Coimbra Hospital and Universitary Centre (CHUC)
Praceta Mota Pinto
3000- 075 Coimbra

University of Coimbra (UC)
Reitoria da Universidade de Coimbra
Paço das Escolas
3004-531 Coimbra

1. Brief History

Over 700 years old, the University of Coimbra (UC) counts on a unique heritage, being a keystone of European and World scientific culture and a recognized UNESCO World Heritage site.

The chronicler of Santa Cruz Monastery of Coimbra claims that the first teacher of Physics (Medicine) in Portugal were taught there by Mendo Dias, under the reign of King D. Sancho I (1185-1211), the second King of Portugal. The University of Coimbra was created in 1290, by royal decree of King D. Dinis, one century after the foundation of Portugal. King D. Manuel I (1501) in order to replace several small medieval assistance institutions of the old city created The Royal Hospital, which may be considered the ancestor of CHUC. In 1774 the Marquis of Pombal, Prime Minister of King D. José, undertook a major reform of the University.

After 1974 political democratic changes in Portugal, HUC was integrated in the national healthcare system (SNS) and 1986 it was definitely settled in a new building located in a modern area of the city. In 2001, however, the UC new Pólo das Ciências da Saúde - concentrating an extension of the Faculty of Medicine, the Faculty of Pharmacy and different Centers and research Units-, was built near CHUC. In 2011, several independent hospitals of the city were merged into a major Hospital Center - CHUC / Centro Hospitalar e Universitário de Coimbra.

Nowadays UC and CHUC are two independent public institutions. UC and more particularly its Faculty of Medicine and CHUC share a long history extended to Portuguese speaking communities around the world, delivering recognized education, research and translation in medicine, healthcare services, health sciences and technologies. UC and CHUC, joined by common goals of excellence within an increasingly stronger international positioning in health forums and markets, aim to lead a positive and sustainable impact on the community, as clearly establishes their Consortium Coimbra Health.

2. Key Facts

UC – 1290
CHUC - 1501

UC – Public
CHUC - Public


UC - Coimbra University

  • Faculty of Arts and Humanities
  • Faculty of Law
  • Faculty of Medicine
  • Faculty of Sciences and Technology
  • Faculty of Pharmacy
  • Faculty of Economics
  • Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences
  • Faculty of Sports Sciences and Physical Education
  • College of Arts
  • Institute for Interdisciplinary Research
  • Institute of Nuclear Sciences Applied to Health
  • University, Judicial and European Court

General Library of University of Coimbra

  • UC Archive
  • UC Press
  • Museum of Science
  • 25 April Documentation Centre
  • Gil Vicente Theatre Hall
  • University Stadium
  • Health Sciences Library
  • Botanical Garden

CHUC - Centro Hospitalar e Universitário de Coimbra

  • University Unit – HUC - Hospitais da Universidade de Coimbra
  • General Unit – HG HG – Hospital Geral (Covões)
  • Pediatric Unit – HP – Hospital Pediátrico
  • Psychiatric Unit – HPSC - Hospital Psiquiátrico Sobral Cid
  • Maternity Units - MBB & MDM - Maternidade Bissaya Barreto and Maternidade Daniel de Matos

Organized in different departments, CHUC encompasses more than 52 services.


UC - 2778 employees. 59% are academic/research staff and 41% non-academic staff. 73% of the academic/research staff have a PhD.

CHUC - 7.800 employees, including 1100 doctors and researchers and 2300 nurses


UC - 26156 students from 92 countries, including 1434 mobility incoming students.


UC - On average UC researchers annually obtain around 30 million euros, earmarked for research. Around 40% of the research revenues are from international sources.

3. Research

Focus / Key Aspects:

UC Mission / Strategy

The University of Coimbra (UC) is an institution in which creation and critical analysis coexist with the transmission and dissemination of culture, science and technology. The university contributes with research, education and services to the economic and social development of the community, the protection of the environment, social justice and responsible citizenship and the consolidation of knowledge-based sovereignty.

Being the knowledge production the main mission of a Global University, the expansion of research and the scientific and technological progress will play a central role in the University of Coimbra’ strategy and action in the coming years.

CHUC – Mission / Strategy

CHUC mission is to deliver high-quality clinical care in a context of pre and postgraduate training with a strong focus on research, scientific knowledge and innovation.

We offer comprehensive care across all major medical and surgical specialties. CHUC´s excellence centers ensure high standard healthcare services:


The IPN (Pedro Nunes Institute) incubator was created in 2002 as an initiative of the University of Coimbra. Since 2002 IPN incubator supported the creation and development of over 200 companies, including most of University of Coimbra spin-off companies and the creation of more than 2000 highly qualified jobs. In 2011 the IPN incubator was awarded “Best Science Based Incubator”.

Further spin-off companies:

  • Active Space Technologies
  • Artescan
  • CrioEstaminal
  • Critical Software
  • iClio
  • InfoGene
  • Inovmapping
  • INTELLICARE - Intelligent Sensing in Healthcare
  • LaserLeap
  • Luzitin
  • Move Mile
  • Sensebloom
  • SPI
  • Take The Wind

The complete list of spin-off companies is available online


CHUC is an associate partner of InnoSTAR S, EIT Health KIC (Knowledge and Innovation Communities) and has there major partnerships with several biotech and IT companies implementing the concept of an innovation pioneer hospital.

4. Partnerships and Programs

Currently, UC has around 500 Erasmus institutional agreements with several European universities from more than 30 countries and about 200 bilateral agreements with higher education institutions from other countries.

Strategic regions for cooperation

  • Europe
  • African Portuguese-speaking countries
  • Brazil
  • China

University networks

  • CG – Coimbra Group
  • EUA – European University Association
  • UN – Utrecht Network
  • GCUB – Coimbra Group of Brazilian Universities
  • AULP – Association of Portuguese Language Universities
  • FORGES – Portuguese-speaking Higher Education Forum
  • AUIP – Ibero-American University Association for Post-graduate studies
  • SUN – The Silk-road Universities Network
  • SYLFF – Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund

Education and training programs

  • Erasmus
  • Erasmus Mundus
  • MAUI (USA)
  • AEN (Australia)
  • Santander mobility program
  • Brazil bilateral mobility program
  • Japan bilateral mobility program
  • China bilateral mobility program
  • Almeida Garrett
  • Portuguese language and culture programs
  • Co-tutelle and Joint degrees

Education and research programs

  • Carnegie Mellon / Portugal (information and communication technologies)
  • Harvard Medical School Portugal (biomedical research)
  • MIT / Portugal (bioengineering, sustainable energy, transportation systems)
  • UT Austin Portugal (digital media, advanced computing and mathematics, university enterprise networking)
  • Ageing@Coimbra
  • Coimbra Health

Capacity building

  • Tempus projects (Russia and North Africa)
  • Curriculum and institutional development (African Portuguese-speaking countries)
  • Professional teacher and staff training (Brazil and African Portuguese-speaking countries)





Insignia Vniversitatis Conimbrigensis



The Great Hall of Acts is the main room of the University and where its main ceremonies are held. It was the first Throne Room of Portugal and where in 1385, the assembled Courts determined the acclamation of João, the Master of Avis, as King João I of Portugal.

The oldest UC library – Biblioteca Joanina - was built between 1717 and 1728, it is one of the exponents of the Baroque Portuguese and one of the richest European libraries. The library has a natural protection against insects. Inside this temple of books lives a colony of bats, which come out at night and feed on the occasional insects.