Forward College has chosen Lisbon as its main European hub with the aim of offering and boosting a new educational approach to its students so that they can develop not only cognitive skills but also social, digital and emotional skills which are all essential for the future of work. The Forward International Bachelor, a three-year university programme, gives students the opportunity to study in three European cities: Lisbon in the first year, Paris in the second and Berlin in the third. Small classes, one-on-one tutoring and projects applied to real life are part of the challenge that combines tradition with innovation.
"Lisbon was an obvious choice to go ahead with this project because it offers the ideal context for our students: a dynamic and cultural experience in a city that is accessible, safe, charismatic and has a quality of life. In addition, it combines historical richness with characteristics that make it a hub of international attraction," says Céline Boisson, co-founder of Forward College.
The first curricular year started in September 2021, in Lisbon, coinciding with the campus's inauguration in the Portuguese capital. The institution received over 450 applications as a testimony to the relevance of the concept, but only 28 students were admitted for the first cohort. In 2022-2023, Forward College continues to grow and has already tripled the number of students. In the capital, students study in the historic city centre, with the option of staying at the university residence in Benfica under the wing of Forward College.
The new educational model was developed under the academic direction of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and King's College London, and accredited by the University of London. It aims to be a response to the increasingly greater demands of the labour market, bringing together in the same curriculum the development of soft skills and digital skills. The courses available cover areas of specialisation such as Economics, Politics, International Relations, Data Science, Business and Management and Psychology.
"Our experience tells us that there are several persistent challenges associated with traditional universities: from the growing dissatisfaction of active recruiters in the labour market to students not feeling prepared to face the professional world. We believe it is important to cultivate students’ interest and commitment to their academic pathways, which is why we invest in a more holistic and ethical education with a real positive impact," says Boris Walbaum, founder of Forward College.