Aware of the responsibility that over 700 years of existence entail, the University of Coimbra is an example of permanent updating and adjustment to the country’s history. It endeavours to honour its past through a search for excellence and an attitude of social accountability.
With the past founded on the construction of the future, the University of Coimbra is a model of quality teaching, groundbreaking research, and links to business and industry. The University is also engaged in social action and cultural activities.
It is the oldest Portuguese university, the best known and internationally acknowledged and one of the most important national institutions.
An illustrious tradition
The University of Coimbra is the oldest university in Portugal, and one of the oldest in the world. It was founded in 1290 by the decree Scientiae thesaurus mirabilis issued by King Dinis, nearly 150 years after the foundation of Portugal.
The bull De statu regni Portugaliae from Pope Nicholas IV, issued on August 9, 1290, acknowledged the General Study. The University was first located in Lisbon, but was moved to Coimbra in 1308. The University was sited in either Lisbon or Coimbra until 1537, when it was finally and definitively transferred to the latter.
The history of the University is also the history of those who have been a part of it, and among them are distinguished personalities from all walks of Portuguese life. It was at this University that the only Portuguese Nobel Prize laureate for Medicine (Egas Moniz) gained his Doctorate degree and the first elected President of the Republic (Manuel de Arriaga) was Chancellor.
Reliable and high-quality education
Due to its international prestige, the acknowledged expertise of its lecturers and professors, and its cosmopolitan atmosphere (with students from around 60 different countries) the University of Coimbra represents an enriching and even exceptional experience for its students, staff, and visitors.
The University consists of eight Faculties, one Institute for Interdisciplinary Research, and nearly 150 centres and units that conduct research and provide specialised services.
These bodies provide high-quality education and relevant research for Portugal’s scientific and entrepreneurial development.
Nearly 18,000 students attend degree courses, and there are several hundred post-graduate, master’s and doctorate courses for those who wish to proceed their studies or deepen their knowledge. The high standards of training provided by the University place it among the most renowned national and international institutions for higher education.
Modern infra-structures serving society
For over seven centuries of history, the University expanded until today it comprises three main Campuses: Campus I, located in the Alta, where the institution was “born”, Campus II, designed for the various engineering fields, and the Campus for the Health Sciences, a symbol of the University’s investment in this area.
Various museums, libraries, documentation centres, the Teatro Académico de Gil Vicente, the Botanical Garden, and the University Stadium, among other bodies, complement the University’s Faculties.
Although many of these structures have no parallel in the city, they are open to it, and in close connection with the community, which is a distinctive feature of this University. Over the years, the University has developed competences in various areas, which have been instrumental in securing it a dominant role in the scientific and cultural life of the country.
Research and its links to business and industry
In terms of innovation, the University is a fundamental mechanism for entrepreneurial initiative and development, especially in areas such as cutting-edge technology and links between scientific research and the market.
Seven centuries old, and looking to the future, the University of Coimbra is an example of both close relationship with business and industry and international projection.