Escola Superior de Educação de 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. The course was first a bachelor's degree, then a two-stage 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 kindergarten teachers, 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 bachelor's degrees and degrees were created and developed, from the year 2000, in Social Work, Social Education, Cultural Animation, Social Communication and Multimedia Education (currently Communication & Media), Sports and Wellness, among others related to the Chinese language and culture. Subsequently, several master's degrees were created in the area of educational sciences and social sciences.
It was in the Department of Social Sciences that, in 2003, the first research unit (UI) of the Polytechnic Institute of Leiria was created, evaluated by the FCT (2007): CIID-IPL – IPL Identities and Diversities Research Centre.
From 2015 onwards, CIID became a hub of a new UI (Network Center with 5 hubs) created at FCSH at Universidade Nova de Lisboa – CICS.NOVA.IPLeiria. This hub has invested in the study of multiculturalism, migration, accessibility and intercultural mediation and social intervention. It was as a result of this research work that, in 2013, the Master's Degree in Intercultural Mediation and Social Intervention was proposed, which was accredited by the A3ES, being, until now, 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 already resulted in 7 published books (Pedagogies of Intercultural Mediation and Social Intervention, 2016; Conceptions and Practices of Intercultural Mediation and Social Intervention, 2017; Intercultural Mediation to Community Mediation, 2018; The Perspective of Children and Young People: Intercultural Mediation and Social Intervention, 2019; Migrations, Ethnic Minorities, Social Policies and (Trans)Formations, 2020; Leisure, Games and Play: Learning and Intercultural Mediation, 2021 ; Experience(s), Coexistence(s) and Survival(s) in a Pandemic Context, 2022; being prepared for 2023 on Social Pedagogy and Intercultural Mediation: Theory and Practice in Socio-Educational Intervention).
Registration is currently taking place for the 11th International Conference on Intercultural Mediation and Social Intervention, which will take place in an online and face-to-face format, under the theme: “Territories, Municipalities, Networks and Partnerships”, whose communications and conferences will be published, respectively , in an online edition and in an internationally distributed book.