In terms of scientific dissemination, CICS.NOVA.IPLeiria has organized numerous national and international conferences, which have resulted in 6 published books (Pedagogies of Intercultural Mediation and Social Intervention, 2016; Conceptions and Practices of Intercultural Mediation and Social Intervention, 2017; From Intercultural Mediation to Community Mediation, 2018; The View of Children and Youth: Intercultural Mediation and Social Intervention, 2019; Migrations, Ethnic Minorities, Social Policies and (Trans)Formations, 2020; Leisure, Game and Play: Intercultural Learning and Mediation, 2021 ; the 2022 document on Experience(s), Coexistence(ies) and Survival(s) in a Pandemic Context is being prepared).
Registration is currently underway for the 10th International Conference on Intercultural Mediation and Social Intervention, which will take place in an online format and in person, under the theme: “Social Pedagogy and Intercultural Mediation: Theory and Practice in Socio-educational Intervention”, whose communications and conferences will be published, respectively, in an online edition and in an internationally distributed book.
SIPS is an independent scientific society whose objective is to contribute and cooperate with their suggestions and recommendations for the improvement of reflection, research and dissemination of Social Education and Social Pedagogy in the world, with special emphasis on Spain, Portugal and Latin America.
Registration is currently underway for the 34th SIPS Congress, which will take place in online format and in person, under the theme: “Social Pedagogy and Intercultural Mediation: Theory and Practice in Socio-Educational Intervention”, whose communications and conferences will be published, respectively, in an online edition and in an internationally distributed book.