The status of University of Tras-os-Montes e Alto Douro became a reality in 1986, though history credits its rich heritage as the "old" Instituto Polytecnico de Vila Real founded in 1973.

This Institution has had an important role in contributing to regional development. Hence, September 1979 established Tras-os-Montes e Alto Douro as a university institute, and in less than ten years, because of the universal recognition of its intense activity in the fields of education and scientific research and technology, the Government granted it the status of a university Institute within the University. Today UTAD is considered an important reference in the Portuguese university system.

According to its Statutes, this University, which has the fundamental objectives of teaching, research, expansion and community support, should be seen as a Centre of Excellence for on-going learning and the creation, transmission and development of culture, science and technology.

UTAD has a special place and purpose within the Higher Education system in Portugal because it contributes by satifying and overcoming the deficiencies and weaknesses of the courses of national interest and offers others which have not yet been satisfied for the needs of the job market.

The flexibility of UTAD, its ability to adapt to new situations, in accordance with the available resources of modern teaching methods and the capacity to suggest new ways of learning and scientific know-how, is irrefutable proof of its vitality. It is this vitality that justifies its claim to being an unquestionable importance in the midst of the Portuguese University System.

UTAD - Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro