Integra(-te): Project Based on Integrative Science, Entrepreneurial, and Multiculticultural Activities

Integra(-te): Project Based on Integrative Science, Entrepreneurial, and Multiculticultural Activities

Raquel Branquinho, Vitor Gonçalves, Paula Fortunato Vaz, Ivone Fachada, Carlos Aguiar
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2925-6.ch005
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The diversity transferred through the migratory pathways conveys new challenges to the higher education institutions regarding the conception of new strategies and educational resources that promote integration, interaction, intercultural dialogue, collective social capital, and individual skills. Thus, between 2016-2018, Bragança Ciência Viva Science Center in partnership with Polytechnic Institute of Bragança promoted the project “INTEGRA(-TE): Scientific Routes for an Intercultural Integration.” This project aimed a group of young foreigner students from a Community of Portuguese Language Countries who studied at IPB and lived in Bragança, using scientific, technological, pedagogical, and entrepreneurial experiences. The first edition of the project involved n=110 students and the second n=124 students. Overall, results from these editions pointed a very positive result and suggested an increased labor opportunity created by practical entrepreneurial actions.
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Education is either intercultural or not democratic (ENED, 2015; Escarbajal-Frutos et al., 2019). This unquestionable engine for human development is also one of the cornerstones of migrant´s community integration and a support of their migratory pathways construction (ODI, 2015; Papademetriou & Benton, 2016; Pascouau et al., 2016).

The profound socioeconomic changes in the second half of the 20th century led to an European status alteration, as a whole, in the international immigration panorama. The region of economic prosperity, relatively high level of political stability and democratic principles, have been for decades, appealing to many migrants, and became a major area of immigrants’ reception.

Portugal also accompanied this change (Tomás et al., 2011). In the 1990s, started the beginning of immigrants’ flows from Brazil and Portuguese-speaking African countries (PALOP). In the second half of that decade and up to the first years of the present one, the main immigration flows came predominantly from Eastern European countries. Simultaneously, we saw a reinforcement of immigration from Brazil and a diversification of the origins of the immigrant groups, which now also include significant numbers of Asian nationals (Oliveira & Gomes, 2018; OCDE, 2018). The composition of the European Union population is thus changing, and European societies are faced with increasing diversity.

European countries have a diverse history about migration. If for some it is a phenomenon, for others - those that had a colonial past, as Portugal - it has been a familiar aspect for many years, and thus political reality and social sensitivities often varies. In Portugal, this trend also brought the need for official policies, either in the view of the migration landscape protection, either by impositions placed by the signature of European Community treaties (e.g. Schengen and Amsterdam) and Tampere or Seville Summits, that would articulate the entry control and the immigrants’ integration (Tomás et al., 2011).

Two actions plans have displayed an important role, and provided a coherent framework in this policies integration: National Action Plan for Inclusion (Plano Nacional de Ação para a Inclusão – PNAI), approved in 2006, and the National Plan for Immigrants Integration (Plano para a Integração de Imigrantes – PII), recognized in 2007 (PII, 2010; PNAI, 2006; Rodrigues, 2008). Both plans define specific measures and establish clear professional, social and cultural targets, foreseen the integration of migration population (Tomás et al., 2011). Moreover, globalization and accessibility have significantly accelerated these migratory flows, which play a crucial role in a country's development.

Moreover, the European Council has made strong efforts to create a “democratic citizenship education” as a priority area of its policy. In this sense, many initiatives are being implemented in Europe (e.g. ENED, Gene - European network for global education and development, CAD/OCDE, CLONG, among others). Within these policies, education process, either in formal and / or non-formal contexts, has been affirmed as an instrument against discrimination, exclusion, and neocolonialism (ENED, 2015), and their access has been facilitated as a mean of promoting justice, freedom, human rights and peace (ENED, 2015).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Science: Body of knowledge consisting of measurable or verifiable facts acquired through the application of the scientific method, and generalized into scientific laws or principles.

Entrepreneurship Education: Learning process that prepares people to be responsible and enterprising individuals. It helps people develop the skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary to achieve the goals they set out for themselves. Evidence also shows that people with entrepreneurial education are more employable.

Multiculturalism: Celebrating human diversity by willingly promoting legal, political, and social recognition of cultural, ethnic, linguistic, and religious differences.

Monitoring: Periodically tracking developments over an extended period in standardized way.

Integration: Two-way process in which neither group need give up their cultural identity but in which both add a shared dimension to that identity, having equal dignity and opportunities. The quality of including all sections of society.

Intrapreneurship: Refers to a system that allows an employee to act like an entrepreneur within a company or other organization. An intrapreneur is a person who takes on the responsibility to innovate new ideas, products and processes or any new invention within the organization. Read more: .

Social Inclusion: Process which ensures that those at risk of poverty and social exclusion gain the opportunities and resources necessary to participate fully in economic, social and cultural life and to enjoy a standard of living and well-being that is considered normal in the society in which they live. It ensures that they have greater participation in decision making which affects their lives and access to their fundamental rights.

Education: Process of acquisition of knowledge and skills, which aims at the full intellectual, physical, and moral development of an individual and their proper insertion in society.

Entrepreneurship: Capacity and willingness to develop, organize and manage a business venture along with any of its risks in order to make a profit. Read more: .

Equality: The state of being equal, especially in status, rights, or opportunities.

Migrant: People who move from one place to another, especially in order to find work or better living conditions.

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