Independente University

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Independente University (in Portuguese Universidade Independente or UnI for short) was a private university, headquartered in Lisbon, Portugal, founded in 1993 by Luís Arouca, Rui Verde and Amadeu Lima Carvalho. It was compulsorily closed by state education authorities in 2007.[1]


In March 2007, UnI was placed under investigation on alleged irregularities on several matters. In April 2007, it was in talks to merge with another private university, the Universidade Internacional.[2] On 9 April 2007, the Portuguese Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Mariano Gago, announced that UnI would be shut down by the Portuguese Government after the investigation reported serious pedagogical, ethical and financial irregularities.

Prominent graduates[edit]

  • José Sócrates, the Portuguese prime-minister, member of the Portuguese Socialist Party, earned his licenciatura (licentiate) degree in civil engineering from UnI in 1996. Since the outburst of the UnI scandal and loss of credibility of the institution, the media investigated Sócrates' student file and found inconsistencies which raised suspicions of irregularities, being the most notable the part where Sócrates' diploma was issued in a Sunday, day on which the university was closed. State authorities investigated the case and archived the file as the suspicions against José Sócrates turned out to not have enough evidences. On the other hand, the university itself was investigated by education state authorities in 2007, which resulted in the compulsory closing of UnI due to lack of academic rigour and teaching quality, along with generalized managerial and financial chaos in the institution.
  • Armando Vara, Portuguese politician, member of the Portuguese Socialist Party, former Minister, and banking administrator. He was awarded a degree by UnI in 2005. It was found that the close friend of José Sócrates, Armando Vara, was also awarded a diploma by the Universidade Independente days before he was appointed for a high ranked banking administration position in the state-run Caixa Geral de Depósitos, which was open only to candidates holding at least one academic degree on any subject.

Prominent professors[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Em cumprimento do despacho do Ministério do Ensino Superior Universidade Independente já transferiu todos os alunos e encerra na quarta-feira, 26 October 2007, Público
  2. ^ Fusão à vista na Independente, Fernando Diogo and Monica Contreras in Expresso (edition 1797 - 6 April 2007) (in Portuguese)
  3. ^ [1] Archived 15 July 2007 at the Wayback Machine.