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Background: Joao Saldanha University (JSU) is a private research university in Dili, Timor-Leste.  JSU is the only university in Timor-Leste that uses English as  language of instruction.

Vision: to create and disseminate knowledge through creative inquiry and bring the benefits to  communities.

Mission: to build the tradition of innovation, entrepreneurship, and problem solving. 



JSU offers six undergraduate programs and a graduate program. The undergraduate programs are four year program that includes economics and business, language studies (English and Tetum), applied science and engineering, and architecture and planning. JSU will add law and medicine programs in the near future. Before graduation students take internship and write an original thesis in English.


Legal Status

JSU is registered at the Ministry of Education since 2015. On November 25, 2017, the National Agency for Accreditation and Assessment (ANAAA) of Timor-Leste's Team led by Professor Dr. Faizah Abd. Majid, University Teknologi MARA, Malaysia) held dialogue with JSU leadership, staffs, and students for institutional Licensure. In their Report, ANAAA concluded that "JSU has clear reason for existance as they hope for better development of community. This is the 'value added' element that differentiates JSU from other institutes ... Hence their mission is appropriate."  ANAAA, July 25, 2018.

on March 9, 2020, The Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Culture issued license to Joao Saldanha Institute (JSI) with two schools, namely School of Economics and Business (SEB) and School of Applied Science and Engineering (SASE). This is the first step of preparation to full-fledged university. 

JSU is under the tutelage of Joao Saldanha Foundation (JSF) in Dili, Timor-Leste and registered at the Ministry of Justice No. 331/DNRN-MJ/IX/2014 and TIN no. 499-2980.

About the Founder and First President

João M. Saldanha, Ph.D is the founder of Joao Saldanha Foundation (JSF) and of Joao Saldanha University (JSU). He is the first East Timorese with Ph.D degree from the United States of America. He is been a Visiting Scholar, among others, at Harvard University, Oxford University, and Australian National University. Saldanha also teaches Economics and Management at JSU. A Member of Concelho do Estado (Council of State) of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste and a Senior Policy and Research Adviser to the Minister of Finance and Prime Minister of Timor-Leste. He is the Founding Director of Timor Institute of Development Studies (TIDS), Dili, Timor-Leste. 

Saldanha holds Ph.D (University of California at San Diego, USA), MIM (TSGM, Arizona State University, USA), Graduate Program in Political Economy and Government (Harvard University, USA), and BA (Satya Wacana Christian University, Indonesia). He is the first East Timorese Fulbright Scholar and also a Schevening Scholar of the United Kingdom. 

Besides academia, Saldanha also is a politician and enterpreneur who is the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Osobubu Group, a holding company that is active in real estate, constructioin, and trade.


For further information, please contact: Phone: 7830-2225, 7691-6735 E-mail: Facebook: JSF Saldanha / Joao Saldanha University, Twitter: @JsaldanhaE  Instagram: @jsaldanha.edu2015