The University of the Azores (UAc) was created on January 9th, 1976, following a policy of expansion of higher education in Portugal. It features a tripolar structure, with campuses in the cities of Ponta Delgada (where its headquarters, main services and the rectory are located), Angra do Heroísmo and Horta.
From an organizational point of view, it comprises university education and research units (College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, College of Sciences and Technology, College of Social Sciences and Humanities, and College of Economics and Management) and polytechnic units (College of Health and College of Technology and Administration) and research units (Institute of Research in Agricultural and Environmental Technologies, Research Institute in Volcanology and Risk Assessment, and Research Institute of Marine Sciences). Additionally, it integrates several research centers based at the Academy (Azores Biotechnology Center) or in association with other higher education institutions (Azores Biodiversity Group, the Research Center for Biodiversity and Resources, the Center for Local and Overseas History, the Center for Humanistic Studies, the Interdisciplinary Center for Social Sciences and the Study Center for Applied Economics of the Atlantic).
As a result of its framework and of regional, national and international priorities, the UAc is currently investing in differentiating areas of education and research, such as those related to maritime activities, including fishery, aquaculture and blue biotechnology, and to natural risks, such as volcanology and seismology, climatology, meteorology and civil protection. Its educational and research plan also emphasizes, among others, biodiversity, biotechnology and biomedicine, agriculture, agroindustry and livestock, geological and energy resources, economics and tourism, management and marketing, sociology and geography, education and psychology, languages, literature and culture, history and philosophy, archaeology, political science, and information and communication technologies.