In 2017, the International Federation of Catholic Universities (IFCU), through its research center CIRAD, launched a flagship international project with a view to providing Catholic higher education institutions with a comprehensive framework on university social responsibility (USR) called the Newman Framework. Based on the latter, a whole Assessment system on social responsibility was designed for universities to identify and measure the extent of their responsible policies and practices.
The Universidade Católica Portuguesa in Lisbon is one of the Catholic universities having participated in the Newman evaluation. The testimony of the University’s Rector and IFCU President, Prof. Isabel Capeloa Gil, may be found here below:
At Universidade Católica Portuguesa we believe that social responsibility is what prompts us to stand before others and give witness to our humanist matrix and Christian values. The moral responsibility of each one of us is always lived in a social dimension. Similarly, social responsibility cannot be considered as if it were a matter for each organisation in isolation. Thus, we wish to maintain an open and fraternal dialogue, placing ourselves at the service of others, learning from others and from the community in which we are inserted, responding to the clamour of the earth and the clamour of the poor. Called to uphold an “ecological citizenship” (Laudato si’, n. 211), we are committed to educate our academic community and work towards a new global model that is more dignified, just and sustainable for all.
Living coherently with this commitment implies, as a first step, a fruitful internal dialogue and the Newman framework emerges as an excellent opportunity to reflect on what the University is already doing that allows us to live our values consistently, but also to identify areas for improvement and define new objectives and goals to achieve them. In 2017, Pope Francis challenged UCP to “get down to the concrete” and it is in this mission to live and work, on a daily basis, with and for the people, that we want to be a Transforming University at the Service of the Common Good. The USR labels thus achieved will undoubtedly steer us is in the right direction.
For more information on the framework, you can access the IFCU website – Section “University Social Responsibility”.