Universidade do Minho / BabeliUM – Language Centre of the School of
Arts and Humanities
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE ORGANISATION
BabeliUM - the name of the Language Centre of the School of Arts and Humanities of the University of Minho (Universidade do Minho) alludes to the myth of the Tower of Babel.
However, instead of understanding the confusion of different languages as a divine punishment, BabeliUM adopts another interpretation that emerged from Enlightenment, according to which linguistic and cultural plurality is seen as a gift and a valuable resource of this planet. With this vision in mind, BabeliUM’s mission aims at transforming the University of Minho into a multilingual university opened to the world.
Multilingualism is a key vector of the internal institutional policy and interaction with BabeliUM’s partners, in line with the policies of the Council of Europe and the European Union, as well as with the USA recommendations (European Universit y Association), with a view to promoting the University of Minho:
• as internationalised university, open to the plurality of languages and cultures;
• as a vital element of a region of knowledge and culture.
Amongst the institutions of Higher Education in Portugal, the School of Arts and Humanities (ELACH) of the University of Minho (Universidade do Minho) is a pioneer in the introduction of courses of foreign languages and cultures for the academic community and the public in general (over 16 years of age).
Since 1987, ELACH has developed increasingly diverse programmes covering several languages and offering apprenticeships in various formats. In 1990 the Summer Course of Portuguese - Foreign Language took place, followed by the Annual Course Portuguese as Foreign Language in 1992, which has been establishing itself as an international reference over the years. The strong and diverse educational offer of foreign languages - an important complement to any university degree - has strategic importance in the internationalisation policy of Universidade do Minho, particularly in the current context of the European Higher Education System (Bologna System). Faced with this challenge, the
Statutes of ELACH, approved on 17 June 2009, define in Articles 35 and 36 a Language Centre, designated as BabeliUM, as an interaction with society project, aimed at developing training activities and promoting languages and cultures, as well as providing services in the field of languages (translation, interpretation, etc.). On the 22nd July 2009, the Council of ELACH approved the Regulation of BabeliUM.
BabeliUM was founded on the 26th September 2009, on the European Day of Languages, which is annually celebrated with promotional activities for multilingualism, with a view to fostering language learning.
HOW THE ORGANISATION WILL CONTRIBUTE TO THE DISSEMINATION AND EXPLOITATION OF THE PROJECT RESULTS
As the language centre of one of the most important public higher education institutions in Portugal, BabeliUM has a rather relevant platform to disseminate the project results – the centre will make use of its own website, of the School of Arts and Humanities’ website and of the University’s website.
Furthermore, BabeliUM will contribute to QuILL - Quality in Language Learning - the Erasmus+ Program for Strategic Partnerships for Digital Education Readiness through the exchange of experience and expertise during and after the project and by contributing to maximize the use and sustainability of the project results.