Lisbon, Portugal, 6 September 2013 - The Aga Khan University (AKU) and the Catholic University of Portugal (CUP) on Thursday agreed to renew and expand cooperation in a number of academic fields. Under a Memorandum of Understanding signed during a brief ceremony at the Ismaili Centre Lisbon, the two academic institutions agreed to foster knowledge creation and share learning and human capacity in a wide array of areas, including in cultural studies, education and research, early childhood development, comparative law and religion, nursing education and training.
His Highness the Aga Khan, who is Chancellor of the Aga Khan University, and the Roman Catholic Patriarch of Lisbon, Dom Manuel Clemente, presided over the ceremony. President of AKU Firoz Rasul and the Rector of CUP Dr. Maria da Gloria Garcia signed the renewed Memorandum of Understanding on behalf of their respective institutions.
Speaking at the ceremony, President Firoz Rasul said: "Through this relationship we can address shared concerns, identify common interests and foster greater understanding of the needs of the world today such as poverty alleviation, building of civil society, human development, pluralism and social inclusion." This was echoed by Dr Garcia who remarked, "what both our institutions aim to accomplish with the Memorandum we are going to sign encourages us to see beyond the present we are living here, in this room, with a smile of confidence and the ambition of always doing better."
Whilst in Portugal, His Highness the Aga Khan also met with a number of senior Portuguese government leaders including Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho and His Excellency President Anibal Cavaco Silva who hosted a lunch in honour of the Aga Khan at the Presidential Palace, before presenting the 2013 Aga Khan Awards for Architecture in the beautiful setting of Lisbon’s São Jorge Castle.