University of Coimbra, Portugal
Address: Paço das Escolas 3004-531 Coimbra, Portugal
The University of Coimbra is a public research university in Coimbra, Portugal. First established in Lisbon in 1290, it went through a number of relocations until moving permanently to Coimbra in 1537. The university is among the oldest universities in continuous operation in the world, the oldest in Portugal, and played an influential role in the development of higher education in the Portuguese-speaking world. In 2013, UNESCO declared the university a World Heritage Site, noting its architecture, unique culture and traditions, and historical role.
The contemporary university is organized into eight faculties, granting bachelor's (licenciado), master's (mestre) and doctorate (doutor) degrees in nearly all major fields. It lends its name to the Coimbra Group of European research universities founded in 1985, of which it was a founding member. Enrolling over 25,000 students, more than 15% of whom are international, it is one of Portugal's most cosmopolitan universities.
Among the many archaeological structures dating back to the Roman era, when Coimbra was the settlement of Aeminium, are its well-preserved aqueduct and cryptoporticus. Similarly, buildings from the period when Coimbra was the capital of Portugal (from 1131 to 1255) still remain. During the late Middle Ages, with its decline as the political centre of the Kingdom of Portugal, Coimbra began to evolve into a major cultural centre. This was in large part helped by the establishment of the first Portuguese university in 1290 in Lisbon and its relocation to Coimbra in 1308, making it the oldest academic institution in the Portuguese-speaking world. Apart from attracting many European and international students, the university is visited by many tourists for its monuments and history. Its historical buildings were classified as a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 2013: "Coimbra offers an outstanding example of an integrated university city with a specific urban typology as well as its own ceremonial and cultural traditions that have been kept alive through the ages."