Universidade Aberta is the public Portuguese distance education university, having its headquarters in Lisbon and two regional centres in Coimbra and Porto, and 10 000 students from Portugal and abroad. The pioneer in distance education in Portugal, it was founded in 1988 and it has been promoting actions related to higher education and continuous training. It has also contributed to the active dissemination of the Portuguese language and culture, especially in Portuguese speaking countries and communities. Universidade Aberta is the main national centre of expertise in the area of distance education, developing the know-how that allows it to be the largest provider of on-line higher education programmes in the country. The Distance Education Laboratory (LEaD- Laboratório de Educação a Distância) was created in 2007 for applied research and development on distance education, in particular on e-learning.