Luís Coelho is the new director of “his” Faculty of Economics at the University of Algarve

The new director of this organic unit was a student at the institution, to which he has been linked for decades

Luís Serra Coelho – Photo: Cátia Rodrigues | Sul Informação

He first crossed the doors of the then Economic and Business Sciences Unit of the University of Algarve, «back in the last century», and since then he has created an intimate and emotional relationship with her. Luís Serra Coelho has been, since June 12th, the director of the Faculty of Economics at UAlg, where he completed his entire academic career, from student to professor and researcher, and of which he has long been one of the main faces.

On the day he became the new director of the college, replacing Efigénio Rebelo, Luis Serra Coelho made no secret of Sul Informação that the moment of inauguration was very emotional.

«This is because I am son from the Faculty of Economics. I came here to study very young, at 18 years old, I left Alentejo and came to Faro. At the time, I decided to come to the Economic and Business Sciences Unit, back in the last century, to study business management. And that marked my life. That's when I started, in some way, to move forward from a technical-scientific point of view», the new director of the Faculty of Economics revealed to our newspaper.

But what marked him most, he said, “was meeting a group of people and finding a set of values ​​that have accompanied me until this moment. Taking on the responsibility of being the director of the Faculty of Economics, having this additional emotional burden, is, in fact, a very strong thing for me", he confessed.

«Apart from Sporting [laughs] and family, there is little parallel in my life from an emotional point of view. It's a very strong responsibility, which I feel very strongly and I hope to be up to the challenge", he reinforced.

As someone who has been linked to “house” for almost three decades, Luís Serra Coelho is also someone who knows the reality of this organic unit well.

«We are inheriting a properly tidy house. The Faculty of Economics is a consolidated project, a mature project and – I think it is fair to say – recognized internally and externally to the University of Algarve. I think that what is essentially up to us is to take good care of the inheritance we have received and, naturally, look at one or another aspect that eventually deserves our attention and that can be corrected or improved», he said.


Outgoing director Efigénio Rebelo – Photo: Cátia Rodrigues | Sul Informação


And the new director of the Faculty of Economics at UAlg has already identified some of these issues.

«There are three things that eventually make sense in this matter. First and foremost, the relationship with students. The fact that I took the course here and have been a teacher at this institution for many years allows me to notice that our students are changing their profile a little, to say the least,” he said.

This reality “raises different considerations when you are in front of a class, whether undergraduate, master's, or even doctoral. And, therefore, it is necessary to think better about pedagogical practice, approach and evaluation, how students are recruited, content, teaching approach, how practice is carried out, etc. Because I think this is a really important topic, and not just for the Faculty of Economics, I think it is for teaching in general and, in particular, for universities».

«Second aspect: the issue of internationalization of the Faculty of Economics. We already have a product, several products, namely master's and doctorate degrees, which “touch” the international market. I think there is still room to improve the way we welcome these students, the way we present ourselves out there», he argues.

«The third fundamental vector, I would say, is marry better the good research we do, with the recognition, particularly here of our stakeholders, who somehow don't notice what you're doing at university. Why? Because we have a lot of knowledge at home – Faculty of Economics and University of Algarve -, which could eventually even be better used by the region, whether by public entities or private entities, and even by the country», he added.

If the Faculty of Economics has the capacity to work on this aspect better, this, «eventually, will bear fruit for everyone, for the students, for the teaching staff and, by the way, for the reality that surrounds us».

«We have several areas here that, from a scientific point of view, are well established. I highlight tourism, because it is known that the University of Algarve is one of the Portuguese universities that is best ranked in the rankings scientists in the field of tourism. As the Algarve is a tourist region, it makes sense to me that what we are producing from a scientific point of view will spread more to our region. It is already being done, but I think there is still room for improvement», he added.

This is a two-way road, believes Luís Serra Coelho, who says it is necessary, «on the one hand, for us to present what we do to regional tour operators and not only that, but also to receive, from those tour operators themselves, challenges, research opportunities , which can feed our pipeline, in terms of what we are doing here in this house».

At the same ceremony, Rúben Peixinho took office as deputy director of the Faculty of Economics at UAlg.


Photos: Cátia Rodrigues | Sul Informação


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