Catholic University of Portugal 


Catholic Portugal.JPG

Isabel Capeloa Gil, Rector


Universidade Católica Portuguesa (UCP), founded in 1967, is a public, non-State funded university and a full-member of the Portuguese Rector’s Council. UCP is a national university with four campuses and has a student body of nearly 11000 students. UCP’s strategy is highly focused on internationalization, which does not simply mean attracting foreign students but a comprehensive approach to education, embracing global challenges and opportunities in research training and creating a community of knowledge that is internationally relevant.

UCP aims to serve by providing innovative ideas and excellent research and by promoting high quality education. Built locally to inspire globally, UCP has an international vocation led by the humanist catholic tradition. UCP aims to promote research and teaching by fostering a continuous interdisciplinary dialogue that cultivates the relation between faith and reason. In addition to the commitment to fundamental research, the University is recognized for the social impact of its research agenda and for its contribution to the formulation of policy. With an international agenda, the goal of UCP’s strategy is to advance research and impact knowledge production in several areas (Economic and Digital Culture; Environment, Health and Sustainability; Citizenship and Social Responsibility; Memory, Change and Innovation), to foster international and intersectoral cooperation, and to contribute to the global innovation agenda.

Isabel Capeloa Gil is the rector of Universidade Católica Portuguesa (UCP) for the period 2016-2020 and Full Professor of Culture Studies at the Faculty of Human Sciences. Professor Capeloa Gil studied in Lisbon (University of Lisbon), Munich (Ludwig-Maximilian University), Chicago, and holds a PhD in German Studies from UCP. Previously, she was Vice-Rector for Research and Internationalization (2012-2016) and the Dean of the Faculty of Human Sciences (2005-2012).

Having grown up in Asia (Macao), Isabel Gil has a special interest in researching issues of diversity and conflict and has structured her work around the exploration of the disciplinary boundaries between literature, the arts and other disciplines. She was a founding member and is a senior researcher at the Research Centre for Communication and Culture (CECC), where she coordinated the research group Culture, Art and Citizenship (CULTCIT). Isabel Gil is furthermore Honorary Fellow at the IGRS, School of Advanced Studies, University of London and holds a position as Invited Professor at USJ (Macao). An advocate of strengthening doctoral education, she has been involved with the Council for Doctoral Education at the European University Association. Isabel Gil has held several visiting professorships in Germany (Saarbrücken, Munich, Hamburg), Ireland (National University of Ireland), Italy (Univ. Ca Foscari, Venice), Brazil (PUC-Rio de Janeiro) and in the US.

She believes firmly that global engagement in higher education is key to advance stronger values for a more equitable world.