II COOPEDU is organized by the Centro de Estudos Africanos do Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (Center of African Studies, ISCTE-IUL, Lisbon) and by the Escola Superior de Educação do Instituto Politécnico de Leiria (School of Higher Education, Polytechnic Institute of Leiria). The overall theme of the congress is COOPERATION AND EDUCATION: AFRICA AND THE WORLD. The main goal is to extend and deepen the issues addressed in I COOPEDU (4-5 February 2010, ISCTE-IUL, Lisbon), forging continuity in reflections on cooperation in educational issues between countries in Africa and those in other regions and continents. The I COOPEDU allowed us to determine the importance of cooperation in education between Portugal and the Portuguese-speaking countries in Africa in its various aspects and to show the important dynamics of cultural, economic and political change that presently occurs in this sector involving a very diversified group of actors and initiatives. The II COOPEDU will enable us to assess that same cooperation on an international level, allowing an exchange of experiences, which will be enriching for all researchers involved. If the main objective of the I COOPEDU was to help define the guidelines more likely to generate politically and scientifically structured considerations about the various dimensions of the cooperation in education between Portugal, Portuguese speaking countries in Africa and East Timor, II COOPEDU wants to expand those considerations in terms of multiplicity of the international relations involved and in promoting dialogue between different countries. The intention is to focus more on research about this important issue and less on descriptions of policies and actual cooperation projects on education. Therefore, II COOPEDU will not only provide a meeting place for politicians and cooperation project leaders to discuss their own activities, but above all to create an opportunity for researchers from all over the world, concerned with the impact that cooperation policies and projects on education have on the African continent, to meet, share and develop their theoretical and methodological perspectives and areas of research. The promoters of this initiative are aware that only an international perspective centred on research, will contribute on the one hand, to the theoretical and methodological enrichment of specific investigations, in terms of issues or geographical areas, and on the other hand, to relate and structure those same investigations with the broad international political and scientific guidelines, that globally condition education and cooperation, linking the African continent with numerous countries and regions of the world. The timing of this initiative is indisputable. Cooperation in the field of Education in Africa currently experiences an unprecedented momentum in terms of exchanges, partnerships, human resources circulation and standardised procedures and systems, presenting multiple challenges to the African countries in terms of their own development processes, whether global or specific, and related to their different levels and systems of schooling. Simultaneously, research projects reflecting the various dimensions of globalization of Cooperation in Education multiply, and on the challenges, opportunities and risks that they represent for countries in a situation of competitive disadvantage as to different resources available (human, material) that can be mobilised. Finally, and as in I COOPEDU, II COOPEDU is supported by interdisciplinary research projects carried out by the organizers centred on education issues in African countries. Which are the following: “Higher Education and Development: Portuguese cooperation with African Lusophone Countries” and “The Role of Civil Society Organizations in Education and Training: Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and S. Tome and Principe”, these projects cover different perspectives of Education in Africa and will be in their final stages on the date of this congress, which will be an opportunity to present and debate the achieved results. Aware of the scope and diversity of a Congress about Cooperation in Education in Africa on an global scale, we would like suggest and are open to other proposals, that the panels organize themselves over the following major analytical axes:
- Local, national and international languages: challenges, opportunities and risks;
- Education reforms, standardised procedures and systems and its implications;
- Management and ownership of schooling and knowledge (public, private and cooperative);
- The role of civil society in education and training;
- International circulation of students, teachers and researchers: networking and partnerships.