The general objective of UIED is to promote educational research through approaches that on the one hand enhance the understanding of the interdependencies between education and development in contemporary societies, benefiting the academic success of students, and on the other hand contribute to the improvement of educational practices, processes, organizations, systems, and policies. UIED progresses in exploring and highlighting conditions and strategies for understanding and supporting the academic success of students and the links between education (in and out of schools) and development considered as multidimensional phenomena (social, cultural, economical, human).

Methodologically, qualitative and quantitative empirical approaches are employed within the general logic of educational research as a comprehensive, interpretative and critical endeavour. Within this framework, researchers accept the epistemological principle that realities are dependent of a particular time and specific context, and that the knowledge of the research object is concurrently constructed with the knowledge of the researcher himself.

UIED’s team currently includes 19 integrated researchers and 22 PhD students. Its members have different academic backgrounds (e.g. physics, mathematics, sociology, psychology, educational sciences) and a specialization in Education at doctoral level. Being the sole research unit in Education at Universidade Nova de Lisboa, UIED’s team incorporates researchers from FCTUNL and from other universities and polytechnics, as well as from basic and secondary schools. This fosters the relevance of the research developed for various educational contexts and for society as a whole.