ISLA - Polytechnic Institute of Management and Technology, founded on September 8, 1989, celebrates this year its 34 years of existence and, having been created by the first private Higher Education Institution in Portugal, founded in 1962, is part of the largest Portuguese Group of Private Higher Education since 2011.

It is with great pleasure that I greet you on behalf of ISLA - Polytechnic Institute of Management and Technology.

Globalisation, climate change, pandemics, inequality, youth unemployment, technological changes, digitalisation and concentration of knowledge are just some of the issues of today's truly worrying times.

Thus, education becomes fundamental to learn how to live on a planet under pressure. It must consist of acquiring basic skills in the field of culture, based on respect and equality, contributing to the construction of the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. Ultimately, it is about rescuing a humanistic vision of education and knowledge according to which both are conceived as an essential common good.

However, the crisis has also forced us to reconsider how education and training can be designed in all its disciplines and how accessible they are to meet the needs of an increasingly digital and rapidly changing world. In particular, it has shown us even more clearly the need to develop basic soft skills, which are inherent to the success of the educational process.

It is with great pride that, as a result of the recognition of our work, and even in the face of the constraints resulting from the pandemic period we still face, I highlight the fact that, in the last 7 years, we have been growing consecutively, not only in the number of courses but also in the number of new enrolments.

On the other hand, we are very proud of the countless graduates who decide to continue their studies, at Post-Graduation, Masters and even PhD levels, and of the success of our thousands of graduates who today occupy important positions in the business market and in Portuguese society, and who can best testify to our past, and ensure the value of our present and future.

In the meantime, we have the pleasure to receive you in our new facilities. Facilities that, with the dignity befitting a quality School of Higher Education, provide exceptional resources to further drive our growth.

For all this, we are all to be congratulated!

But another new school year begins.

Each new academic year means a new beginning. The beginning of academic life for all those who for the first time enter Higher Education, and who will now have contact with new knowledge and skills.

It is also a new beginning for all teachers and staff members who will now have contact with a new group of students.

A beginning is always an exciting moment. New perspectives open up, new people we meet, faces and personalities we will never forget.

But this is a different year!

We are prepared for another new academic year in which we count on everyone's collaboration and commitment to continue achieving successes and victories, which reinforce ISLA's image and which increasingly make our Institution a reference school in different areas of knowledge.

Welcome to another new beginning!

From me, and from all the teachers and staff of this house, this family, I wish you all an excellent new academic year and all the best.

You can always count on us.

Prof. Doutor António Lencastre Godinho (PhD)