CESPU - Advanced Polytechnic and University Cooperative, CRL - is a private, non-profit institution which oversees the administration of four establishments of private and cooperative higher education: Instituto Universitário de Ciências da Saúde (University Institute of Health Sciences) located in Gandra, Instituto Politécnico de Saúde do Norte (Polytechnic Health Institute of North), which includes Escola Superior de Saúde do Vale do Ave (Vale do Ave Higher School of Health) also located in Gandra and Escola Superior de Saúde do Vale do Sousa (Vale do Sousa Higher School of Health) located at V. N. Famalicão.
The Group has its origin in CESPU and the mission to promote education, scientific research and services to the community, under the Higher Polytechnic and University. As a result of the development strategy adopted, CESPU, CRL. and associated companies currently comprise a Group that has a diversified range of intervention in the health sector and considerable social impact. All of those who make up its team of professionals guide their activity so that the training and employability of their students is always the focal point of their institutional mission and strategy, in order to provide them with the best quality of education as well as offer them new employment opportunities.