University of Porto

University of Porto
Universidade do Porto
Latin: Universitas Portucalensis
MottoVirtus Unita Fortius Agit
TypePublic research university
Established1836 (Polytechnic Academy and Medical-Surgical School) 1911 (University)
RectorAntónio Sousa Pereira
Administrative staff
Teaching Staff: 1,920 (ETI) / Technical and Administrative Staff: 1,693
Students30,640 (2009)
Undergraduates22,405 (1st Cycle and Integrated Master courses)
Postgraduates8,235 (Master and Doctorate courses)
Other students
742 (Post-Doc)
Colours Gold

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


The University of Porto was founded by decree of 22 March 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 (1836–1911) and Medical-Surgical Academy of Porto (1836–1911).

The main façade (north) of the university's rectory

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.

The seat of the Faculty of Fine Arts

The inauguration of the University of Porto took place on 16 July 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.

Research and development

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.

The Institute of Biomedical Sciences

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 Immunologia 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).

The University of Porto collaborates with many companies though its Parque da Ciencia e Tecnologia do Porto, a business incubator and business entrepreneur centre. Some companies included on these centre are: Nonius, Fan Valley or Veniam.


University rankings
Global – Overall
ARWU World201–300 (2023)
QS World253 (2024)
THE World401–500 (2024)
USNWR Global=247 (2023)

The University of Porto is consistently ranked among the best Portuguese universities. It is among the top 100 universities in Europe, according to the Webometrics Ranking Web of Universities.

In 2018, the ARWU ranked the university in the category 301–400 best universities in the world.

In 2019, the QS World University Rankings ranked the university as 328th best in the world. QS puts the University of Porto at 51–100 in the subject rankings for Architecture, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, and Sports Science.


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.


Queima das Fitas student parade
Erasmus students

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, the university recognizes as its cultural extension groups like Orfeão Universitário do Porto (choir, dance and music), Teatro Universitário do Porto (theatre), NEFUP (folklore), SDdUP (debates), CLUP (choir of the Faculty of Letters) and AAOUP (former Orfeão members).

The academic life offers major festivities, with events ranging 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.


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).

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.

The southern façade of the university's rectory
FLUP – Faculty of Letters of the University of Porto
FEP – Faculty of Economics of the University of Porto
FEUP – Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto

Notable alumni and professors

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ Universidade do Porto. "U. Porto – Órgãos de Governo da Universidade do Porto". Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  2. ^ "Direcção-Geral de Estatísticas da Educação e Ciência". Archived from the original on 23 June 2009. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
  3. ^ "Identidade e Normas Universidade do Porto - Reitoria. Codificação Cromática". University of Porto. Retrieved 23 December 2019.
  4. ^ "ARWU World University Rankings 2023". Retrieved 26 August 2022.
  5. ^ "QS World University Rankings 2024". 19 June 2023. Retrieved 26 August 2023.
  6. ^ "World University Rankings". 6 August 2023. Retrieved 26 August 2023.
  7. ^ "U.S. News Education: Best Global Universities 2022-23". Retrieved 23 November 2023.
  8. ^ "Europe". Retrieved 21 June 2015.
  9. ^ "University of Porto". Top Universities. 16 July 2015. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
  10. ^ Joshua Levine (3 September 2016). "José Neves: how the founder of Farfetch is politely reinventing the boutique for the digital age". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 24 June 2017.

External links

41°08′48″N 8°36′56″W / 41.14667°N 8.61556°W / 41.14667; -8.61556

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