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About U.Porto - Quality and Accreditation

Even though U.Porto has always been committed to Quality, important steps were taken over the last decades to stabilise and formalise the Quality Management System (QMS), which is essential to the University’s “Culture of Quality”.

U.Porto has a Continuous Improvement Service since 2006, currently The Quality and Assessment Office (GAQ), which was formed to foster and consolidate a culture of quality at the University of Porto while monitoring the institutional assessment processes.

Its mission covers the following aspects:

  • Plan, support and control an inclusive QMS, in which all U.Porto employees are Quality agents, irrespective of where and when they work.
  • Integrate assessment and improvement mechanisms in ongoing tasks through simple procedures.
  • Promote a "Culture of Quality".

The reinforcement and consolidation of a "Culture of Quality" were considered strategic elements in U.Porto's Management, as confirmed by its successive strategic plans and general outlines.

In 2017, U.Porto requested the Agency for Assessment and Accreditation of Higher Education (A3ES) to conduct an audit of the Internal System for Quality Assurance (SIGQ.UP), which the A3ES Management Board unconditionally certified for a 6-year period.

Pillars of U.Porto's Quality Management System

Pillars of U.Porto's Quality Management System

Collection, processing, analysis and dissemination of relevant and detailed information, including a national comparison, whenever possible, about U.Porto's performance in its main areas of activity.




Human Resources

Incorporation of quality assurance procedures in U.Porto's Information System (SIGARRA), where most routines are formatted and normalised, and where good practices are established.

(*) For more information, consult the previous editions of the Monitoring Procedure and Monitoring of Courses.

These two aspects are applied to the main areas of U.Porto's activity.

U.Porto's Balanced Scorecard is the instrument adopted to monitor U.Porto's performance, presented in the strategic and action plans. Every year it is monitored in the activity plans and in the activity and accounting reports.

The Quality Management System Manual of the University of Porto is used to verify compliance with management procedures stated in the ESG - 2015 requirements and the A3ES SIGQ Reference Framework - 2016.

Assessment and Accreditation

All U.Porto study cycles are subject to an external assessment process since 2009, conducted by the Agency for Assessment and Accreditation of Higher Education (A3ES).

The assessment and accreditation of national study cycles is processed according to the following modalities:

  • Preliminary accreditation: all study cycles which were in operation in 2010
  • Prior Accreditation of New Study Programmes (PAPNCE): intended for requests made as of 2010
    • The creation of study cycles implies that the Faculties present a prior accreditation of new study programmes (PAPNCE) to the Agency for Assessment and Accreditation of Higher Education (A3ES). This request is supported by the assessments of the bodies of the proposing Faculties and needs to be previously verified by U.Porto’s Senate and approved by the Rector under the statutory competencies attributed to them.
    • The creation of new study cycles takes into account the courses of the same level and field(s) of study already existing in U.Porto. In case there is an overlay, we consider the possibility to suppress study cycles with general objectives which can be replaced by the new proposal, so that lecturers and students are not too scattered throughout study cycles.
    • Consult the documentation regarding the new accredited U.Porto study cycles until the present moment.
  • Assessment of Study Programmes in Operation (ACEF or PERA), in the context of regular self-assessment cycles:

The accreditation of a study cycle ensures compliance with the legal requirements regarding its creation and operation. It also guarantees a positive assessment in the scientific and pedagogical criteria defined by A3ES.

In 2019, the University of Porto was accredited by A3ES for a 6-year period.

In 2010, the University of Porto was evaluated by the European University Association (EUA) within the framework of the Institutional Evaluation Programme (IEP).