University of Minho, Braga, Portugal
Largo do Paço, 4704-553 Braga, Portugal
Tel: 253 601 100 / 253 601 109
Fax: 253 612 248
Founded in 1973, the University of Minho welcomed its first students in the academic year of 1975/76. At present, the University is renowned for its competence and quality of teaching staff, excellence in scientific research, wide range of undergraduate and graduate courses offered and for its high level of interaction with other institutions.
For these reasons, UMinho has a central role in the region and is an important reference for the country and a recognized partner in the European and global scene. Located in the north of Portugal, the University has a campus in Braga and two others in Guimarães, Azurém Campus and Couros Campus.
Originating from the ancient Roman town of Bracara Augusta, Braga is currently the third largest city in Portugal. Guimarães is known as the "cradle of the nation" and is classified as World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO.
The University's organizational structure is flexible and conducive to innovation and interdisciplinary research on emerging topics. The teaching and research courses and the Schools and the Institutes are the basic structure of the University: Schools of Architecture, Sciences, Health Sciences, Law, Economics and Management, Engineering, Psychology, Nursing, and the Institutes of Social Sciences, Education and Arts and Human Sciences.
The courses and research projects have a strong international reputation. UMinho is a targeted research university, committed to the value chain of knowledge, in other words: Research, Development and Innovation. It also points to the socio-economic environment, with many successful partnerships in research, cultural and socio- economic development projects.
Internationalization is a strong commitment and international activities are quite intense, not only within the EU and Portuguese Official Language African Countries (PALOP), but also with several other countries on different continents. The academic year of 2010/2011 was marked by the introduction of a wide range of courses which extended to distance-learning programmes and evening classes. This educational offer had a great social impact and opened the University to a new public, within the framework of demand and quality which has always been the hallmark of this Institution.
UMinho has a set of infrastructure and services providing support to students and teachers, and responds to the various needs of both. UMinho students can find everything they need on campus from 8:00AM to 10:00PM: libraries, computer labs, wireless broadband Internet connection, reprographic services, banks, bookstores, cafeterias, canteens and reasonably priced restaurants.
The three campi, one in Braga and the other two in Guimarães, have a total of 30 libraries including two general libraries (in Braga and Guimarães) with about 300.000 books and 600 seats, a Classic Library (with more than 300.000 books dating from 1450 to 1900), and several specialized libraries (over 100.000 books) and 17.000 scientific journals accessible through the Digital Library b-on. There are also three sports halls, three canteens (4.000 meals/hour), a snack bar, two grills, a restaurant and 14 cafeterias. The number of beds available in the four halls of residence is quite high (847 and 542 beds in Braga and in Guimarães, respectively), all the spaces fulfil the necessary conditions for academic success and well-being of the students, including Wi-Fi, dining rooms, cafeterias and canteens, study and recreation areas, and laundry.
Timely payment of scholarships to all students is ensured by UMinho; scholarship holders are given priority to housing in residence halls. Also worth mentioning are the cultural and sports activities developed by students' associations, musical ensembles and theatre and poetry groups among others. The Students' Union (Associação Académica da Universidade do Minho - AAUM) organises several events, namely the Freshman Welcome Week and the Enterro da Gata week, [a tradition that started in 1889 that literally means "Burial of the Cat"; the cat as a dummy symbolizes school failure and must have a proper burial]. Students can also count on medical and psychological support and access to more than 50 types of sports.