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A higher education volunteer network was created


Polytechnic of Porto is one of the founding members of the Higher Education Volunteer Network, R-VES

Polytechnic of Porto and 14 other polytechnics and universities from all over the country met at  University of Algarve (UALG), with the aim of formalizing a Higher Education Volunteering Network (R-VES). The protocol was signed on October 18, during the 1st International Symposium on Volunteering in Higher Education, organized by the UALG Volunteering Group.

This network aims to promote the coordination and articulation between Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to share good practices in the field of volunteering, in the areas of research, intervention and dissemination at a national and international level, contributing to the assertion of Portugal as a reference in this area.

In the context of higher education in Portugal, the promotion and practice of volunteering is still a recent reality and there are many opportunities for learning and development in this area. And because more and more organizations and HEIs are called upon to collaborate and to realize their commitment to the community they serve, the need to foster effective dialogue between the various volunteer groups based in HEIs has been established, creating a network that It is a space for sharing experiences and organizational practices, and a model of objectives, goals and collaborations for the future.

In addition to the Porto Polytechnic, represented at the symposium by Rosa Maria Rocha, Pro-President for Social Responsibility, is currently part of the R-VES the Nursing School of Coimbra, the Polytechnic Institute of Beja, the Polytechnic Institute of Cávado and Ave, the Polytechnic Institute of Leiria, the Polytechnic Institute of Portalegre, the Polytechnic Institute of Santarém, the Polytechnic Institute of Tomar, the Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo, the Polytechnic Institute of Viseu, the University of Algarve, the University of Aveiro, the University of Beira Interior, the Portuguese Catholic University and the University of Madeira.

The Polytechnic of Porto was elected a full member of the Coordinating Committee, in a meeting that took place shortly after the signing of the protocol and defined some actions to be developed by the end of 2020.

For the coordinator of the UALG Volunteering Group and promoter of this initiative, Cátia Martins, to speak of volunteering is to talk about Sustainable Development Goals and the strategic motions of the HEIs. “We are working to train future professionals and volunteering is a privileged area that allows us to develop transversal skills and could be an added value in the integration of the labor market.”

These are key ideas within the mission of P.PORTO that as a socially responsible campus advocates the integration of Social Responsibility concerns across the board in strategy and planning, including through volunteering and other transparent, ethical, human rights and social inclusion participatory policies.