The creation of the Polytechnic Institute of Viseu, on 26th December 1979, through the Governmental Act-of-Law nº513-T/7, is clearly framed by the broader philosophy which supported the successful implementation of polytechnic higher education in our country. The widening of higher education to the whole territory, in a logic of combating the concentration in the main coastal cities, and the innovation made possible by a closer contact between the training institutions and the surrounding community, seem to have been two of the factors that have driven forward the creation of polytechnic higher education in Portugal and, particularly, in the region of Viseu.
From all general objectives of the Polytechnic Institute of Viseu, we should stress the cooperation with the surrounding community, on a reciprocal basis, aimed at promoting awareness of regional problems and the implementation of proper solutions. Furthermore, there are other objectives to be considered: technical, humanistic and personal training of its students, in order to make them capable of contributing to the development of the Portuguese society; development of research activities, having in mind the needs of the surrounding context; and cultural exchange and cooperation with another state/private institutions, at the national and international levels.
In the last two decades, the Polytechnic Institute of Viseu has grown continuously and it now includes 6 units: 5 higher schools - The School of Education, The School of Technology, The Agrarian School, The School of Technology and Management (in the city of Lamego), The Health School; and The Welfare Services. Presently this institution has over 7000 students and 400 teachers.
It currently offers higher training in many fields, such as teacher training, media studies, cultural studies, social service, sports, multimedia, engineering (in many areas), management, marketing, tourism, agrarian sciences, and nursing.