Mensagem do Presidente do ISA

Lisbon, September 8, 2020

Dear students,

A quote I found yesterday in a book of a young Portuguese author just came to my mind; “We don’t give up. We start over”. Basically, this is what we are doing at the beginning of this academic year 2020/2021. We don’t give up. We welcome new students, reencounter many others and prepare ourselves to teach the best we know about the subjects that compose the body of knowledge of the Bachelor or Master degrees in the areas in which Instituto Superior de Agronomia (ISA) is expert: Agriculture, Food Technology, Environment, Forestry and Animal Production Engineering and in Biological Sciences and Landscape Architecture.

We have the necessary will and energy to show you what you should learn and the knowledge you should acquire. That will be the base of the technical and scientific culture, which will help you reaching further in your future professional life. It’s true…it won’t be normal as usual. At ISA’s website ( you can find the rules that we will follow this semester, scenario 1, a hybrid of classroom teaching with some remote lectures. Is it bad? Yes, but not as bad as last semester. It will be better thanks to the contention effort that we have demonstrated, and to the experience we have gathered; with caution, and maintaining the sanitary measures, we should be able to keep the contamination rate of this disease at a level that will allow our health system to face it and to reduce its incidence in groups of people with underlying health conditions. We will be careful…and we will have to adopt the undesired Plan B if this first scenario doesn’t work. Every single one of us is important to the success of all of us. We need to be supportive and conscious in this battle. We did our best to obtain the sanitary certification “disinfection monitored” awarded by a well-known company in the sector – although this can make us feel safer, we need to keep contributing to help maintain it. We are all responsible for the disinfection and safety of the public spaces, and not just the cleaning teams.

Overall, this semester is still going to be atypical, but the next one not as much. Nonetheless, we do not want to lose the good and innovative practices that many teachers have developed, and the commitment that some of them had in the preparation of the materials necessary for the remote teaching. This method also has several positive aspects, being the first the capacity to teach to the world, beyond the walls of our campus. It is true that the virtual lessons do not cover all the aspects of civic and academic education in its broader sense, and that is why it needs to be applied in special situations. There are aspects that will have to be adjusted, but we will try to retain the best of them – this is also our commitment.

We want to create opportunities where you can express yourselves, making room to your initiative and in making a difference in the society. Get involved with your Student’s Union, which is always active and available. Do not hesitate, make part of this academic community. We are, over this side, almost 400, among teachers, technicians and administrative staff, researchers and research fellows. In addition, the School’s board is committed in doing the best. On the other hand, the dark financial perspectives for the near future motivate us to think differently and to try to create a more sustainable school and campus, in all possible aspects.

We have the responsibility to motivate you to discuss the several challenges we are facing during this century, in every possible scale – not only on our campus but also on a planetary level, considering both rural and urban realities. Sharing ideas is extremely good, producing knowledge is better and doing is magnificent. For all of this, we don’t give up and we start over. Welcome to ISA.


António Guerreiro de Brito
President of Instituto Superior de Agronomia