The Viana do Castelo Polytechnic Institute (IPVC) was founded in 1980. Is a regional institution, whose aims are a qualified human, cultural, scientific, technical and professional training, to carry out necessary research to accomplish its mission and to cooperate with the regional community of Alto-Minho, particularly with its productive and entrepreneurial sectors.

The IPVC is made up of six Schools offering undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses, these last very often in collaboration with national and international polytechnics and universities. Also promotes Master courses and specialization courses.

The IPVC is a community of students and qualified professionals, located in the northwest of Portugal, aware that the progress of society ensures the harmonious development of persons and their performance. Joined together in the same mission: to create, manage and disseminate knowledge and culture, through processes of education/learning, research, transfer of technology and knowledge.

The IPVC has implemented its existence on the regional, national and international levels. The evolution of this process is based, on two fronts: firstly through the continuous search for quality of training and, secondly, into its involvement in projects in several areas as a tool for building links with the natural partners and other national and international institutions.

The International Office (GMCI)  and the Office of Technology, Innovation and Knowledge Transfer (OTIC) are the most visible face of the enormous effort that is the IPVC is developing for the embodiment of business and regional community into an international level. Since its foundation, IPVC has participated in the development of research projects and provide services to the community as a way to continue its mission. Thus, several national projects and international cooperation, in which the IPVC is/was involved: Erasmus+ KA1;KA2, Horizon 2020, Erasmus Mundus; ALFA III, POCTEP, Equal, Interreg, COMENIUS, PO North, Rainbow, Prodep, Focus, European Science Foundation, Leonardo da Vinci. Creating synergies by the concerted action of both internal (students, staff and teachers) and external communities, will be the attitude-brand of the institution.

The IPVC has, since its creation, bet in the development of research projects and offers services to the community as the way to continue its mission. Due to its extensive experience in the management of EU funds, IPVC has a technical support team fully aware of regulations and guidelines on national and European structural funds and, specially, with regard to issues of eligibility of expenditure, government procurement, environment, information and advertising and equal opportunity between men and women.

IPVC Quality Management System is certified by A3ES (Agência de Avaliação e Acreditação do Ensino Superior" (Agency for Assessment and Accreditation of Higher Education - A3ES) since 2013 and also internationally certified in accordance with ISO 9001:2008, at the following processes: Higher education in the scientific areas taught in the Higher Schools such as the Higher School of Education, Agrarian, Technology and Management, Health, Business Sciences, Sports and Leisure and Social Services (Accommodation, Meals, Scholarships, Culture, Sports, Health, Academic BUS, Employment). Other responsibilities include preparation and development of studies and projects. The system is organized and directed towards improving the quality of teaching and learning processes, IDI, management and support activities.

In the Alto Minho region, the IPVC is at the forefront of collaborative research with the public and private sectors. The Centro Europeu de Dieta Atlântica (European Centre of the Atlantic Diet) was created and soon other projects will follow, namely in the fields of technological innovation and maritime resources. The IPVC has protocols with Brazil, China, Portuguese-speaking African countries (PALOP) and 120 educational international institutions as part of the various European student and staff exchange programmes (Erasmus and Erasmus Mundus).

On the Viana do Castelo town campus, the IPVC provides a range of facilities, including five residences, six refectories, 4 bars, a 320-seat library and a cultural and Sports Centre. All six schools making up the IPVC are covered by a wireless internet network.

The most important day in the IPVC's calendar is May 15th, Institute Day, which forms part of Graduation Week. This is when students receive their diplomas and different events are held throughout the week to celebrate the occasion in style.

 Updated 03.05.2016