University Name

CESPU - University Polytechnic Higher Education Cooperative


Founded in Porto in 1982, aiming to promote higher education in the health scientific field, CESPU’s history can be characterized by its pioneering spirit, innovation, sustained growth, its loyalty to the specialization principle, internationalization of European vocation, by its strong component of social and humanitarian assistance in providing health care services to the communities where it is located and for the pursuit of global quality.

CESPU, CRL, is the entity that established the Instituto Universitário de Ciências da Saúde (IUCS), and the Instituto Politécnico de Saúde do Norte (IPSN), which includes both the Escola Superior de Saúde do Vale do Ave (ESSVA) and the Escola Superior de Saúde do Vale do Sousa (ESSVS), with a population around the 4000 students. Currently, through its educational establishments, CESPU offers more than 50 higher education cycles, between degrees and masters, as well as nearly 60 post-graduation (non-degree). All of these courses are adapted to the Bologna process, being recognized in any country of Europe.

In developing a vertical integration strategy, companies were created or acquired, with the main goal of improving lifelong learning activities and professional training at different levels, as well as the management of health care units, including hospitals, clinics and diagnostic centres.

Internationalization has also marked, since its inception, the life of the Institution. CESPU has chosen as principle markets Portuguese-speaking countries, including Angola. More recently it was established the CESPU Brasil, S.A. that intends to develop specialized training and higher education.

Alongside CESPU has strengthened its presence in the Iberian market, through CESPU Europa S.A., based in Spain, and with the historic partnership with the University of Barcelona translated in the integration of CESPU in the Health Universitat Barcelona Campus (HUBc ) project, and the development of IINFACTS, institute dedicated to the research and advanced training in health sciences and technologies.

As a result of the adopted development strategy, CESPU CRL, and associated companies are currently a Group with a diversified range of intervention in the health sector and with a considerable social impact.

The CESPU Group and, in particular, all the elements that constitute its professional team, are guide by the principle that training and employability of their students is always the centre of its institutional mission and strategy, in order to provide the best quality of education.

Higher Education in CESPU, is essentially characterized by its high quality, accuracy and demanding level. CESPU has implemented an innovative educational project, with active teaching methodologies so that their students can benefit from the best possible education.

CESPU is particularly concerned with the practical training of their students in a real work environment context, allowing in an early stage, direct contact with the hospitals and with the reality that they will eventually face in their professional careers. This concern is actually reflected in the currently growing number of health care units that the institution has of their own and those held in partnership.

CESPU educational establishments, enjoy a pleasant and welcoming academic environment, conducive not only to their professional but also to their personal and social development.  They are currently distributed between two academic campuses, in the cities of Gandra (ISCS-N and ESSVS) and Vila Nova de Famalicão (ESSVA), with excellent facilities for higher education in the health field.

The study programs of CESPU are adapted for those who have a professional active life. There are also programs of intensive Portuguese language, for foreign students.

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University Name in Local Language

Cooperativa de Ensino Superior Politécnico e Universitário

Student Life

This office provides assistance to students throughout their academic career, from application to their job placement. It helps students integrate into academic life and ensures that they not only are aware of all of the services and resources at their disposal but also are familiar with how they work.

The fundamental goal of this department is to support students. It provides psychological and counselling services; it informs and guides students with scholarship applications and job placement.

The IUCS Student Association represents and defends the interests of its students within the university community.

The association has a vast selection of student activities created in the various departments and that range from pedagogical, recreational, student support, academic traditions and external relations. It organizes and promotes workshops as well as sporting, recreational and cultural events. It also provides a wide range of services including the sale of dental materials, the sale or rental of lab coats, and the provision of computer lab equipment with internet access. The AE IUCS card offers a series of discounts and advantages including access to student lounge facilities.

The Student Association is involved in the degree nuclei as well. Each degree has representatives who promote activities appropriate for their field. They collaborate directly with the Student Association to ensure that each initiative can count on the greatest logistical and pedagogical support possible.

Judging by the number and quality of activities carried out by the ESSVA Academic Association (AAESSVA), no one would guess that this group is a mere 9 years old! It promotes an array of recreational and cultural events including the annual festivities of Student Orientation and the Ribbon Burning (Queima das Fitas) in Vila Nova de Famalicão, celebrations which rival any of the most famous student festivals in the country. AAESSVA also contributes to its local community by promoting and participating in a series of charity initiatives and health care fairs.

The cultural and recreational activities of the CESPU, CRL, students include their participation in many tunas that represent the different institutions: Oportuna – Men’s Tuna at IUCS and ESSVS; Tuninas – Women’s Tuna at IUCS and ESSVS; Incognituna – Men’s Tuna at ESSVA; and Magistuna – Women’s Tuna at ESSVA. Oportuna is the oldest group and has won an impressive collection of awards over the years. It is known as one of the best tunas in the country. But above and beyond their awards and musical quality, the Tunas of CESPU CRL, arise from the joy and joviality of their performances and the comraderie and friendship between their members.

CESPU Institute Libraries gather, conserve, treat and disseminate all the health science documentation and scientific and technical information that are necessary for carrying out the institutes’ training, teaching and research missions. The collections are available for unrestricted, on-site consultation and are open to the general public.

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  • 07/10/2022 8:41 am local time

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