Vila Velha University or Universidade Vila Velha (UVV-ES) is a private university in the south-east Brazilian state of Espirito Santo.
It was among the pioneers of private higher education in the state, formed in 1974 as the Educational Society of Espirito Santo (SEDES). It admitted its first students in 1976 and was recognised as a university in 2011. It operates on three campuses in Vila Velha, a city whose 30km of coastline incorporates both a seaport and beaches. Vila Velha has quadrupled in size, to nearly 500,000, since 1970.
The main Boa Vista campus, whose facilities include the largest library in the state, was opened in 1985. Biological sciences operate from the Nuestra Senhora de Penha campus, while the Business School has its own dedicated facility. Expansion plans include the opening of a 14-storey campus in the state capital, Vitoria in 2020, and the creation of a network of 15 centres spread around the state.
UVV-ES bills itself as the second best private university in Brazil, behind the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro based on a combination of ratings from re-accreditation and the General Course Index, both assessed in 2017 by the Brazilian Ministry of Education.
Doctoral programmes are offered in plant biotechnology, pharmaceutical science and the ecology of eco-systems. Researchers from UVV-ES won international publicity in June 2018 when a joint programme with Auburn University found that kefir, made from fermented milk, offers an effective treatment for high blood pressure.
In sport, the university’s gymnastic centre has served as a training base for the Brazilian national rhythmic gymnastics team.