It was created in 1979, and has about 7,110 students distributed across a multiplicity of graduation courses, awarding all academic degrees in fields ranging from medicine and biomedical sciences to aeronautical engineering to mathematics. The university is named after the historical Beira region, meaning Beira Interior the most interior area of Beira, mainly composed by the district of Guarda and the district of Castelo Branco, in today’s Centro region.
In August 1973, following a major change in the national higher education system, the government established a polytechnical institution in Covilhã, the Polytechnic Institute of Covilhã (IPC – Instituto Politécnico da Covilhã), which was the first higher education institution in the city.
Over the years, the IPC facilities, as well as the enrolment and staff, never ceased to grow. This growth and the region’s needs, led the IPC to a remarkable level of achievements that granted it, in 1979, to be promoted, by the Portuguese Ministry of Education, to a higher institutional level, university institute. Seven years later, in 1986, the University Institute of Beira Interior was granted full university status and renamed University of Beira Interior (Universidade da Beira Interior).