Mission, Vision and Strategy


To train individuals, to cultivate science, to renew the country and the world, and to lead by example.

Universidade Católica Portuguesa’s mission is excellence in academic training and the cultivation of science for the common good. Taking on the principles of Christian humanism within an independent ethos that respects diversity and explores free thought, UCP pursues its mission based on three mainstays:

▸ Teaching
▸ Research and Innovation
▸ Service and University Social Responsibility.

Within the Portuguese context, UCP promotes integrated training geared towards the global context, based on the principles of truth and respect for individuals and the environment.



To be recognized as a leading European university in critical research and transformative core teaching and to be ranked among the best Catholic universities at a global level.


2021-2025 Strategic Development Plan

The Value of Values: Building the Future in the Present

The first decades of the 21st century have shown that humanity lives 'on the dangerous edge of things' (Graham Greene). Just as the world is affected by pandemics, by a climate crisis that is also social, political, and economic and by large-scale conflicts, in our current condition technology also opens up unsuspected possibilities and science confers new horizons on the experience of life on the planet. 

The university is at the heart of society's development, and is permanently called upon to provide a comprehensive and qualified education to future’s professionals. The challenge at the heart of this mission is to combine the principle of autonomy and responsibility with service to society. Specifically, that means educating responsible individuals who are able to think critically and make free and ethical decisions, just as they are trained with the highest academic standards and professional skills.  But the mission of a Catholic university is also, as Pope Francis stressed, to prepare 'protagonists for the common good'.  And to do so by contributing integrated solutions to solve the complex problems of the present, while preserving the creations of the past and leveraging the memory of previous generations. Thus, it conceives the practice of research, fundamental or applied, as a way to generate knowledge about natural life, culture and technology, human beings and their experiences, promoting innovation and creativity oriented towards prosperity and sustainable growth, while protecting the environment and the quality of life on the planet. 

In this sense, teaching and research, the two core missions of the university, are combined and interwoven with the third mission: university social responsibility, turning the institution into a place for the promotion and development of social, economic, cultural and scientific solutions, focused on value creation and geared towards the development of projects in partnership with business, the industrial, social and cultural sectors, both with a global intent and focused on the empowerment of local communities.

With the motto ‘The Value of Values: Building Future in the Present, the 2021-2025 Strategic Development Plan takes on the leadership of major transformative projects for Portuguese society, just as the university invests in innovation and rethinks itself in organizational terms. The organizing principles of the SDP, which results from a broad consultation with the academic community, present a vision of the future focused on convergence and cohesion. They aim at innovation developed out of systemic exchanges between scientific areas, and on cohesion pivoting around national transformative projects and on the efficient dissemination of R&D and USR activities throughout the territory. Furthermore, the strategic plan aims at the global projection of educational innovation based on technology, increasing our international curriculum and competitive talent recruitment. 

Securing the future and improving the experience of life in the common home is the horizon of possibility that defines the university’s actions. This design is promoted in the present and generates value projected beyond the now. Given the specific mission of Catholic Universities, UCP’s value stems, in a fundamental way, from the intangible values of its identity. Católica’s value of values is therefore at once economic, epistemological, and axiological. It manifests itself as knowledge founded on the principles of freedom, respect for democracy, defence of justice, recognition of diversity, and equity. It promotes societies that are cohesive, sustainable, affluent, more equitable and ethically responsible.

Isabel Capeloa Gil
President of Universidade Católica Portuguesa

Read the 2021-2025 Strategic Development Plan here

Document translated to English by Católica Languages and Translation.