University of Coimbra. Founded in 1290, the University of Coimbra (UC) is one of the oldest universities in the world and the oldest in all of Portugal. Built in the grounds of a former palace, its 16th century campus is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The UC is a Portuguese public HEI with more than 700 years of experience in education, training and research. Today, UC is a large complex structure with three campuses, 25,000 students, of which 20% are international students from more than 100 different nationalities, and 3020 academic and non-academic staff members. In line with its core mission of educating and producing knowledge, UC takes a firm stand on the implementation of policies aimed at sustainable economic and social development, acting as a leading specialised community service provider and a major booster of entrepreneurship in the city, in the region and nationally. UC is a member of several university networks worldwide (Coimbra Group, Utrecht Network, EUA, SYLFF Network, AULP, AUIP, GCUB), and its activities are carried out in close cooperation with international partners and stakeholders. Last year, 600 students have experienced a period of study abroad, and about 1800 exchange students have experienced a period of study in Coimbra within the framework of Erasmus and several other mobility programmes.
UC is a world leading university that offers education and research in all study levels and in nearly all study fields. It participates in joint programmes with some of the best universities in the world. Erasmus Mundus, MIT Portugal, CMU Portugal, Harvard-Portugal Clinical Scholars Research Training Program and UT Austin Portugal are examples of such excellence partnerships to name just a few.
Internationalisation and joint degrees have been key topics in the European agenda for the modernisation and attractiveness of higher education, as well as in the Bologna Process
Ministers’ Communiqués over the past decade and a half. The most recent communiqués of 2015 and 2018 consider joint degrees as part of the foundation of the European Higher Education Area and call for “integrated transnational cooperation in higher education, research and innovation”. In December 2017, the European Council called on Member States and the European Commission to take forward many initiatives, including the building of “bottom-up networks of universities across the EU which will enable students to obtain a degree by combining studies in several EU countries and contribute to the international competitiveness of European universities”. This further reinforced over a decade of joint and dual degree development under schemes such as Erasmus Mundus as well as Bologna commitments. The University of Coimbra follows these trends. The development of joint degrees has been explicitly included in its Strategic Plans since 2011, and UC is now part of six Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Programmes and has several joint/double degree programmes. One of them is the WOP-P Master. Since 2006, the UC is a partner of the Consortium that organises this Master under the Erasmus+ Program achieving a high level of integration, internationalisation, and alumni employability.