University Fernando Pessoa was recognized as a public interest organization by the Portuguese State in July 1996 and it is the result of a pioneering higher education project initiated in the 1980’s with the creation of two higher education institutes that provided its structural basis. Today, the University is organized in three faculties (Health Sciences, Human and Social Sciences, Science and Technology), one School of Health Sciences and one autonomous unit (Ponte de Lima College). Being a foundational University, UFP has never been market oriented. It has managed to develop into a solid private higher education institution with a strong academic focus and a constant concern with quality maintenance and improvement in what concerns a highly qualified teaching staff, physical infrastructures and its teaching, research and extension project. The mission of University Fernando Pessoa is to provide high quality education services and to be an internationally recognized European teaching and research university, contributing to the promotion of private higher education as a public good, associated with private benefits and based on the over-arching principle of public responsibility. The University understands that it has a key role to play in the scientific, cultural, social and economic development of the society and aims at continuously strengthening its position as a member of the international community of scholarly institutions. UFP pledges its commitment to effective, efficient, caring and innovative approaches to teaching, research and community service; client-centered management and administration; and good governance. UFP sees itself as serving and acting primarily at the national level, even though we understand that importance of geographical constraints in higher education is being blurred at a very fast pace. We see ourselves as an active member of our community and our action principles privilege this role, be it in the form of service providing, be in the development of close relationships with major national socio-economic actors, in order to promote mutual advancement. Through our Office for Organizational Quality and Excellence, we are the first Portuguese corporate university, in another pioneering step to bridge the gap between business and learning, and contribute to the development of Portugal’s economic agents. Internationally, we want to contribute with our expertise and value to promote a culture of quality in teaching, scholarship and research in private higher education, to develop, with similar institutions, national and international channels through which institutional quality cultures can be recognized, legitimatized, and continually enhanced so that a truly inclusive European Area of Higher Education can be shaped.
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