36th Anniversary of Autonomous

Message from the Chairman of the Board of Directors

December 13, 2021 marks the 36th anniversary of the creation of the University Teaching Cooperative – CEU, CRL and the institution of the Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa, Luís de Camões.

It is therefore important that this foundational act is duly noted by all those who work at CEU and at any of its Educational Establishments, and especially by those invested with the honorable responsibility of ensuring its operation.

Unfortunately, in the current year of 2021, once again, the celebration of such a happy date cannot assume the solemnity of other years, due to the pandemic situation that has affected the whole world and continues to condition some of our activities.

Thus, it will be through this Message that the Chairman of the Board of Directors of CEU and the Rector of the Autonomous University will seek to summon the Collaborators and the Academic Community to the importance of this ephemeris.

As far as CEU is concerned, as Chairman of the Board of Directors of UAL's Instituting Entity and which ensures its management, as well as the other educational establishments it oversees - Escola Superior de Enfermagem de São Francisco das Misericórdias, Autónoma Academy and Instituto de Enfermagem, Arts and Crafts – I would like to greet you all with the greatest esteem, thanking you for the valuable contribution that, through your work, you make to the Institution on a daily basis.

I also have the duty - which is above all a very gratifying honor - to fondly remember the "Founding Fathers", that is, those who in good time decided, on December 13, 1986, to create the University Teaching Cooperative and establish the University Autonomous of Lisbon, Luís de Camões.

We remember their initiative, we salute their determination and we mark the spirit that animated them.

Today we seek to continue the work that the founders started and that others have continued over almost four decades of great dedication.

Clear examples of this continuity that we seek to ensure are in the proposals to create new Study Cycles and in a very significant way in the integration in the year 2021 in the universe of CEU, of the Escola Superior de Enfermagem de São Francisco das Misericórdias whose students, teachers and employees we affectionately salute.

The life of institutions such as CEU is made up of work, dedication, a combination of efforts and wills. The results achieved are not always the ones desired. But the important thing is not to give up, it is to persevere, it is to continue with the firm idea of affirming the Institution and the values that were at the base of its creation.

It is important to safeguard the path between the past that makes us proud and that accompanies the present, always fleeting in which we live in a committed way, and the future that challenges us all the time.

This is the firm purpose of CEU's Governing Bodies.

Antonio de Lencastre Bernardo

Antonio de Lencastre Bernardo
Chairman of the Board of Directors

Message from the Rector of the Autonomous University of Lisbon

The 36th anniversary of the Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa Luís de Camões started by raising a doubt about whether we should celebrate it or commemorate it.

To celebrate, in its most common expression, means “to carry out a ceremony or party, to mark something important”, while to commemorate fundamentally means to remember, remember or bring to memory, but together.

The pandemic situation we have been experiencing in recent times, and which continues to disturb us, does not prevent, but strengthens, the Commemoration.

And to do so is to remember, first of all, all those who, over these thirty-six years, starting with the Instituting Entity, CEU, and all its Boards of Directors, Dean's Office, Faculty, Non-Educator Staff and, above all, students, allowed to get here, today and now.

And as we go through these times, we realize the capacity to resist and adapt to social, legislative and economic-financial changes, which allowed UAL to establish itself in the context of Higher Education.

This adaptation was particularly put to the test in the academic year that ended, following the difficulties of the previous academic year, with a notable result, as a result of the organizational capacity of the CEU Board of Directors, together with the great rapport with the Academic Authorities of the UAL, but, above all, with the great sense of responsibility and dedication that teachers, researchers, non-teaching staff and, no less relevantly, students, showed.

And, if there were no other reason, this would be enough to also celebrate the 36th anniversary and, in particular, the last school year. It is true that celebrating presupposes, in some way, a solemn organization, with the presence of all and that, even due to an inalienable social responsibility, whether institutional or individual, cannot and should not be achieved at this moment.

But if, in fact, what moves a celebration is a reason common to a whole, then the celebration cannot be confined to a point in time, as long as the spirit that underlies it remains alive.

And this is the challenge that the Dean makes to everyone. This 36th anniversary takes place at a turning point in Higher Education, as is well recognized by the European Institutions, in such a way that one of the goals of the European Commission for 2022 is the development of a strategy for universities, to be published in the 1st quarter of 2022

The European Association of Universities (USA), of which UAL is a member, in response to the public consultation that the European Commission submitted in this regard, reflects well the characteristics of this change that was already being felt and that the Pandemic only accelerated.

Allow me to point out something that informs, and well, the whole perspective that this change contains:

– The strategy to be followed should aim to contribute to strengthening its mission in order to provide a better service to society.

For this, it is necessary to guarantee to universities inalienable principles of autonomy, but a responsible autonomy towards that society whose ends it must serve, namely with the creation of integrated processes of teaching/learning, research, innovation and culture (let me emphasize this point) , in constant interaction with society.

This is not the place to delve into all the complexity that the transformation imposes, but allow me to draw attention only to the uncompromising defense of interdisciplinarity that, “rather than focusing mainly on technological innovation through research, should focus on the innovation capacity of students and teachers, and universities should be a point of social innovation, open innovation and an innovative process of teaching and learning” (free translation).

And this is the challenge that I propose to everyone as a continued and lived celebration of this 36th anniversary.

It is true that we will have many “chokes”, since we depend a lot on the evolution of the legislative and regulatory environment which, as the EUA rightly says, has to be changed as it no longer adjusts to the necessary changes. If we pay close attention to the previous quote, the key word was innovation, without ever forgetting that, at its base, is research. However, UAL's experience reveals, without any ambiguity, that innovative proposals are often constrained by regulatory aspects that remain unchanged.

But our mission cannot be traced with our eyes on these “stumbling blocks”, if, within our community, we do not go beyond the silos in which we confine ourselves too often, in a cooperation that is still far from desirable.

The Board of Directors of CEU and the Rectory, in harmony never called into question, will not shy away from efforts so that the university mission can be carried out.

Counting on each and every one, I allow myself to finish as I ended my intervention in the celebration (this one live) of the 30th anniversary of UAL:

“Education is a social process, it is development. It is not preparation for life. It is life itself!” (John Dewey).

Let us therefore live it with hope, determination and solidarity.


Jose Amado Silva
Rector of the Autonomous University of Lisbon