Terms of reference approved and ongoing organisation

Given the possibility of fewer restrictions on people’s physical mobility and on the use of social and academic spaces becoming effective, IE-ULisboa has defined the terms of reference for the on-campus organization and implementation of its teaching activities for the 2020/2021 school year.

The terms of reference observe three essential goals: ensuring the scientific and pedagogic quality of teaching-learning experiences and the quality of learning; providing students’ return to a full academic life; and ensuring hygiene and safety conditions for the whole IE-ULisboa community.

It is recommended that the terms of reference are read. These establish the return to the on-campus regime during the first semester of next year* and define ways of achieving this, taking into account foreseeable constraints regarding the full use of physical spaces, including classroom capacity and general access to other closed areas of the building.

The adopted solution will allow all students to participate regularly in pedagogic activities held on campus. Depending on the size of the classes (e.g., larger or smaller than 15), attendance will take place weekly or every fortnight. In the fortnightly on-campus regime, CUs will have their programmes adapted, each class will have two independent sub-units and will follow a work rationale that combines sequences of on-campus work and autonomous work for each one.

Besides teaching activities, access to the library, computer rooms, study rooms, the bar and canteen will be guaranteed, complying with the hygiene and social distancing rules defined by the public authorities.

The academic calendar will be duly disclosed. Right now, bachelor classes (2nd and 3rd years) and master classes (specialization, master and PhD programmes) are expected to start in mid-September and 1st-year bachelor classes are expected to start during the second week of October.

As usual, IE-ULisboa will carry out welcoming activities for the new students.

Naturally, IE-ULisboa is following the evolution of the pandemic and the measures adopted by the public authorities extremely closely, as well as the guidelines of MCTES and the ULisboa Rectory, and it is prepared, at any time, to respond rapidly and efficiently to contingencies, whether they provide a full comeback to academic life, as we wish, or they impose further restrictions.


* The return to the on-campus regime will take place in all our programmes, except those that have been working for several years in specific regimes – the specialization in Education and Digital Technologies of the Master’s in Education (distance regime) and the specialization programme in Technologies and Robotics in Basic Education (blended learning)..

Terms of reference

I. Presentation and conditions of application of the terms of reference
  1. The terms of reference herein identified aim to help steer the preparation processes of the forms of pedagogic work to be adopted in the 2020/2021 academic year, in relation to the first semester. The terms of reference regarding the second semester will be defined at the end of November, in the light of the existing conditions and of the evaluation of the work carried out in the meantime.
  2. The terms of reference apply to all the IE-ULisboa programmes that operate in an on-campus regime. The exceptions to this way of operating are the Master’s programme in Education, in the specialization Education and Digital Technologies (carried out as distance education), and the specialization programme in Technologies and Robotics in Basic Education (which works in a b-learning regime with some on-campus activities which take place on Saturdays)1.
  3. The implementation of these terms of reference implies the need for an articulated intervention of the governing and managing bodies of the IE, of the coordinators of the programmes/specializations, of the IE Advisory Department and of several IE/FP services (academic services, library, technical services), from the moment they enter into force.
  4. These terms of reference are based on the assumption that next September, IE-ULisboa may operate in an ‘advanced opening’ scenario.
  5. In case a scenario with greater restrictions is established, at any moment, by public and academic authorities, IE-ULisboa will proceed with all the teaching and evaluation activities of its programmes using the working model adopted between the beginning of March and the end of the second semester of 2019/2020, with the changes found necessary to reduce the difficulties identified by students and teachers and to improve the provision of our educational service.

1 The on-campus activities foreseen in the ‘Technologies and Robotics in Basic Education’ programme should take into account these terms of reference inasmuch as they are applicable.

II. The ‘advanced opening’ scenario
  1. This scenario represents the possibility of a significant change in the measures to fight the pandemic, especially in the restrictions of people’s physical mobility, the use of social and academic spaces, and ways of social interaction.
  2. It implies the possibility of people moving around freely or with very few limitations on national territory (e.g., the possibility for students to regularly travel to their places of origin and/or residence) and in urban spaces (e.g., the use of transports limited only by the rules of social distancing in use), as well as the possibility of people’s (regulated) access to social and cultural equipment and services and to equipment related to fundamental consumption.
  3. It implies the absence of restrictions to the ULisboa campuses and to its main infrastructures (namely, faculty buildings and support structures, such as residences, canteens and libraries).
  4. It implies, however, that there are limitations with regard to the gathering of great masses of people and/or groups of people in physically limited spaces, namely classrooms, libraries, computer rooms, study rooms, common circulation and co-presence areas, associated with maintaining restrictive social distancing rules (e.g. keeping a 1-metre distance)2. In the current physical conditions of the IE/FP buildings and, above all, considering the classrooms’ capacity, these limitations mean it is impossible to hold on-campus theoretical-practical sessions (the typical form of the curricular units of the IE-ULisboa programmes) with more than 15 students.3
  5. Last, but not least, this scenario implies that ULisboa and its organic units are capable of guaranteeing its communities the health, hygiene and safety conditions that meet the standards established by reference entities.

2 WHO.
3 This number [15] may be subject to change due to possible external regulatory interventions, namely on behalf of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education or the ULisboa Rectory.

III. Goals
  1. The forms of pedagogic work organization to be developed in the first semester of the 2020/2021 academic year, in the advanced opening scenario, are ruled by three key goals:
    (a) ensuring the scientific and pedagogic quality of teaching-learning experiences and the quality of learning, in exceptional circumstances of pedagogic work;
    (b) promoting students’ return to a full academic life, which includes, but greatly exceeds, the experience of teaching activities;
    (c) ensuring health, hygiene and safety conditions for the whole IE-ULisboa community – its students, teachers/researchers, technical staff and their families.
IV. Organizational principles of teaching activities

In curricular units with 15 or more enrolled students

  1. In the ‘advanced opening’ scenario, the IE-ULisboa programmes submitted to these terms of reference will adopt a mixed organization modality for teaching activities in all curricular units with more than 15 enrolled students.
  2. The use of this model aims to guarantee the regular occurrence of on-campus teaching activities to all students, though limited by the impossibility of gathering high numbers in the classrooms and other building spaces without putting at risk the health of the IE/FP-ULisboa communities.
  3. This model should guarantee that all students attend and participate in on-campus activities corresponding to 50% of the sessions programmed for the first semester in each CU.
  4. This way of working is characterised by the practical combination of two conditions: (a) alternating on-campus work with students’ autonomous work; (b) and alternating the weekly presence of students of each class in the institution.
  5. Implementing this model, based on the (previous) adaptation of the CU programme, implies dividing each class in two independent sub-units, and a work rationale that combines, for each sub-unit, sequences of on-campus work and autonomous work, backed up by the distance resources deemed appropriate for each programme and CU.


In curricular units with less than 15 enrolled students

  1. In curricular units with less than 15 students, pedagogic work will resume the usual formats in the on-campus programmes of IE-ULisboa.


Special cases

  1. The curricular units Research Seminar I (modules 1 and 2) and Transdisciplinary Seminars I (3 sessions), both of the 1st year of the Doctor’s Degree in Education, gathering students from several specialities, will be carried out in a distance regime, with synchronous sessions.
  2. In the (‘on-campus’) programmes in which IE participates with other ULisboa organic units, the curricular units under the responsibility of IE teachers will follow these terms of reference. Should it become essential to elaborate more specific terms of reference, these should be defined by 1 July 2020.
  3. The curricular units in which teachers belonging to risk groups (see VI.2, below) are involved may have a special operational regime. This regime should be defined and validated by the time teaching staff service distribution for 2020-2021 is approved.



  1. In order to reduce concurrent presences in the building and different spaces, IE and FP have harmonised aspects regarding weekly and daily timetables, including start and end times of classes and breaks, to foster the asynchronous attendance of common spaces, such as the bar, canteen and library.


Regulations and hosting of students from other countries

  1. Given the exceptional circumstances, including mobility limitations students may be unaware of, during the first months of classes IE-ULisboa will welcome to its programmes all those from other countries who are duly enrolled and substantiate their delay justifiably.
  2. Furthermore, these students will be integrated in teaching activities since the start of the semester, using distance working and teaching methods.


Start of the year and duration of the first semester

  1. In the Master programmes and 2nd and 3rd years of the Bachelor programme, the academic year will start in mid-September (usual dates).
  2. Because of a change in dates of secondary school exams, classes of the 1st year of the Bachelor programme will only start at the beginning of October.
  3. The delay in starting the 1st year of the Bachelor programme will be adjusted in the academic calendar by prolonging the teaching period throughout January.
  4. In every study cycle there will be welcoming activities for the students.


Conditions for supporting academic work4

  1. During the first semester of 2020/2021, the Library and computer rooms will be open to students, albeit with limited access.
  2. Access to the Library will be restrained to a smaller number of users, depending on the need to apply social distancing rules and the hygiene conditions inside. A regime of shifts or maximum periods of stay may be adopted.
  3. The number of workstations in the computer room will be smaller in order to safeguard social distancing inside and according to the space’s conditions of ventilation.
  4. Sanitising material will be placed at the entrance and inside all these spaces.


Other spaces for supporting academic life5

  1. The bar and the canteen will work in compliance with the measures issued by the relevant authorities for this sector of activity.
  2. Given the limited access and use of these spaces, due to these rules, adjacent external spaces will be created, where meals can be eaten while complying with the expected rules of distancing and hygiene.

4 Together with FP.
5 Together with FP.

V. General conditions of access to the building and use of closed spaces
  1. Mandatory use of individual protection equipment, namely community masks, by everyone.
  2. Keeping a minimum physical distance – 1 m between people6 – , both when in movement and when using spaces.
  3. Guaranteed cleaning, disinfection and ventilation of spaces for use, at suitable intervals.
  4. Encouraging remote meetings, namely meetings of Master’s and PhD juries, selection boards in tenders, related to higher education teaching careers and the scientific research career, public tests and meetings of governing and managing bodies.7
  5. The presence of any element of the academic community in the IE/FP space is limited by exercising ‘self-monitoring’, and this is to be respected by everyone. Whoever manifests Covid 19 symptoms should refrain from being present.

6 WHO.
7 Obviously, the above-mentioned juries and meetings will continue to be planned this way as long as this legislative permission is maintained.

VI. Protecting people associated with risk groups
  1. At their own request, people associated with risk groups – as regularly established by DGS (e.g., people with chronic diseases or whose immune system is compromised) – may, if they prefer, develop their activities at distance. This request should be addressed in writing to the board by 10 July.
  2. In these cases, and with respect to teachers, it is recommended that the Distribution of Teaching Staff (2020/2021) encompasses solutions that allow teaching activities to be shared, so that the existence of regular on-campus activities is maximised.

O IE-ULisboa está a preparar o próximo ano letivo de modo a: (a) assegurar a qualidade científica e pedagógica das experiências de ensino-aprendizagem e a qualidade das aprendizagens, em circunstâncias excecionais de trabalho pedagógico; (b) propiciar o regresso dos estudantes à vivência académica, a qual abrange, mas ultrapassa, largamente, a vivência das atividades letivas; (c) garantir condições de saúde, higiene e segurança a toda a comunidade do IE-ULisboa – seus estudantes, professores/investigadores, técnicos e respetivas famílias.

Assim, regressaremos ao regime de trabalho presencial em todos os nossos cursos, excetuando aqueles que, desde há vários anos, vêm funcionando em regimes específicos – a especialidade de Educação e Tecnologias Digitais do Mestrado em Educação (regime a distância) e o curso de especialização em Tecnologias e Robótica no Ensino Básico (blended learning).

A par da atividade letiva serão garantidos acessos à biblioteca, às salas de informática, a salas de estudo, ao bar e cantina, respeitando as regras de higiene e de distanciamento social definidas pelas autoridades públicas.

A organização e o funcionamento do próximo semestre letivo serão necessariamente adaptados aos condicionalismos atualmente previstos, designadamente quanto à aglomeração de grupos de pessoas em espaços fisicamente limitados.

Ademais, o IE-ULisboa está preparado para, em qualquer momento, responder rápida e eficazmente às contingências, sejam as que propiciem um regresso pleno à vida académica, sejam as que imponham maiores restrições.

As aulas dos cursos de licenciatura (2.º e 3.º anos) e de pós-graduação (cursos de especialização, mestrados e doutoramentos) terão início em meados de setembro. As aulas do 1º ano da Licenciatura terão início no início de outubro.

O IE-ULisboa realizará, como habitualmente, atividades de acolhimento aos novos estudantes.

Mais informações podem ser consultadas em FAQs acerca do funcionamento do próximo ano letivo (2020-2021) no IE-ULisboa.

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