The Agostinho Neto University (UAN) is heir to Estudos Gerais Universitários (EGU) of Angola and Mozambique, created by the Portuguese colonial power, by Decree-Law Nº. 44.530, of 21 August 1962, that were inaugurated in Luanda on 6 October 1963 by then President of the Portuguese Republic, Counter-Admiral Américo Thomaz.
“The emergence of an Angolan University occurs in a complicated conjuncture of internal and external pressures. On the one hand, the colonial bourgeoisie wanted their children to continue higher studies without having to leave the territory. On the other hand, the emergence and development of the armed struggle for national liberation, based on “the 1956 MPLA manifesto” imposed taking measures that could help maintain the political and administrative control of the colony and would contribute to improve the situation in social, economical and cultural fields”.
Initially, the EGU did not have a fixed rectory in Angola or Mozambique, since they depended on the Portuguese university, and did not confer any degrees, implying that the completion of studies would only take place in the metropolis, namely in Portugal. The EGU assured the Medical-Surgical, Engineering, Agronomy and Silviculture or Forestry, Veterinary Medicine and Pedagogical Sciences courses.
The first Rector of EGUA – Estudos Gerais Universitários de Angola (General University Studies of Angola) was Professor Doctor André Francisco Navarro, an agronomist and director of the Agronomical College of the Technical University of Lisbon.
In 1965, the rectory was set up in Luanda and the veterinary medicine, Agronomy and Forestry courses were transferred to the then New Lisbon, current Huambo City and Province and the Pedagogical Sciences were transferred to Sá da Bandeira, current Lubango, Huila province.
The first Rector of the University of Luanda was Professor Doctor Ivo Ferreira Soares who took office on March 31, 1966, replacing Professor Doctor António Mendonça, still within the scope of EGUA.
On December 23, 1968, as a corollary of its development, the EGU of Angola and Mozambique acquired the status of universities under Decree-Law Nº. 48.790, having adopted the names of the University of Luanda and University of Lourenço Marques (now Maputo) respectively, and they began to confer the first Bachelor , Ph.D. degrees, and the like.
It was at this time, in the case of Angola, when Bachelor degrees in Pure and Applied Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Geology and Biology began to be conferred, in line with other degrees like in Medicine, Engineering, Mining, Mechanics, Electronics and Industrial Chemistry taught in Luanda. Apart from Pedagogical Sciences and Teacher Training of 8 and 11 groups of Technical Education taught in Huila, other courses such as History, Geography and Roman Philosophy also began to be taught.
Thus, the University of Luanda spread over three cities of Angola (Luanda, Huambo former New Lisbon, and Lubango, former Sá da Bandeira, current Lubango, Huila province).
With the independence on November 11, 1975, the University of Luanda attained national university status and changed its name to the University of Angola, under the promulgation of Ordinance Nº. 77-A / 76 of 28 September of the first Independent Angola Government.
The President of Republic and first Rector, Dr. António Agostinho Neto, thus defined the mission of the University of Angola as follows:
“(…) serve revolution and be one of the factors to combat colonialism and its consequences and to help the implementation of a just and progressive society in Angola. The university should generate national cadre with a new mentality, capable of functioning as builders of a new society aimed at the triumph of popular democracy. (speech made on 12 of September 1977, at the inauguration of the Deputy Rector).
On January 24, 1985, under Resolution 1/85, of the Defence and Security Council (DR 9-1ª Série, 28/1/1985) the University of Angola became the Agostinho Neto University, abbreviated UAN, in honour to the first President of the Popular Republic of Angola and its first Rector after independence (1976-1979).
Thus, the Agostinho Neto University (UAN) became the first public higher education institution in Angola, dedicated to the training of staff of excellence, at undergraduate graduation and post graduation levels.
Until 2009 UAN was the only higher education institution in Angola, with University Centres in 7 of the 18 provinces of Angola. After its resizing this same year, UAN became part of Academic Region I, which covers the provinces of Bengo and Luanda.
Until November 2011, the Rectory located on the 2nd floor of President Meridien Hotel building near Luanda harbour, and its various colleges operated in a dispersed manner in Luanda’s urban area.
On 14 November 2011, the President of Angola, Engineer José Eduardo dos Santos, inaugurated the 1st phase of construction of the university campus, located in the Camama zone of the Belas municipality. Since then, the Rectory and most of the courses in the Science and Engineering Colleges have been relocated to that space and the addresses of the remaining colleges were kept roughly unchanged.
UAN comprises nine organic units, namely: 7 Colleges, 1 Institute and 1 Higher School, that teach 45 undergraduate courses, 13 specializations, 31 Masters and 7 PhDs.
The Colleges are structured in Departments of Education and Research (DEI), where the above mentioned courses are taught.
The Agostinho Neto University, in light of its Constitution, guarantees academic freedom, cultural and technological creation, in a perspective of respect and promotion of the human person, community and environment. In addition, it ensures the plurality of views and its freedom of expression and promotes the participation of all university bodies in shared academic life.
In June 2014, UAN was awarded in Rome, Italy, by “OMAC” (Other ways Management Association Club-Paris), with the Prize “New Era Award for Technology, Innovation & Quality”.