We hope that Millenium will be one more open window into this young but rapidly expanding institution of higher education, the Polytechnic of Viseu (ISPV).
It is our wish that our journal will be a time and space for connecting the academic world and the "real world", whatever its sphere of influence, whether regional, national or international. We would further hope that it would thus have a multi-directional presence leading to a mutually-enriching co-operation and a resultant academic and institutional growth of the milieu and its associated structures.
Helped by an institutional philosophy which defends an active approach to the establishment of relationships of co-operation, the idea of founding Millenium was originally inspired by the conviction that internationalization projects testify to quality in any institute of higher education, acting as catalysts in an urgently needed adaptation towards a more open world. It was felt therefore to be more desirable and necessary to create an institutional medium devoted to the dissemination and promotion of such realities. The launching of such a publication became increasingly urgent not only because the problems were so pressing but also because of the increasing involvement of the ISPV in internationalizing activities, whose practice and theoretical foundations had been insufficiently known or not even known at all especially in relation to the public potential, inside and outside the institution.
In response to the mother institution's aims, Millenium assumed a more all-embracing rationale, evolving to include sections containing commentaries on academic life, theoretical works on the various disciplines, on pedagogy and on technology written by ISPV teachers and other collaborators. Articles expressing opinions were also published. Nonetheless, one line of orientation, which in a certain way confers a degree of originality on Millenium within the ambit of academic publishing in Portugal, continues to be the theme of internationalization of education. Indeed this emphasis became most apparent in one of its principal sections, "Education without Frontiers".
Although there was a certain amount of variation between numbers, "Education without Frontiers" took the following form: historical, cultural and religious information about a particular country or geographical area; a presentation of the educational system(s); articles about specific institutions of higher education of the country or area especially those which in some way or other co-operate with ISPV; information about EU-sponsored programmes relevant to the publishing aims of Millenium; data about projects and networks of international co-operation; sources of financing for those interested in developing research projects abroad and also details about selected seminars and congresses being held abroad or related to the theme of the internationalization of education, science, technology and research.
Although issues published so far have placed a certain amount of emphasis on this theme, we believe that because of the topicality and relevance of the question and its increasing influence on the development of institutions responsible for education and teacher education, it is now time for an issue of Millenium devoted exclusively to questions of internationalization from a perspective more globalizing and multilateral than usual. Our underlying strategy here is to gather together information usually available only in a more diffuse form.
As Millenium basically has its circulation within Portugal (although distributed to some tertiary –level educational institutions in Spain and in the case of this edition in particular, to several other countries) and reaches virtually all the tertiary-level institutions of education of this country and various other levels of education as well as other public and private bodies all of which are potential agents of internationalization. We believe this number might help to sensitize readers to these realities and act as a promotional tool.
Several preoccupations underlay the planning and organization: on the one hand, with regard to content, to cover the principal themes related to the theory underpinning the process of internationalization and other related questions; to expound possible strategies of internationalization including a description of models and experiments carried out by countries and institutions; to look at the opportunities offered by support programmes especially those of the EU; to provide information about specific programmes already being implemented; to bring to the reader’s attention some historic figures who through the influence of their ideas and lives lead us to believe that these internationalizing tendencies have a more distant origin in time than we might have imagined; finally to provide an outlet for those who have had the opportunity to live through professional and personal intercultural experiences worth sharing. Moreover we hope that this number of Millenium will be, in itself, an exercise in internationalization, counting as it does on the collaboration of writers hailing from various countries and institutions.
The internationalization of education is a mission by and for all of us. We envisage this issue as a partial contribution to this end by all those involved and we take this opportunity to thank them.
Finally, we hope that at least some of our objectives are realized.