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Universidade dos Açores
|Instituto Universitário dos Açores|
|Established||January 9, 1976|
|President||Dr. Madruga da Costa|
|Rector||Dr. Avelino de Freitas de Meneses|
Angra do Heroísmo
|Colors||Blue & silver|
The University of the Azores (Portuguese: Universidade dos Açores), or commonly abbreviated as UAç, is the only public university in the Autonomous Region of the Azores, It was founded on January 9, 1976, two years after the Carnation Revolution that ended several decades of dictatorship in Portugal, but before the Portuguese Third Republic was institutionalized, along with the Region's Autonomy. The university is a public institution dependent on the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education and was established in order to advance sustainable development and higher education in the Azores.
The establishment of the University of the Azores developed from a period of autonomous politics related to separatist movements that developed in the second half of 1975. Although not completely responsible, the events following the Carnation Revolution provided the conditions necessary for the creation of the university. Due to a level of academic disorder on the continent, that forced the closing of many universities, several of the wealthier families sent their children to the United States or Canada in order for them to complete their studies. It was during this post-revolutionary period that the idea of creating a local institution of higher learning was debated. A small group of academics and elites explored alternatives in order to lower costs, distances and reduce the impact of national government centralization. It was at this time that the central government suggested the creation of a Centro Universitário (University Centre), one that the President of the Regional Junta, General Altino de Magalhães, refused to consider since he felt that the community would only accept the establishment of a formal University.
A working group was established by ministry order 414/75 on 14 October 1976 to debate the issues and provide solutions. On 9 January 1976, Decree 5/76 was promulgated to establish the Instituto Universitário dos Açores (University Institution of the Azores), during an atmosphere of regionalization that fostered the establishment of local/regional institutions responsible for teaching, investigation, cultural development and community services. The intent of the Act was to respond to the process of democratization developing during the post-Carnation Revolution period, and allow the develop of regional equilibrium between the continent and the regional institutions. On 25 July 1980, with the promulgation of the Decree-Law 252/80 formalized the establishment of an institute of higher education, that the community began to refer to as the University of the Azores.
In order to effectively provide educational services to regional population, the university established three campuses, in Ponta Delgada (São Miguel), Angra do Heroísmo (Terceira) and Horta (Faial) and organized into departments and schools to, essentially, provide instruction and investigation services. In addition to the Main Campus (Ponta Delgada), which provides a concentration of various disciplines, the other two campuses provided specialized training in agrarian sciences and oceanography;
Since its foundation, the university has had four rectors. Currently, its rector is Dr. Avelino de Freitas de Meneses, a professor of insular history of the Atlantic.