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Introduction

The Universidade Lusíada was founded on 28 June 1986 as the Cooperativa de Ensino Universidade Lusíada (Lusiada University Teaching Cooperative), and by Decree Law n.º 117/2003 of 14 June was altered to the Fundação Minerva – Cultura – Ensino e Investigação Científica (Minerva Foundation – Culture – Teaching and Research).  The university quickly expanded its operations to Porto and Vila Nova de Famalicão, and then to the República Popular de Angola and the República Democrática de São Tomé e Príncipe. Now, after more than 25 years, the Lusiada Universities are proud of their national and international presence, their achievements, and most of all of their contribution to the education of a large part of Portugal’s youth.  More than 25,000 graduates, in fact, are now spread throughout a host of activities, and they have played a pivotal role in the cultural, economic, and social development of their country, attaining the noblest of goals, and are thereby the most eloquent testimony of all to the value of the schools.

The university’s constant achievements demand untiring effort from its teachers, up-to-date facilities, and the renewal of its teaching methods – always with dedication to the principles of quality and rigor.

Today, in a world of social and economic turbulence, we need professionals who are cultured and highly trained, and only higher education can provide these qualities.  Answering to this call, and in order to satisfy the aspirations of the Portuguese people, the Lusiada Universities deliver precisely what is sought and expected by society’s stakeholders.

For the Lusiada Universities, education does not end at the classroom door; we understand that learning cannot be reduced to mere technical instruction leading to professional tasks. Such a limited approach would diminish the greater scope of education itself.

A university education should address the human issues regarding the very sense and significance of being, and reflect upon more profound themes – equipping graduates with a social conscience springing from human values, as well as Portuguese tradition, history, and culture. These should fuel a search for truth, creativity, a critical eye, and all of the many other features and attitudes that enrich Man.

Acquiring ethics and a social conscience that will serve as the foundation of one’s behavior and profession is Lusiada’s ultimate goal. We strive for the members of our university community to be known for their human qualities to the same extent as their professional skills.

To that end, our cultural activities are central to the enrichment of academic life, by means of seminars, conferences, debates, congresses, summer courses, etc., which allow the students to expand their horizons and complement their formal learning. Students are additionally invited to organize their own initiatives, and in so doing amplify their learning space in directions of their personal and shared talents and interests. To assist them in this, there are many clubs and organizations dedicated to music, dance, plastic arts, theater, cinema, literature, and much more.

Sports are also of great importance in student life at the Lusiada Universities. Physical activities are instruments of personal development, and also help to consolidate the values that underpin the educative process. Consequently, the school encourages all of its students to participate in sports – for the sake of competition and, more importantly, to build individual and group character.

In its efforts to secure student opportunities, the Lusiada Universities have made a number of agreements with partner institutions for international exchange, including the Erasmus and Socrates programs.