The current University of Lisbon is the result of the merger of two former public universities of Lisbon, the former University of Lisbon (1911–2013), founded in 1911 and the Technical University of Lisbon, founded in 1930. The merger process was initiated in 2011 and was made into law on December 31, 2012. As stated on the decree-law No. 266-E/2012, the new University of Lisbon began its legal existence on the day the newly elected rector took office, on July 25, 2013.
The first Portuguese university school was founded in 1290 by King Dinis in Lisbon, and was called Studium Generale (Estudo Geral). In the following 247 years, this first university school was moved several times between Lisbon and Coimbra. In 1537, during the reign of João III, the university moved definitively to Coimbra. The entire university institution, including the teaching staff and all the books from its library, were moved to Coimbra where the University of Coimbra was definitively installed. Lisbon became a university city again in 1911 when the current University of Lisbon was founded, through the union of newly created and older schools, like the 19th century Polytechnic School (Escola Politécnica), the Royal Medical School of Lisbon (Real Escola Médico-Cirúrgica de Lisboa) and the Letters Higher Studies (Curso Superior de Letras).