University of Porto

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The University of Porto (Universidade do Porto) is a Portuguese public university located in Porto, and founded 22 March 1911. It is the largest Portuguese university by number of enrolled students and has one of the most noted research outputs in Portugal. It is considered one of the 100 best Universities in Europe.


File:Fonte dos leões e reitoria.jpg
The main façade (north) of the University's rectory.

The University of Porto was founded by decree of March 22, 1911, issued by the Provisional Government of the First Portuguese Republic. While it is possible to point the university's predecessors as the Nautical Academy, established by King Joseph I in 1762, and the Drawing and Sketching Academy, created by Queen Mary I in 1779, the university was to be based primarily on higher education institutions created in the nineteenth century, namely the Polytechnic Academy and Medical-Surgical Academy of Porto.

The Polytechnic Academy's main purpose was the teaching of science and industrial engineering of all kinds, and professional specialties such as naval officers, merchants, farmers, factory directors and artists. Heir to the Royal Navy and Commerce Academy of Porto, which was established in 1803 by Prince Regent John (future King John VI), it arose as a result of reforms implemented by Passos Manuel, Minister of the Kingdom in the Government that came out of the Revolution of September. Under this reform, the name of the Academy was changed to the Royal Polytechnic Academy in 1837. However, the Royal Economic and Literary Academy, under the supervision of the Board of Directors of the General Company of Agriculture in the Alto Douro vineyards, was transferred to the Council of Lenses. Despite the great financial difficulties experienced during this period, the Polytechnic Academy of Porto underwent a time of great scientific activity, with eminent scientists such as Gomes Ferreira and Teixeira da Silva.

File:Faculdade Belas Artes Porto.jpg
The seat of the Faculty of Fine Arts.

The inauguration of the University of Porto took place on July 16, 1911, and mathematician Gomes Teixeira was chosen as first Reitor (rector). At this time, the university became economically and scientifically independent, and teaching autonomy was officially recognized.

Currently, there are 14 faculties and a postgraduate business school at the university.


R&D activities at the University of Porto have significantly expanded over the last years, mainly as a result of academic qualification and increased funding of R&D centers and concession of research grants through competitive programs with external independent evaluation by international peer review committees. Although R&D centers vary noticeably in dimension, aims and structure — from small units to large centers, conducting specialized or interdisciplinary work, faculty integrated or independent — they are present in almost every field of knowledge showing a shared vision towards a modern research-oriented university. Many of these centers are interface institutions whose aim is the development of links of cooperation between the University and external entities such as enterprises or governmental organizations. Among the most recognized research centers of the university are IBMC - Instituto de Biologia Molecular e Celular (Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology), IPATIMUP - Instituto de Patologia e Imunologia Molecular da Universidade do Porto (Institute of Molecular Pathology and Immunology of the University of Porto) and INESC-Porto - Instituto de Engenharia de Sistemas e Computadores (Research Institute of Computer Systems).

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The Institute of Biomedical Sciences.


The University buildings — faculties, R&D centres, student residences and sport facilities — are grouped in three main sites (called ‘poles’). In the city centre — where the neoclassical building of architect Carlos Amarante marks the birthplace of the University — lies Pole 1; Pole 2 (Asprela) is a campus in the northern end of Porto; Pole 3 (Campo Alegre) is located in the western part of the city, over the river Douro bank, not far from Pole 1. A number of other institutes and centers are scattered all over the city and even beyond its limits.

The development of strong links with the community is one of the University's main concerns. This lies behind the constitution of the Science and Development Foundation, an institution that associates University and municipality and is responsible for the management of two important cultural facilities located in Pole 3, the Porto Planetarium and the Campo Alegre Theatre. Another evidence of this concern is the priority given to Continuing Education, with the development of multidisciplinary courses, the establishment of cooperation protocols, the training of teachers, the foundation of the Association of Portuguese Universities for Continuing Education and the providing of e-learning courses.

International Cooperation

thumb The University of Porto is deeply committed to the development of its international relations, taking part in several university networks and cooperation groups — not only within Europe but also extending to the southern hemisphere countries of Portuguese language. The increasing numbers of students taking part in mobility programs, the exchange of lecturers and researchers, the participation in international R&D projects and the involvement in cooperative projects with Brazil and several African countries are a reflection of the importance the University gives to its international orientation. This is why, every year, a growing number of students and scientists from all over the world choose the University of Porto as their preferred teaching and research institution. In year 2007, for instance, around 2.000 foreign students completed their higher education at the University of Porto.

Finally, one should mention the active role the University has played in international actions concerning the assessment and funding of higher education institutions, both essential to the development of Portuguese models in these areas.


thumb student parade.]] The students of the University of Porto organise several extra curricular events. In sports, those include the activities promoted within G.A.D.U.P. and C.D.U.P.. In culture and academic festivities, the events range from the Latada to the Queima das Fitas. This last event is organized in cooperation with FAP - Federação Académica do Porto and it is considered the biggest student festivity in Porto.


File:Reitoria da Universidade do Porto (Portugal) 001.jpg
The Southern façade of the University's rectory.



Today, about 28,000 students (11,000 postgraduate) attend the programmes and courses provided by the U.Porto's fifteen schools (13 faculties, a biomedical sciences institute and a business school, each one with a considerable degree of autonomy).

  • Faculty of Architecture, FAUP
  • Faculty of Dental Medicine, FMDUP
  • Faculty of Economics, FEP
  • Faculty of Engineering, FEUP
  • Faculty of Fine Arts, FBAUP
  • Faculty of Law, FDUP
  • Faculty of Arts, FLUP
  • Faculty of Medicine, FMUP
  • Faculty of Nutrition and Food Science, FCNAUP
  • Faculty of Pharmacy, FFUP
  • Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, FPCEUP
  • Faculty of Sciences, FCUP [1]
  • Faculty of Sport, FADEUP [2]
  • Institute of Biomedical Sciences Abel Salazar, ICBAS
  • Porto Business School, PBS - UP

Globally, the U. Porto offers 63 graduate degree courses, over 160 master courses, and several doctoral degree courses and other specialization courses, supported by 2300 lecturers and a technical and administrative staff of over 1600 people.

In 2007, a Higher Education Evaluation & Accreditation Council of Taiwan's ranking, placed the University of Porto in 459. It was the only Portuguese university in the top 500 according to the Taiwanese ranking.

Famous alumni and professors

  • Abel Salazar, doctor, professor, painter.
  • Agostinho da Silva, philosopher.
  • António Carneiro, painter.
  • António Pinho Vargas, pianist and composer.
  • Alexandre Quintanilha, scientist.
  • Anake Kijjoa, professor and scientist.
  • António Soares dos Reis, sculptor.
  • Artur Aguas, professor and scientist.
  • Belmiro de Azevedo, businessperson.
  • Camilo Castelo Branco, writer.
  • Corino de Andrade, professor and scientist.
  • Edgar Cardoso, civil engineer and professor.
  • Eduardo Souto Moura, architect.
  • Elisa Ferreira, politician.
  • Fernando Teixeira dos Santos, minister.
  • Francisco Laranjo, painter and professor.
  • Froilano de Mello, microbiologist and MP in the Portuguese National Assembly.
  • José Pacheco Pereira, teacher and political analyst.
  • Júlio Dinis, doctor, writer.
  • Kaúlza de Arriaga, Brigadier General, writer, professor and politician.
  • Luís Archer, biologist, epistemologist and professor.
  • Luís Prista, professor and scientist.
  • Richard Zimler, professor and writer.
  • Mário Sousa, professor and scientist.
  • Nuno Grande, professor and scientist.
  • Rómulo de Carvalho / António Gedeão, scientist and poet.
  • Rui Reininho, musician.
  • Rui Rio, politician and mayor of Porto.
  • Sérgio Godinho, musician.
  • Alvaro Siza, architect.
  • Teresa Lago, astrophysicist and professor.
  • Victor de Sá, historian and professor.

See more University of Porto Famous Alumni (Official page)

See also

  • List of modern universities in Europe (1801–1945)
  • List of universities in Portugal
  • Higher education in Portugal

Notes and references


External links

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