The University of Coimbra (UC) is a Portuguese public Higher Education Institution with more than 700 years of experience in education, training and research. Based on 3 campuses, it includes 8 faculties and 41 research centres, being a comprehensive highly regarded institution providing teaching and training and conducting research in almost all study fields associated to Exact Sciences and Engineering, Life Sciences, Social Sciences, Humanities and Sports.
UC has a strong internationalisation, one can feel the international atmosphere created by the gathering together, on a permanent basis, of students, teachers and researchers of different cultural backgrounds from all around the world (20% of its students come from about 60 countries). Aware of the complexity and difficulties of multilateral co-operation, the University decided to promote networking by supporting the foundation of important European networks: the Coimbra Group (38 partner universities) and the Utrecht Network (31 partner universities), in both of which the UC plays an important role. Knowing the importance of such links, the UC also became a founding member of the University Transnational Network [Pólo Transfronteiriço] (13 partner universities) and more recently, the Tordesillas Group (38 partner universities). The UC is also a member of CUM [Communauté des Universités du Mediterrané] (160 partner universities), of the SYLFF Network (88 partner universities) and of ERAMore – European Network of Mobility Centres (190 centres in 32 countries).
UC has a large experience in managing European exchange projects. Each academic year more than 500 students experience a period of study abroad and around 700 exchange students experience a period of study in Coimbra. The University has adapted its structures to the needs of foreign students and staff. UC’s Central International Unit was launched in 1986 and it has a project office with technical expertise and management capacity to manage a project of this size. The international coordinators at the departmental level play also an important role in the mobility process. This is also the case of most of the partners. The Central International Unit has a large experience in managing student and staff mobility, in supporting the application and acceptance procedures and in promoting cultural and social activities aiming their integration in the University and in the town. It has a web page with all the relevant information for exchange students and staff and a Mobility Centre to assist the postgraduate students and staff and their families (http://www.uc.pt/en/cmpg). Visa issues are also dealt with at the Central International Unit, which welcomes every year more than 700 exchange students. In cooperation with Social Services, it guarantees rooms in student residences for some students and helps the others finding suitable accommodation in family houses.
Vanda Santos is a Researcher at the Research Centre Didatics and Technology in Education of Trainers (CIDTFF) at the University of Aveiro, Portugal. She teaches subjects in the area of Didactics of Mathematics and previously has been teaching various Mathematics subjects, in different Polytechnic Institutes as assistant and at University Timor Lorosa’e of East Timor as invited professor. Her main research area are educational technologies, computational geometry, mathematical software, mathematics , education, with special focus on collaborative learning, active learning and development of mathematical reasoning.
Piedade Vaz Rebelo, PhD, assistant professor at the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences of Portugal’s oldest and most famous university, the University of Coimbra. Her PhD degree is from educational psychology. Her main research field is the psychological aspects of teaching sciences, innovative ways of teaching and popularizing mathematics and natural sciences. She’s been involved in several different international projects on these topics. See also https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0843-0200 .