The European Commission, the Council of Europe and UNESCO/CEPES have developed a Diploma Supplement template aiming at improving international transparency, and at facilitating the academic and professional recognition of qualifications.
The Diploma Supplement (DS), recommended by the Bologna Declaration, becomes one of the main tools to facilitate the mobility and employability of graduates. The aim of the DS is to provide enough data free from any value-judgements to promote the international transparency and a fair academic and professional recognition of qualifications (diplomas, degrees, certificates, etc). The DS was designed to be a flexible, non-prescriptive tool providing a thorough description of the nature, level, context, content and status of the studies that were successfully completed by the individual named on the original diploma or certificate to which the Supplement is appended.
The University of Minho, recognizing the importance and added value of this tool in increasing the global competitiveness of its graduates, was the first Portuguese Higher Education Institution to issue the Diploma Supplement (at experimental level in 2001/2002 and in a wide scale since 2002/2003). This, in turn, lead the European Commission to award the University of Minho the Diploma Supplement Label in 2004.
In the University of Minho, the DS is made available in electronic format in the My profile > Documents area of the Academic Portal, free of charge and automatically, in its Portuguese and English versions.
The University of Minho also guaranteed that point 6.1 of the DS – Additional Information, integrated a diversified set of academically validated parallel activities, widening the formal/institutional recognition of the graduate’s academic path. Up to 10 activities can be included in this item.
What is it? A supplement attached to the original certificate/diploma issued by the institution; A template developed by the European Commission, the Council of Europe and UNESCO/CEPES; A tool to support mobility that provides additional information on any qualification and should be delivered both in the original language and in another EU language. At the University of Minho, it is issued in Portuguese and in English.An accurate and easily readable source of information of individual qualifications.
What is it not?It is not a curriculum vitae;It is not a substitute for the original qualification or a transcript; It is not an automatic system that guarantees recognition.
What does the Diploma Supplement offer?It promotes transparency in higher education; It provides more equitable and fairer recognitions; It facilitates the academic and/or professional recognition; It frames the qualification within the educational context of the country where the diploma is issued; It provides information on the institution where the qualification was obtained; It uses an easily understood terminology in order to prevent any language barriers; It promotes the integration into the labour market, thus increasing the employability of graduates; It contributes to the creation of the European Higher Education Area.
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