the history of our school

Among Higher Education institutions in Portugal, the  Institute of Letters and Human Sciences (ILCH)  of the University of Minho (Uminho) is a pioneer in the introduction of free courses in foreign languages and cultures for the academic community and for the general public (larger age 16).

Since 1987, the  Institute of Letters and Human Sciences (ILCH)  has developed increasingly diversified programs , covering several languages and offering learning in different formats . In 1990, the Summer Course of Portuguese – Foreign Language began and, two years later, the Annual Course of Portuguese as a Foreign Language , which has consolidated itself, over the years, as a reference at an international level .

The strong and diversified offer of training in foreign languages – an important complement to any university course – is of strategic importance in the internationalization policy of the University of Minho , namely in the current context of European Higher Education (Bologna System). Faced with this challenge, the ILCH Statutes, ratified on June 17, 2009, define, in their articles 35 and 36, a Language Center, called BabeliUM, as a project of interaction with society , whose purpose is the development of training projects and promotion of languages and cultures , as well as provision of services in the field of languages(translation, interpretation, etc.). On July 22, 2009, the ILCH Council approved the  BabeliUM Regulations .

BabeliUM was founded on September 26 , 2009 , the European Day of Languages, which is annually celebrated with actions to promote multilingualism, motivating people to learn languages.

In 2011 , upon proposal by the Rector, the General Council requested the transformation of the University of Minho into a public foundation under private law , an option enshrined in Decree-Law no. 4/2016, of January 13, which is part of the Foundation’s Statutes. 

Later, in 2019 , the Institute of Letters and Human Sciences asked the Rector of the University of Minho to change its name to School of Letters, Arts and Human Sciences , in order to reflect in its name the new artistic valences – the Music and Theater – recently integrated into its educational offer . This desideratum was approved at the General Council meeting on January 27, 2020 . In March 2021 , with the Diário da República, 2nd Series, no. 115, of June 16, 2021, it wasthe designation “School of Letters, Arts and Human Sciences” was consigned, and the present Statutes were also amended in order to integrate the new name in all its articles.

The School of Letters, Arts and Human Sciences develops teaching and research projects in the fields of Letters, Arts and Humanities, based on freedom of thought and consistent training — in the ethical, cultural, scientific, artistic and professional dimensions — capable of to promote well-being and solidarity among people. The School is in solidarity with the other Institutes or Schools of the University in complementing knowledge , opening up to an interdisciplinary vision , adhering to community service projects and defending an environment thatpromote the integral realization of the human person , the promotion of a culture based on responsibility and the permanent search for excellence . With the pursuit of programs and actions that develop Languages, Arts and Humanities, it is intended to strengthen in an increasingly intense, inclusive and consolidated way, both culture and humanistic training , critical thinking and the arts , as well as the appreciation of the Portuguese language and multilingualismas a fundamental condition for deepening mutual understanding in an increasingly globalized world.