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Academic Recognition
Portal Académico > EN > Students > Mobility Programs > Academic Recognition

 Academic Recognition

​The University of Minho has made an effort to guarantee and improve the quality of its mobility activities. Figures and statistics only make sense if they are associated with a genuinely successful international mobility, academically valid and certified. 
 
The Academic Recognition is a sine qua non condition for student mobility in UMinho,​ in which all ECTS tools are properly created, filled in and implemented, and all system orientation principles are respected: Application form, Learning Agreement and Transcript of Records (at the moment of application and at the end of the study period), Credits, Grades, etc. At the same time, internal compulsory procedures were defined, to facilitate this process and to make it more transparent, almost automatic and trustworthy.
 
Each UMinho Department has an Academic Coordinator, who is in charge of all academic issues, with full autonomy in the academic coordination of the studies period for UMinho students abroad. The Department Academic Coordinator's role is crucial and complementary to that of the International Relations Services (SRI) throughout the entire mobility organisation process.
 
Before their departure, the mobility student receives instructions from the SRI, so that any change to be included in the Learning Agreement (LA) after the arrival at the host institution - such as schedule clashes or if the course is not taking place, and other reasons - is immediately reported and subjected to the approval of the UMinho's Academic Coordinator, in order to maintain the commitment made, on what concerns academic recognition.
 
The International Relations Services also created an annex to the Learning Agreement - the Academic Recognition Plan​ (PRA). This is an internal document that outlines not just the study plan to be followed in the host institution, but also the courses the student will have equivalence to, upon returning to UMinho, if the student completes the foreign study plan successfully. This document makes it possible to perform a transparent comparative analysis between the workloads from both institutions (home and host universities) and also safeguards the method of equivalence: course per course, course per set of courses of in a block or​ courses. The PRA is made by the International Relations Services, approved by the Department Academic Coordinator in UMinho and signed both by him/her and the student.
 
These two documents (LA and PRA), which are absolutely binding, must be completed and approved before the mobility period starts, regardless of any changes that may occur. Good judgement and some flexibility are critical to ensure that everything runs smoothly. The Department Academic Coordinator is always in charge of guaranteeing that the core competences of the education provided by the university are not compromised.
 
After the end of the exchange study programme, the International Relations Services will make sure the Department Academic Coordinator receives the Transcript of Records sent by the host university, indicating the results and ECTS obtained by the student, so that the final academic recognition step can be completed.
 
The International Relations Services monitors all stages of the process. The cycle is closed when the Head of the International Relations Services and the Department Academic Coordinator sign a letter, requesting that the Academic Services issue the grades that resulted from the academic recognition process.
 
Unfortunately, until recently, students did not see their exchange programme studies valued by any formal document issued by the University of Minho, as Portuguese law did not allow for any changes to the official curriculum. 
Admitting that this situation was not ideal, for various reasons, the University of Minho was able to solve this issue through the creation of the Diploma Supplement (SD)​. In point 4.3 of the SD (Programme Details), the mobility period is explicitly referenced. The courses completed in the host institution are listed, indicated by name, length and original grades, allowing for a clear association with the courses in fact completed and subjected to academic recognition (listed in Annex I of SD).
 
UMinho has issued Diploma Supplements (PT, EN) for all its graduates since the 2002/2003 academic year, and to all masters since 2004/2005. UMinho was the first Portuguese university to see its SD accredited by the European Commission, earning the Diploma Supplement Label.
 
It is important to point out that before departure all UMinho students taking part in the Programme LLP/Erasmus will receive the Erasmus Student Charter​, so that they are perfectly aware of their rights and duties.​