Established in 1988, Universidade Aberta (UAb) is the single public distance education university in Portugal. Due to its purpose, UAb uses comprehensively, in its teaching activities, the most advanced technologies and methods of Distance Learning, without geographical borders or physical barriers, and giving special emphasis to the expansion of the Portuguese language and culture within the Lusophony space (migrant communities and Portuguese speaking countries). In this context, UAb offers higher education anywhere in the world (Undergraduate, Master and Doctorate degrees) and Lifelong Learning study programs. Since 2008 that all programs are taught in elearning mode, the year that UAb became an European institution of reference in the area of advanced elearning and online learning through the recognition of its exclusive Virtual Pedagogical Model.
In 2010, UAb has been awarded the Prize EFQUEL by the European Foundation for Quality in Elearning and certified with the UNIQUe Quality Label for the use of ICT in Higher Education (Universities and Institutes). In the same year, UAb was also qualified by an international panel of independent experts as the reference institution for teaching in elearning system in Portugal.
Within the European levels of excellence framework, the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) distinguished UAb with the 1st Level of Excellence Committed to Excellence (C2E) in 2011.
In 2016, UAb's commitment to quality has been recognized again by EFQM that distinguished the University with 4 Stars in the 2nd Level of Excellence Recognized for Excellence (R4E).