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University of Minho

The University aims at being a “University Without Walls”, completely turned towards the surrounding socioeconomic environment. International activities are intense not only with the Portuguese-speaking countries but also with countries from all continents. The Times Higher Education 100 under 50 University Ranking 2013 ranked UMinho on the 76th position worldwide. UMinho considers itself to be a research university, engaged in the valorization of the chain of knowledge - Research, Development and Innovation - as is evidenced by a series of indicators. The ratio between PhD students and PhD teaching staff is over 1; the fraction of postgraduate students in the total student population is over 20%; 80% of the teaching staff hold a PhD; the ratio between research projects and PhDs is over 0.5; around 150 PhD theses are awarded every year; the average yearly production of refereed papers published in international magazines is 2/full time equivalent/year; and 250 R&D contracts are signed every year with external companies. Amongst the 30 University Research Units reckoned by The FCT 18 were considered in 2009 to be Very Good or Excellent by International Evaluation Panels, placing the UMinho on the top of the Portuguese Universities ranking. In 2012, European Research Council awarded 2 Advanced Grants to UMinho and in 2013, EC granted a FET project (Future and Emerging Technologies). UMinho is the unique Portuguese University involved on the main consortium.

Founded in 1973, the University of Minho received its first students in the academic year of 1975/76. Today the University is renowned for the competence and quality of its teachers and for the level of excellence in research as well as the wide range of undergraduate and graduate courses offered and the remarkable degree of interaction with other institutions. For these reasons, UMinho is a central actor in the region, an important reference for the country and a recognised partner at a European and global level. Located in the north of Portugal, the University has a campus in the city of Braga and another in the city of Guimarães.

The two campuses, one in Braga and the other in Guimarães, cover a total area of approximately 800.000 ft2, including two general libraries (in Braga and Guimarães) with about 300.000 books and 600 reading seats, 31 specialized libraries (over 100.000 books), a Classic Library (more than 300.000 books dating from 1450 to 1900) and 16.750 scientific journals accessible through the Digital Library b-on. The campuses feature 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 (827 and 482 beds in Braga and in Guimarães, respectively). All of these spaces provide the necessary conditions for academic success and well-being, including wireless broadband Internet access, dining rooms, cafeterias and canteens, study and recreation areas, laundry, etc.

UMinho ensures the timely payment of scholarships to all students. Those that benefit from this kind of financial support are a priority when it comes to the assignment of student housing. Worth mentioning are also the cultural and sports activities developed by students gathered in associations and musical, theatre and poetry groups, among others. The Academic Association organizes several events, namely the Freshman Welcome Week and the Enterro da Gata week, also known as the “Burial of the Cat”. UMinho further provides medical and psychological assistance as well as access to the practice of over 50 different sports activities.

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 2010/2011 academic year is marked by the beginning of a broader educational provision based on distance and post-working hour learning programs. This offer will have a great social impact and it will open the University to a new public, in the context of demand and quality which has always been the hallmark of this institution.

More information in www.uminho.pt

The Minho Region and the City of Guimarães

Located in the north of Portugal, the Minho region borders on Galicia (Spain), in the north, and the Atlantic Ocean, in the west. With a population of over 1.1 million inhabitants, the region is often associated with the green of its natural scenery, where water is in abundance. Minho is also typically characterized by a mountainous terrain of great beauty and biodiversity, which gradually becomes smoother as one reaches the river valleys and the countless beaches along the coastline. At present, the geographic area of the Minho region amounts to 4,700 km². The unique traditional landscape, marked by small fields, vineyards and corn fields, villages with granite structures and manor houses bring another dimension to the description of the region, together with the typical Minho hospitality, rich culinary tradition and vibrant customs, celebrations and popular festivals.

Guimarães is a Portuguese city located in the District of Braga, in the Norte region and the sub region of Ave (one of the most industrialized sub regions in the country). Its population of 52,182 inhabitants takes up an urban area of 23.5 km², with 20 parishes and a population density of 2.223.9 inhabitants/km². It is the seat of a municipality with an area of 242.85 km² and 162,572 inhabitants (2006). It is divided into 69 parishes with the majority of the population living in the city and on its outskirts. Guimarães borders on the municipality of Póvoa de Lanhoso in the north, Fafe in the east, Felgueiras, Vizela and Santo Tirso in the south, Vila Nova de Famalicão in the west and Braga in the northwest.

The historic city of Guimarães is associated with the emergence of the Portuguese national identity (12th century). Holding the title of World Heritage from UNESCO, it consists of an exceptionally well-preserved and authentic example of the evolution of a medieval settlement into a modern city, its rich building typology exemplifies the specific development of Portuguese architecture from the 15th to 19th century through the consistent use of traditional building materials and techniques. With a strong Cultural activity, Guimarães was the European Capital of Culture in 2012.

Places to visit in Guimarães:
- Castelo de Guimarães - Sito na Colina Sagrada
- Paços dos Duques de Bragança – Colina Sagrada
- Capela de S.Miguel – Colina Sagrada
- Muralha da Cidade – Avenida Alberto Sampaio
- Antigos Paços do Concelho – Largo da Oliveira
- Padrão do Salado – Largo da Oliveira
- Igreja da Oliveira – Largo da Oliveira
- Igreja de S. Francisco – Alameda de S. Dâmaso
- Igreja de S. Pedro – Largo do Toural
- Igreja de S. Domingos – Rua D. João I
- Igreja de S. Dâmaso – Rua D. Mafalda
- Igreja e Convento das Dominicas – Rua Da Liberdade
- Igreja da Misericórdia – Rua da Rainha
- Santuário da Penha – Penha Guimarães
- Convento de Santa Clara – Largo Cónego José Maria Gomes
- Mosteiro de S. Torcato – S. Torcato
- Museu Alberto Sampaio – Rua Alfredo Guimarães
- Museu Martins Sarmento – Rua Paio Galvão
- Centro Cultural Vila Flor – Av. D. Afonso Henriques
- Largo da Oliveira
- Largo do Toural
- Praça de Santiago

More information in http://www.guimaraesturismo.com/