Created in 1973, the University of Aveiro quickly became one of the most dynamic and innovative universities in Portugal. Now a public foundation under private law, it continues to develop and implement its mission to provide undergraduate and postgraduate education, to generate research and promote cooperation with society.
Attended by about 15,000 students on undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, the UA has achieved a significant position amongst higher education institutions in Portugal, being one of the top universities regarding the quality of its infrastructures, the strength of its research and the excellence of its staff.
The UA is a highly regarded institution of research led education, constituted by university departments, research units, polytechnic schools, interface units, and a vocational education network. Its integrated structure permits the articulation and harmonisation of the teaching and research environments, and enables the construction of individual educational paths, from post-secondary technological specialisation programmes to doctoral degrees. Teaching activities are developed in a research-based environment, and throughout the academic year, dozens of national and international conferences are organised, generating a dynamic and multicultural atmosphere for students and staff.
Excellence in research is one of the hallmarks of the University: 15 of its 18 research units were classified as Very good or Excellent by international panels under the sponsorship of the Portuguese National Science Foundation in its most recent round of assessments. Four of these units carry the label of Associate Laboratory, a distinction attributed by the Portuguese Government to research institutions of sustained and exceptional merit.
Research at the UA promotes innovative products and solutions, contributing to the advance of science and technology. It is a privileged partner for companies and other national and international organisations with which it cooperates on numerous projects and for which it provides important services.
During 2010, UA was active in 369 research and technology transfer projects, of which 32 were financed by international and European programmes, mainly FP6 and FP7. These projects were developed in different scientific areas: cellular biology; ceramics and composite materials; design; education and behavioural sciences; electronics and telematics engineering; environmental and marine sciences; geo-technologies and geo-engineering; governance, competitiveness and public policy; languages and cultures; technologies and science of communication; mathematics and applications; mechanical technology and automation; music and dance; nanostructures, nanomodelling and nanomanufacture; organic chemistry and telecommunications.
The University of Aveiro offers a wide range of degree programmes in various areas of knowledge which reflect its multidisciplinary and innovative character and are designed to build student competences in scientific and technical areas that meet the emerging needs of business, industry and society. The University’s degree programmes are delivered in an atmosphere of research, precision and quality and are organised in three cycles: the 1st cycle lasts three years and results in a Licenciatura degree; the 2nd cycle requires two years to complete a Masters degree; and the 3rd cycle takes between three and five years to obtain a Doctorate. In some Engineering fields, the UA offers integrated 1st and 2nd cycle programmes called Integrated Masters. Each year, the UA welcomes growing numbers of graduate students, a segment that currently represents just under 35% of the total student population. The recent creation of the Doctoral School, in close articulation with UA’s scientific research, will further this evolution, which reflects the need for qualification and specialisation.
The UA is a privileged partner of companies and other national and international entities, with which it cooperates on various projects and programmes and for which it provides important services. As a quality research institution, the University of Aveiro develops solutions and innovative products that contribute to technological, scientific, cultural and social improvement.