- Higher education in Portugal
Higher education in Portugal is divided into two main subsystems:
universityand polytechniceducation. It is provided in autonomous public universities, private universities, public or private polytechnic institutions and higher education institutions of other types. Higher education in state-run educational establishments is provided on a competitive basis, a system of " numerus clausus" is enforced through a national database on student admissions.
Portugal, the university system has a strong theoretical basis and is highly research-oriented while the polytechnical system provides a more practical training and is profession-oriented. Degrees in fields such as medicine, law, natural sciences, economics, psychologyor veterinary medicineare taught only in university institutions. Other fields like engineering, management, education, agriculture, sports, or humanitiesare taught both in university and polytechnic institutions. Specifically vocationally orientated degrees such as, nursing, health care technician, accounting technician, preschooland primary schoolteaching, are only offered by the polytechnic institutions.
The oldest university is the
University of Coimbrafounded in 1290. The largest university, by number of enrolled students, is the University of Porto- with approximately 28,000 students. The Catholic University of Portugal, the oldest "non-state-run" university ( concordatary status), was instituted by decree of the Holy Seeand has been recognized by the State of Portugal since 1971.
Public or private higher education institutions or courses cannot operate, or are not accredited, if they are not recognized by the "Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Ensino Superior" (Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education). The two systems of higher education - university and polytechnic - are linked, and it is possible to transfer from one to the other through extraordinary effort. It is also possible to transfer from a private institution to a public one (or vice-versa) on the same basis.
Many universities are usually organized by faculty ("faculdade"). Institute ("instituto") and school ("escola") are also common designations for autonomous units of Portuguese higher learning institutions, and are always used in the polytechnical system, though several universities also use these systems.
Access to public higher education institutions is subject to enrollment restrictions (
numerus clausus), and students must compete for admission. Students who hold a diploma of secondary education (12th grade) or the equivalent, who meet all legal requirements, particularly exams in specific subjects in which minimum marks must be obtained, may apply. Any citizen over 23 years old who does not have the secondary education diploma (12th grade) can attempt to gain admission to a limited number of vacant places available, through special examination which includes an interview (Decree law: "Decreto-Lei 64/2006, de 21 de Março"). For a number of academic fields, undergraduate admission criteria and student evaluation in public university institutions are usually more selective and demanding than in private or polytechnic institutions. Access to private higher education institutions is regulated by each institution.
After 2006, with the approval of new legislation [ [http://www.mctes.pt/docs/ficheiros/Decreto_Lei_no_74___2006.pdf Decree-Law 74/2006, of 24 March] ] on the frame of the
Bologna Process, any polytechnic or university institution of Portugal is able to award a first cycle of study, known as "licenciatura" (licentiate) plus a second cycle which confers a "mestrado" (master's degree). Before then, only university institutions awarded master's degrees.
All university institutions award master's degrees after a second cycle of study, and some universities award integrated master's degrees through a longer single cycle of study, with fields such as medicine having an initial 6-year study cycle needed for a master's degree. Several university engineering courses and some natural sciences departments in a number of universities offer an initial 4-year study cycle ("licenciatura") plus an optional 1- or 2-year study cycle ("mestrado"). A number of institutions, both public and private, and either belonging to the university or polytechnic sector, offer a 3-year program as a first study cycle in all or almost all courses. A number of master's degree programmes (2nd study cycle according to the Bologna process) have been implemented in the polytechnic institutions from the academic year 2007/2008 onwards. "Doutoramentos" (Ph.D. degrees) are only awarded by university institutions. [ [http://www.mctes.pt/docs/ficheiros/Decreto_Lei_no_74___2006.pdf MINISTÉRIO DA CIÊNCIA, TECNOLOGIA E ENSINO SUPERIOR, Decreto-Lei nº 74/2006 de 24 de Março, Artigo 29º - Atribuição do grau de doutor] , accessed December 2006] Only university institutions carry out fundamental research. [http://www.enqa.eu/files/EPHEreport.pdf Quality Assurance of Higher Education in Portugal - An Assessment of the Existing System and Recommendations for a Future System] , Report by a review panel from ENQA - European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education, November 2006]
There are also special higher education institutions linked with the
militaryand the police. These institutions generally have good reputations and are popular among students because their courses are a passport to the military/police career. These state-run institutions are the Air Force Academy, the Military Academy, the Naval School and the " Instituto Superior de Ciências Policiais e Segurança Interna".
In Portugal, university attendance before the
Carnation Revolution(1974) was predominantly for the students from wealthy families. Today higher education, which includes polytechnic institutions, is generalized but very heterogeneous, with different tonalities and subsystems. Overcrowded classrooms, obsolete curricula, dishonest competition among students, frequent rule changing in the sector and increasingly higher tuition fees (inside the public higher education system, although much smaller than private institution fees [The tuition fee for undergraduate degrees was less than 10€/year in 1995, and had increased to 356€/year in 2002/2003 in many institutions. It was increased again by many universities to 880€/year and to 901,23€/year in 2005/2006, the maximum fee allowed to state universities by law. First cycle annual fees of public higher education institutions can not exceed 920 euros (as of 2006)] ) that can be a financial burden for many students, was a reality until the Bologna Processimplementation of 2007. Nearly 40% of the higher education students do not finish their degrees, although an undisclosed number of those students are subsequently readmitted into other courses or institutions of their choice. [ [http://www.portugal.gov.pt/Portal/PT/Governos/Governos_Constitucionais/GC17/Ministerios/MCTES/Comunicacao/Outros_Documentos/20061214_MCTES_Doc_OCDE.htm "...perto de 40% dos alunos do ensino superior não terminavam o seu curso em 2003." "Relatório da OCDE de avaliação do ensino superior - O Relatório da OCDE: A avaliação do sistema de ensino superior em Portugal"] , source: OECD report, website: www.portugal.gov.pt - Official website of the Government of Portuguese Republic, date: 14th December 2006, retrieved March 2007 (in Portuguese)] Despite their problems, many good institutions have a long tradition of excellence in teaching and research, where students and professors can attain their highest academic ambitions.
University and polytechnic
Portugal has two main systems of higher education:
universitysystem, which is the oldest, has its origins in the 13th century. It is composed of thirteen public universities, one public university institute, a public open university, and several private universitiesand university institutes.
polytechnicsystem, that began offering higher education in the 1980s after the former industrial and commercial schools were converted into engineering and administration higher education schools (so its origins could be traced back to some earlier vocational educationschools of the 19th century). [http://www.feani.org/ESOEPE/PT-accred/PTengeduc.htm ENGINEERING EDUCATION IN PORTUGAL, European Federation of National Engineering Associations] , accessed December 2006] It is composed of fifteen state-run polytechnic institutes, public and private non-integrated polytechnic institutions, and other similar institutions.
The state-run universities ("Universidades") are governed by a
Rector, and are groupings of faculties, and university institutes, departments or schools. They have been created mostly in the most populated and industrialized areas near the coast (although strategically balanced with three establishments opened after 1970 in the northern, central and southern interior regions), being established in the main cities. Two of these universities are located in the Azores and Madeira Islands, and the remaining eleven in Continental Portugal. Three of them are located in Lisbon, the capital of Portugal (four considering also the Lisbon University Institute ISCTE, a large public university institute). Public universities have full autonomy in the creation and delivery of degree programmes, which are to be registered at DGES - "Direcção-Geral do Ensino Superior" (State Agency for Higher Education). [http://www.mctes.pt/docs/ficheiros/Background_Report_on_HE_OECD_Final_10may061.pdf Tertiary Education in Portugal - Background Report prepared to support the international assessment of the Portuguese system of tertiary education, Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education, pg.63 (April 2006)] , accessed December 2006] Universities are regulated by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education, and are represented as a whole by the " [http://www.crup.pt/ CRUP - Conselho de Reitores das Universidades Portuguesas] ".
The state-run polytechnic institutes ("Institutos Politécnicos") are governed by a
President, and are groupings of superior schools ("escolas superiores") and institutes, in major cities these also include superior institutes ("institutos superiores"). They have been created across the country after 1980. The fast expansion of the polytechnic institutes, whose entrance and teaching requirements before the mid 2000s were in general less demanding than the universities' criteria, was an administrative attempt to reduce the elevated rate of pre-higher education abandon and to increase the number of (under)graduates per one million inhabitants in Portugal which were dramatically below the European average (this does not imply that its students haven't become competent professionals). For the Portuguese State it was also considerably faster and cheaper to build the "Institutos Politécnicos" (Polytechnic Institutes) in almost all district capitals across the country, than build a few new universities [ [http://www.snesup.pt/ensinosuperior/revista_20/es20_05.htm "Essa pressão social já se adivinhava no princípio dos anos 70, pelo que a criação do ensino politécnico já correspondia, à partida, a uma forma de reduzir a pressão sobre as elites universitárias e responder à necessidade nacional de multiplicação dos indivíduos qualificados sem que fosse feita a multiplicação do orçamento necessário.", "A existência de um sistema politécnico raramente foi um contributo diferenciado para a melhoria da capacidade produtiva do país, tendo apenas cumprido o seu papel de redutor de assimetrias, dada a fixação de população jovem em distritos em risco de desertificação.", "Uma carreira única num sistema unificado?", Luis Moutinho da Silva, Auxiliary Professor at the "Instituto Superior de Ciências da Saúde - Norte", in "Ensino Superior n.º 20 - Abril de 2006 / Maio de 2006" ("SNESup - Sindicato Nacional do Ensino Superior"/National Union of Higher Education magazine)] , SNESup - Sindicato Nacional do Ensino Superior/National Union of Higher Education official website, accessed March 2007 (in Portuguese)] - in average, state-funding per student is about 60% higher for university students than for polytechnic students; however, even university students' average funding per capita is about 60% lower in Portugal than in Scandinavia or North America. [ [http://www.ae.isec.pt/engenhocas/ficheiros/Engenhocas26.pdf "Relativamente ao financiamento por aluno, as Universidades, que contam com 155.000 alunos no total, dispõem de 4.590 euros por aluno, enquanto que os Institutos Politécnicos com 105.000 alunos inscritos contam apenas com 2.920 euros por cada aluno." "ENDA - Encontro Nacional de Dirigentes Associativos" (National Meeting of Students' Unions)] , source:"Engenhocas" website (ISEC's student magazine), date: October 2005, accessed March 2007 (in Portuguese)] Since the mid 2000s, after many reforms, upgrades and changes, including the Bologna process, the polytechnic institutes have become " de facto" technical universities with little formal difference between them and the classic full chartered universities (polytechnics can't award doctorate degrees and, in general, they are not true research institutions, with few exceptions). The creation of degree programmes by public polytechnics require their prior approval from Government, through DGES - "Direccção Geral do Ensino Superior" (State Agency for Higher Education). Polytechnics are regulated by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education, and are represented as a whole by the " [http://www.ccisp.pt/ CCISP - Conselho Coordenador dos Institutos Superiores Politécnicos Portugueses] ".
The creation of private institutions and delivery of degree programmes by them, require prior approval from Government, through DGES - "Direccção Geral do Ensino Superior", after assessment by experts teams, which are nominated by the Government.
This system has resulted in increasing manifestations of concern from polytechnic and, above all, private institutions, arguing against discretionary attitudes and unnecessary bureaucracy. Government replies defend the necessity of maintaining selective mechanisms to secure a minimum level of institution quality, rationalize the whole system, and protect educational standards.
History of the university subsector
Public university schools have a long history in Portugal. They started in the
Middle Ages, and like other European medieval universitiesat the time, they were founded by the monarchsunder the authority and supervision of the Catholic Church. For many centuries there was only one university, the University of Coimbra, founded in 1290 in Lisbon. It was founded as a " Studium Generale" ("Estudo Geral"). Scientiae thesaurus mirabilis, the royal charter announcing the institution of the current University of Coimbra was dated 1st March of that year, although efforts had been made at least since 1288 to create this first university studies in Portugal. Throughout history it transferred between Coimbraand Lisbon several times, definitely settling in Coimbra during the 16th century (1537). The " Colégio do Espírito Santo", a university college, was an old higher learning institution which operated between 1559 and 1759 in Évora, but it was shut down during the Marquis of Pombalgovernment, because it was run by the Jesuits, and the marquis implemented strong secular policies. A new state-run university at Évora was founded in 1973 - the University of Évora.
Since the population was largely illiterate, the two universities at Coimbra and Évora, and some later higher-education schools in Lisbon (e.g. "(Escola Politécnica: 1837-1911; Curso Superior de Letras: 1859-1911; and Curso Superior de Comércio: 1884-1911)") and Porto "(successively Aula Náutica: 1762-1803; Real Academia da Marinha e Comércio: 1803-1837; and the Academia Politécnica: 1837-1911)", were enough for a small population inside a territory like
Continental Portugalof the 16th-19th centuries. During the 19th century some other isolated higher-education schools were established. For instance, two medical schools were established: the Lisbon Royal Medical-Surgical School and Porto Royal Medical-Surgical School opened in 1825. They were later incorporated into two new universities created in 1911 in Lisbon and Porto, which also absorbed Lisbon's former "Escola Politécnica" and "Curso Superior de Letras", and Porto's "Academia Politécnica", which were reformed and upgraded their facilities in the same year. Other successive institutions were the IST - Instituto Superior Técnico and the "Instituto Superior de Comércio", successor of the former "Curso Superior de Comércio", (today ISEG - Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestão), both born from the former Lisbon Institute of Industry and Commercewhich originated the creation of university schools in 1911.
With the advent of the Republic, the
University of Lisbonand the University of Portowere created in 1911. In 1930, a new university in Lisbon was created, the Technical University of Lisbon, which incorporated the "Instituto Superior Técnico" and some other university institutes and colleges such as the "Instituto Superior de Comércio", and agriculture and veterinary schools.In 1972 the ISCTE, a public university institute, was created in Lisbon by the decree "Decreto-Lei nº 522/72, of 15 December", as a first step towards a new and innovative public university in the city. Due to the carnation revolutionof 1974 this first facility of a never-completed projected larger university stayed alone. In 1973 a new wave of state-run universities opened in Lisbon- the New University of Lisbon, Braga- the Minho Universityand Évora- the University of Évora. After 1974, the revolution's year, new public universities were created in Vila Real- the University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, Aveiro- the University of Aveiro, Covilhã- the University of Beira Interior, Faro - the University of the Algarve, Madeira- the University of Madeira, and the Azores- the University of the Azores.
In 1988, the Portuguese government founded a public
distance university, the "Universidade Aberta" ( Aberta University), an "Open University" with headquarters in Lisbon, regional branches in Porto and Coimbra, and study centres all over the country.
In the 1980s and 1990s, a boom of private institutions was experienced and many private universities started to open. Most private universities had a poor reputation and were known for making it easy for students to enter and also to get high grades. In 2007, several of those private institutions or their heirs, were investigated and faced compulsory closing (for example, the infamous
Independente Universityclosing) or official criticism with recommendations that the state-managed investigation proposed for improving their quality and avoid termination. Without large endowments like those received, for example, by many US private universities and colleges which are attractive to the best researchers and students, the private higher education institutions of Portugal, with a few exceptions, do not have neither the financial support nor the academic profile to reach the highest teaching and research standards of the top Portuguese public universities. In addition, the private universities have faced a restrictive lack of collaboration with the major enterprises which, however, have developed fruitful relationships with many public higher education institutions.
Catholic University of Portugal, a private university with branches in the cities of Lisbon, Porto, Braga, Viseu, and Figueira da Foz(founded before the others, in 1967, and officially recognized in 1971), offers some well-recognized degrees. This private university has a unique status, being run by the Catholic Church.
The Portuguese universities have been the exclusive granters of master's and
doctoral degrees in the country and are to this day the major source of research and developmentin Portugal. Today, as in the past, they have full autonomy to offer all levels of academic degreesand the power to create new graduate or undergraduate courses in almost every major field of study. (see list of universities in Portugal)
History of the polytechnic subsector
Portuguese learning institutions called "polytechnics" or "industrial and commercial institutes" were established in various periods with very different roles and objectives. They were designations for institutions ranging from university or polytechnic institutes to technical and vocational institutes.
*The Polytechnic Schools at Lisbon and Porto:The 19th century - the industrialization era - created the need for new education programs in the country, the "industrial studies". In 1837, the "Escola Politécnica" (Polytechnic School) in Lisbon and the "Academia Politécnica" (Polytechnic Academy) in Porto were opened. They were university higher learning institutions conferring academic degrees, fully focused on the
sciences, mathematics, and engineering. Apart from sharing the name, they were not related to the polytechnic subsystem which has existed in Portugal since the 1970s, or to any current institution belonging to it.
The label and legal statute of "University" had been reserved for exclusive use by the University of Coimbra, but with the Republican revolution in 1911, two new universities were founded. The "Escola Politécnica" and "Academia Politécnica" were the core from which the sciences and engineering faculties, respectively, of the new universities of Lisbon and Porto emerged.
*The Industrial Institutes at Lisbon and Porto:The Prime Minister of the Kingdom,
Fontes Pereira de Melo, was not satisfied with the excessive academism of both schools ("Escola Politécnica" (Polytechnic School) in Lisbon and the "Academia Politécnica" (Polytechnic Academy), as he considered the institutions excessively theoretical for industrial labour force needs, as both were modelled on the only Portuguese university - the ancient University of Coimbra. Thus, in 1852, the minister created the " Instituto Industrial de Lisboa" (Lisbon Industrial Institute) which awarded higher education degrees between 1898 and 1911, and the " Escola Industrial do Porto" (Porto Industrial School), which a decade later was also declared an Institute and awarded higher education degrees between 1905 and 1918. The " Instituto Industrial de Lisboa" gave birth to the "IST" in 1911, which with other institutions formed the Technical University of Lisbonin 1930.
*The Industrial and Commercial Institutes and Schools:The Industrial Superior Studies were cut in 1918 by the minister Azevedo Neves reforms, as the country suffered many social and political convulsions, and the creation in 1911 of the new universities in Lisbon and Porto covered the highest educational needs of the country at the time. Between 1918 to 1974 (until the approval of decree Decreto-Lei 830/74 of
31 December 1974), the Industrial and Commercial Institutes in Porto and Lisbon, plus new ones created in Coimbra (1965) and Aveiro, provided vocational and technical education, instead of higher education.
*Modern-day polytechnic sub sector development: [http://www.mctes.pt/docs/ficheiros/Background_Report_on_HE_OECD_Final_10may061.pdf Tertiary Education in Portugal - Background Report prepared to support the international assessment of the Portuguese system of tertiary education, Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education, pgs.95-96 (April 2006)] , accessed December 2006] The idea of creating a polytechnic sector in Portugal can be traced back to the
OECD'sMediterranean Regional Project, MRP, of 1959. This project aimed at assessing future needs for skilled labour in five Mediterranean countries (Italy, Greece, Spain, Yugoslavia and Portugal) and had a lasting impact in terms of the political and social perception of education, with significant effects on the educational structure of the participating countries. These changes included the expansion of the higher education network by creating new university-level institutions, while a binary system was initiated through the establishment of polytechnic institutes and several colleges of teacher training (Parliament Act 5/73 of 25 July). After 1974 the existing polytechnics were transformed into University Institutes under the allegation that they should not remain "second class" institutions. It was in this context that successive governments established contact with the World Bankand, from 1978 to 1984, about nineteen different missions visited Portugal. A final statement was based on two main principles:
*A basic emphasis on an economic approach to higher education to improve efficiency by attaining objectives at the lowest possible cost, e.g. containing long term university degrees while promoting shorter technical degrees, shorter teacher training degrees, higher student/staff ratios, etc.
*A perspective of a world division of labour that led defining country specific roles.Although the final report welcomed the expansion of higher education, correcting the prior situation of unequal and limited access, the World Bank did not favour further expansion: "...the enrolment represents 8% of the 18-22 age group and could be considered adequate. ...In view of the rapidly increased university enrolments, which represent an uneconomical drain in the economy... [the Bank recommends a] gradual introduction of quantitative restraints" (World Bank, 1977 Progress report). At the same time, the World Bank urged the Portuguese authorities to restrain enrolment quotas so as to make "better use" and rationalise the supply of
higher educationand improve the management of the system, namely in terms of accountability, coordination, and efficiency. Future expansions should be planned, taking into account manpower needs, and demographic and enrolment trends. Subsequently, the World Bank produced two "Staff Appraisal Reports", which provided insights about the negotiations between the Bank's Mission and the Portuguese government, and further confirmed the Bank's priorities. In the first Report of Assessment (No. 1807-PO, 1978), the Bank insisted on three criteria: balancing the supply of higher education graduates with the economic needs of the country, developing a persistent and consistent policy towards vocational education, and upgrading teacher training programs. The Bank suggested that Portugal needed not only to train high level technicians but also middle level personnel (on a yearly basis: 1400 technicians with short cycle post-secondary education, 500 agricultural technicians and 6000 middle level managers). Subsequently, the government passed Decree-Law 397/77 of 17 September, which established a numerus claususfor every university study programme and eliminated the threat to the new short vocational education programs – that without reducing the supply of engineering jobs, graduates of the technician training institutes would find employment too scarce. The World Bank was critical of the erratic policies toward the existing technical institutes, and of the excessive enrolment in university engineering programs and the lax approach on managing vacancy quotas, and raised the issue of diseconomies of scale in the system, suggesting that there were too many institutions with small dimensions. The government replied to the Bank’s demands with Decree-Law 513-T/79, which established a network of polytechnic institutes, including Higher Schools of Education. The main objectives of Polytechnic education were: to provide education with an applied and technical emphasis and strong vocational orientation, and for training intermediate-level technicians for industries, service companies and educational units (first cycle of basic education).
During the 1970s and 1980s, a new era in Portugal's educational system started. A network of polytechnic institutes replaced short-cycle technical training with polytechnic higher education. This network include the Higher Schools of Education ("Escolas Superiores de Educação") [ [http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1468-2273.00241 Mediating the Economic Pulses: The International Connection in Portuguese Higher Education, Pedro Teixeira, Alberto Amaral, and Maria João Rosa - Higher Education Quarterly, Volume 57, Issue 2, Page 181 - April 2003] , accessed December 2006] They were opened in many cities as confederations of "Escolas Superiores" and "Institutos Superiores" providing short-cycle "bacharelato" degrees (in education, music, engineering, management, agriculture, and other areas), many of which lacked a solid and realistic strategy. Between 1979 and 1986, a few were almost immediately upgraded to create new universities, like the
University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, the University of Beira Interior, or the University of the Algarve. Some of those first polytechnics were transformed into University Institutes so that they would not remain "second class" institutions, and a few years later were upgraded to full chartered universities. The polytechnic institutes, heirs of a large network of reputable but discontinued intermediate schools with traditions in technical and vocational education, which also incorporated other older institutions formerly known as industrial institutes (see " Instituto Industrial de Lisboa", " Instituto Superior de Engenharia de Lisboa" and " Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto"), were originally created to produce skilled intermediate technicians in specific areas. The short-cycle polytechnical degrees were mainly aimed at training of intermediate technicians for industry and commerce but also for basic health and education, instead of academicians (like biologists, chemists, economists, geographers, historians, lawyers, mathematicians, philosophers, physicians, physicists, et al.), engineers, lecturers, researchers and scientists that were already produced by Portuguese universities. In 1974, the Industrial and Commercial Institutes of vocational educationwere transformed into higher learning Superior Institutes of Engineering and Accounting and Administration and integrated in the university subsector; although originally exclusively focused on providing short-cycle degrees, the need for a stronger polytechnicsector, and these schools' history and purpose, led them to be integrated in the polytechnic subsector in the late 1980s (Administrative Rule 389/88 of 25 October 1988 - "Decreto-Lei n.º 389/88, de 25 de Outubro").
After its creation in the late 1970s, polytechnic institutions used to offer a 3-year course (the engineering superior institutes created in 1974, awarded 4-year "bacharelato" degrees before have been integrated into the polytechnic sector in 1988), awarding a "bacharelato" degree (lower than a bachelor's degree [The polytechnic "bacharelato" did not grant the access to the
masters' degree, the following academic step after a bachelor's degree, thus, by definition, it was not a bachelor's degree.] ) instead of a university "licenciatura" ( licentiate) degree which was four to six years. [ [http://www.ist.utl.pt/files/bolonha/bolonha_IST.pdf "Concretização do Processo de Bolonha no Ensino da Engenharia em Portugal" (28th July 2004)] , Instituto Superior Técnico, accessed December 2006 (in Portuguese)] The Portuguese "licenciatura" was a longer undergraduate degree, which included a licensurefor working in a particular profession and an accreditation by the respective professional orders - "ordens profissionais". The "licenciatura" diploma was also required for those applicants who wished to undertake masters and doctorate programs.
The publication of Administrative Rule 645/88 of
21 September 1988authorised polytechnic schools to teach two-year courses of specialised higher education (CESE - "Curso de Estudos Superiores Especializados") within the fields already taught at the school. This system guaranteed a prominent independence between the two levels (bachelor's and CESE) since it was not compulsory to maintain a coherence of subjects. The diploma of specialised higher education (DESE - "Diploma de Estudos Superiores Especializados") thus emerged much more as a post-graduate diploma than a complementary education to the bachelor student who wanted a licentiate degree. Changing the structure of the CESE into two-stage degrees obtained in two levels known as "licenciatura bietápica" (bachelor's and licentiate, in which access to the second level is granted immediately after completing the first), as consigned in Administrative Rule 413A/98 of 17 July 1998, removed the formal differences between the university "licenciatura" and the new two-stage polytechnic "licenciatura" ("licenciatura bietápica").
By the government decree of July 1998 the polytechnics started to offer a two-stage curriculum (the first three years conferring a "bacharelato" degree, the following two years a "licenciatura bietápica" degree); both are undergraduate degrees, but the universities were offering a single
licentiatedegree ("licenciatura") of four to five years. This was changed with the Bologna processwith a new system of three years for a bachelor degree ("licenciatura"). Two additional years grant a masters degree ("mestrado") which is conferred by the polytechnic institute under protocols with a partner university or alone when the polytechnic institution is in full compliance with the necessary requirements (proper research activity, doctoral teaching staff, and budget). However, as of 2007, almost no polytechnic institute is offering "mestrado" degrees. The doctoral degree ("doutoramento") is conferred only by the universities, as it always has been.
The Lisbon Superior Institute of Engineering (ISEL, one of the colleges resulting from the former
Lisbon Institute of Industry, today part of the Polytechnical Institute of Lisbon), with the support of the University of Lisbon (UL), approved in 2005 the express will to reintegrate the university subsector as part of the University of Lisbon [ [http://app2.diarioeconomico.com/buscador/Buscador?opcion=4&imprimir=1&id=0&id=0&cod_not=490248&col=diarioeconomico "Universidade de Lisboa propõe ao Governo integrar ISEL - Barata Moura, reitor da Universidade de Lisboa, vai apresentar a proposta a Mariano Gago." (28th June 2005)] , Diário Económico, accessed January 2007 (in Portuguese)] which do not have a Faculty of Engineering and through the assimilation and reorganization of ISEL could transform that polytechnic engineering school to a new university engineering school inside UL. For ISEL itself, this change could represent an emancipation from the limited polytechnic system, which has been regarded as a minor higher education subsystem in Portugal (although by mid 2000s with many upgrades and the Bologna process, the formal differences are less notorious), due to limitations that were imposed by State Education Laws on polytechnics (such as the professor's career, the professor's wages, the State funds spending and the teaching competences of the polytechnics). The Porto Superior Institute of Engineering (ISEP) was never merged into the University of Porto (or one of its predecessor schools, the Polytechnic Academy). The original proposal was dropped, partially because the University of Porto has owned its own engineering school since 1911 - the " Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto", known as "Faculdade de Engenharia" since 1926, unlike the University of Lisbon. Nursingand health technologies technicians (technicians in clinical analysis, radiology, audiology, nuclear medicine and other technical fields in health) are also polytechnic higher education courses offered by nursing schools and schools of health technologies which are grouped into polytechnic institutes, and, in some cases, into universities (remaining in each of those situations as autonomous schools belonging to the polytechnicsubsector). The nursing schools were legally defined as comparable to polytechnic institutions in 1988 (Administrative Rule 480/88 of 23 December 1988 - "Decreto Lei n.º 480/88, de 23 de Dezembro"), and started to provide higher educationdegrees in nursing in 1990 (Rule 821/89 of 15 September 1990 - "Portaria n.º 821/89, de 15 de Setembro"). Before 1990 nursing schools were not academic-degree-conferring institutions, and did not belong to the higher educational system. In 1995 they were fully integrated into the polytechnic subsystem (Administrative Rule 205/95 of 5 August 1995 - "Decreto Lei n.º 205/95, de 5 de Agosto"), and in 1999 the new courses in nursing were approved, conferring a "licenciatura" diploma (Administrative Rule 353/99 of 8 September 1999 - "Decreto Lei n.º 353/99, de 8 de Setembro").
Between 1918 and 1974, some older schools that are today integrated into the polytechnic subsector were industrial and commercial schools of
vocational education, as well as intermediate schools for primary-education-teacher training, schools of agriculture, or nursing schools. Current establishments for polytechnic studies in engineering such as the " Instituto Superior de Engenharia de Lisboa", " Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto", " Instituto Superior de Engenharia de Coimbra", the nursing schools, and the current polytechnic schools of education "(Escolas Superiores de Educação)" during that period had no relation with higher education, and were known by other names. Admission to these schools was open to people with no complete secondary education, with universities reserved for secondary school graduates. For decades, these vocational schools of intermediate education (known as "ensino médio") did not have the higher education status or credentials they have now. However, the majority of current polytechnical institutes was fully created in the 1980s and 1990s. It must be remembered that the " Instituto Superior de Engenharia de Lisboa" and the " Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto", both born from the earlier industrial institutes ("Instituto Industrial"), were higher education degree-conferring institutions in technical engineeringduring a short period before 1919, and were known by other institutional names in their long histories.
*Former polytechnic institutes:During the 1980s, the former Polytechnical Institute of Faro, in the Algarve region, southern Portugal, was incorporated into the
University of the Algarve, but as a totally independent institution in terms of staff, curricula and competences, remaining a full public polytechnic institution within a larger and independent public university. The former and short-lived Polytechnical Institute of Vila Real, in northern Portugal, was closed and then reformed, having been reorganized into a university in the 1980s - the University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro. The University of Beira Interiorin Covilhãwas founded in 1979 after the closing of a former (also short-lived) polytechnical institute - the PIC - Polytechnical Institute of Covilhã ("Instituto Politécnico da Covilhã") (1973-1979). A remarkable level of achievements allowed PIC in 1979 to be promoted by the Portuguese Ministry of Education to a higher institutional level, university institute. Seven years later, in 1986, the University Institute of Beira Interior was granted full university status, becoming the current University of Beira Interior.
ocio-economic composition of students
Based on a research study ("Preferências dos estudantes", co-authored by Diana Amado Tavares, from "CIPS - Centro de Investigação de Políticas do Ensino Superior" (Centre For Research In Higher Education Policies) [ [http://diariodigital.sapo.pt/news.asp?id_news=269954 Pais licenciados influenciam carreira universitária de filhos] , source: "Preferências dos estudantes", co-authored by Diana Amado Tavares, from "Centro de Investigação de Políticas do Ensino Superior" (CIPES) on
Diário de Notícias2nd April 2007, website: diariodigital.sapo.pt, accessed April 2007 (in Portuguese)] , among others), the Portuguese newspaper Diário de Notíciasreported on 2nd April 2007, that according to the study, pre-higher education students from families with an higher educational and cultural background have a 10 times higher probability of becoming higher education students than the others. And among all higher education students, the family economic and cultural background are decisive on the type of course a student can attain in the higher education system.
According to the study, using as an example medicine, it shows that 73,2% of the 2003/2004 medicine freshman admitted to Portuguese
universitieshave graduated parents. On the other side, 73% of nursing and health technician students ( polytechniccourses), have parents without higher education.
The study shows a relation between parental very low educational levels and the students' options in higher education, where 39% of basic education teacher students, and 20% of management students, have parents with 4 years of study or less, the 4th grade ("4ª classe"). On the other side,
law, natural sciencesand related fields (particularly medicine), and fine arts, are preferred courses of students from families with higher educational and cultural backgrounds.
The study reports that about 42,000 unemployed people registered in the employment centers and seeking for a job have an higher education academic degree, with the fields of teaching and education accounting for 32% of those unemployed people, and art and humanities accounting for 12%.
The study also concludes that the higher is the financial and educational background of a family, more evident is the student preference of applying to university institutions, and the lower is the number of students desiring to apply to polytechnic institutions.
The study was also expected to be published in the
European Journal of Higher Education.
European Higher Education Area
Bologna Processwas a European reform process aimed at establishing a European Higher Education Areaby 2010. It was an unusual process in that it was loosely structured and driven by the 45 countries participating in it in cooperation with a number of international organisations, including the Council of Europe.
The broad objectives of the Bologna Process are to remove the obstacles to student mobility across Europe; to enhance the attractiveness of European higher education worldwide; to establish a common structure of higher education systems across Europe, and for this common structure to be based on two main cycles: undergraduate (1st cycle of study) and graduate (2nd cycle of study).
In its drive to improve the quality of higher education and, in turn, human resources across Europe, the Bologna Process play a key role in contributing to the EU's
Lisbon Strategygoals which aim to deliver stronger, lasting growth and to create more and better jobs.
The reform aim was to create a higher education system in Europe, organised in such a way that:
* it is easy to move from one country to the other (within the European Higher Education Area) – for the purpose of further study or employment;
* the attractiveness of European higher education is increased so many people from non-European countries also come to study and/or work in Europe;
* the European Higher Education Area provides Europe with a broad, high quality and advanced knowledge base, and ensures the further development of Europe as a stable, peaceful and tolerant community.
* there will also be a greater convergence between the U.S. and Europe as European higher education adopts aspects of the American system.
Portugal, like other European States, has conducted educational policies and reforms to accomplish these objectives. This included the reorganization of both university and polytechnic subsystems and the implementation of extensive legal and curricular changes and the adoption of innovative teaching methods. Its field application process was mostly visible in 2006 and 2007.
This reform was elaborated in order to attain an education system based on the development of competences rather than on the transmission of knowledge, and included the development of a system of easily readable and comparable degrees aimed to simplify comparison between qualifications across Europe. The flexibility and transparency enabled students to have their qualifications recognised more widely, facilitating freedom of movement around a more transparent EHEA (
European Higher Education Area). This was aided by the establishment of a system of credits in the form of the European Credit Transfer System(ECTS) and the adoption of the Diploma Supplement by all countries involved. One academic year corresponds to 60 ECTS-credits that are equivalent to 1500–1800 hours of study. The new model comes closer to the North American and Japanese systems. It gives greater weight to practical training, intensive research projects and the way credits are measured reflects how hard a student has worked. The new evaluation methods reflect not only a student's performance on exams, but also his or her lab experiments, presentations, hours spent on study, innovation capacities and so forth.
The European higher education area adopted a system based on three cycles of study, at bachelor, master and
doctorate's level, that is:
* 1st cycle of study lasting three or four years to attain a bachelor's degree, in Portugal called a "licenciatura"
* 2nd cycle of study lasting one or two years to attain a master's degree, in Portugal called a "mestrado"
* 3rd cycle of study lasting three years to attain a doctorate, in Portugal called a "doutoramento"
1st cycle degree
*"Licenciatura" (1st cycle degree): This cycle of study has a curricular units structure geared to the employment market, in which the student can have teaching sessions of a collective nature, sessions of tutorial style personal orientation, stages, and field projects and assignments. This cycle has 180 to 240 credits, called ECTS and normally takes three to four years of full-time study to complete the degree (six to eight curricular semesters). To attain this degree, the student must pass all the curricular units that integrate the course's curricula.
2nd cycle degree
*"Mestrado" (2nd cycle degree): This cycle of study has 90 to 120 credits (ECTS) and the duration of one to two years (three to four curricular semesters). To attain this degree one must pass all the units that integrate the curricula of the course as well as a successful public defence of a thesis, project or stage report. Holders of a national or foreign higher education degree or equivalent can apply to the master degree's cycle of study. Applicants possessing a scholarly, scientific or professional curriculum, which is recognized as certifying the capacity to accomplish this course can also apply to the master degree's cycle of study. In engineering, although the use by some institutions of two separated cycles, only having the masters' degree (2nd cycle of study) one can be a full chartered engineer.
*"Mestrado Integrado" (Joint degree): According to European regulations the access to several professional activities (medical doctor, engineer, pharmacist, psychologist, architect, lawyer, etc.) can be limited to one who holds a master's degree obtained through an integrated cycle of study with 300 to 360 credits (ECTS) and the duration of 10 to 12 curricular semesters. The access to this cycle of studies is governed by the same norms as access to the 1st cycle of studies.
3rd cycle degree
*"Doutoramento" (Doctorate cycle): The cycle of studies that leads to the doctoral degree includes the elaboration of an original thesis, especially produced for this purpose and coherent with the branch of knowledge or specialty which may also require the completion of research based curricular units. Applicants already possessing a master's degree or equivalent can apply to the PhD degree's cycle of studies. Applicants holding a bachelor's degree who also possess an excellent scholarly, scientific or professional curriculum which demonstrates the capacity to accomplish this cycle of studies can also apply to the PhD degree's cycle of studies. In addition, applicants possessing a scholarly, scientific or professional curriculum recognised by the University as demonstrating the capacity for the completion of this cycle of studies may also be allowed to apply.
Degree significance and accreditation
Schools that adhered to the
Bologna process(since 2006 - 2007) maintained the degree names but their significance changed. In ascending order of importance [ [http://oecd-conference-teks.iscte.pt/downloads/OECD_conference_PanelTaxell.ppt] ] :
"Bacharelato" [The Portuguese "bacharelato" degree awarded by polytechnical institutions or its predecessors, was not a bachelor's degree - it was one step below. Only the "licenciatura" degree was equal to the bachelor's degree.] (Not academically equivalent to
Bachelor's degree) - title: "Bacharel" or "Engenheiro Técnico" for technical engineers - abbreviation: none or "Bach."
*Non-Bologna: three-year course in a polytechnic (before 2007)
*Bologna: not used
"Licenciatura" (Academic License) - title: "Licenciado" (popular: "Doutor" or "Engenheiro" for a License in
engineering) - abbreviation used in front of holder's name: "Lic." (popular: "Dr". or "Eng." for Engineer, used extensively (formal and colloquially))
*Non-Bologna: four- to six-year course in a university, or a "Bacharelato" complemented with one or two extra years in a polytechnic (called "licenciatura bietápica", meaning dual-stage license) or university (before 2007)
*Bologna: three- to four-year course in a university or polytechnic.
"Pós-Graduação" or "Especialização " (
Postgraduatedegree) - no specific title
*Usually one year of specific study for holders of a "Licenciatura" or "Mestrado".
Master's degree) - title: "Mestre"
*Non-Bologna: advanced degree in a specific scientific field, indicating capacity for conducting practical research. Courses last two to four semesters, including lectures and the preparation and discussion of an original dissertation. It is only open to those who have obtained a grade average of 14/20 or higher in the "Licenciatura" course. Those with less than 14/20 may also be eligible for a "Mestrado" course after analysis of the curriculum by the university.
*Bologna: "Licenciatura" complemented with one or two extra years in a polytechnic or university; or a 5- to 6-year joint degree ("Mestrado Integrado").
Doctorate) - used in front of holder's name: "Doutor"
*The "Doutorado" is conferred by universities to those who have passed the Doctorate examinations and have defended a thesis, usually to pursue a teaching career at university level. There is no fixed period to prepare for the Doctorate examinations. Candidates must hold a degree of "Mestrado" or "Licenciatura" (or a legally equivalent qualification) and have competences and merit that are recognized by the university.
Agrégation) - used in front of holder's name: "Professor Doutor"
*This is the highest qualification reserved to holders of the "Doutor" degree. It requires the capacity to undertake high level research and special pedagogical competence in a specific field. It is awarded after passing specific examinations.
Professional associations of some of the regulated professions run their own accreditation systems, they are known as "Ordens" (these include several "Ordens" like the "
Ordem dos Engenheiros"; " Ordem dos Advogados"; " Ordem dos Arquitectos"; " Ordem dos Médicos"; " Ordem dos Biólogos"; " Ordem dos Economistas"; " Ordem dos Revisores Oficiais de Contas"; etc.). In general, registration with such associations is a requisite for the legal practice of the profession and it normally requires an admission examination. In some orders (eg. " Ordem dos Engenheiros" for the exercice of engineering profession), the accreditation process exemptes candidates, possessing an accredited degree, of such examination. [ [http://www.bologna-bergen2005.no/EN/national_impl/00_Nat-rep-05/National_Reports-Portugal_050114.pdf Towards the european higher education area - Bologna process, NATIONAL REPORTS 2004 – 2005] , accessed December 2006] But some orders, as well as some other professional associations, only allow cadidates possessing an accredited course to be admitted to examination but do not exempt them from this examination (e.g. " Ordem dos Advogados" for lawyers and the " Câmara dos Técnicos Oficiais de Contas" for accounting technicians).
During many years (at least during most of the 20th century to the 2000s), a graduate in Portugal used to have a compulsory 4 to 5 year course (an exception included medicine, with a 6 years course) known as "licenciatura" which was granted exclusively by
universities. Only graduates having the "licenciatura" diploma exclusively conferred by the universities were fully able to develop professional activity in their respective field (like engineering [ [http://gep.ist.utl.pt/files/comunica/Acred_Progr_IST.PDF] ] , or secondary school teaching) and were universally recognized and regulated by its "Ordem" (the highest professional association authority) and/or the State. Other higher education courses offering a 3-year "bacharelato" degree that the newly created polytechnic institutes started to award in the 1970s and 1980s, like the technical engineeringcourses, the accounting technician[ [http://www.ctoc.pt/downloads/files/gc/1149174962_RegrasDeInscriçãoNaCTOC.pdf] ] courses, or the basic education teaching courses, had its own regulation scheme and were not recognized by the respective "Ordens Profissionais" in the field or by the State to perform the same professional activities university's "licenciados" were habilitated for (for instance, technical engineers did not belong to the "Ordem" of engineers and were awarded a limited range of engineering projects, and most teachers with the polytechnic degrees were not able to teach school students after the 6th grade). In 1999, over 15,000 students enrolled in Portuguese higher learning institutions and newly graduates in the fields of engineering and architecture, were enrolled or were awarded a degree in a non-accredited course. Those students and graduates with no official recognition were not admitted to any "Ordem" and were unable to sign projects in their presumed field of expertise. At the same time, only one accredited engineering course was offered by a private university, and over 90% of the accredited courses with recognition in the fields of engineering, architecture, and law were provided by state-run universities. [ [http://primeirasedicoes.expresso.clix.pt/ed1382/pu-primeira.asp "15 mil alunos frequentam cursos não reconhecidos" - Expresso(Nº1382), 24th April 1999] , accessed December 2006 (in Portuguese)]
Currently, after many major reforms and changes in higher education started in 1998 which originated a process that spans across the 2000s, the formal differences between
polytechnicand university"licenciatura" degrees are in general null and they have an equivalent denomination and course duration, and due to the Bologna processboth graduates should be recognized equally all across Europe. However, there are many courses whose degrees are still not recognized by the "Ordens Profissionais" (the highest Portuguese authorities in accreditation of graduated professionals), especially those courses conferred by several polytechnic institutes and many private institutions. For instance, there are many courses in engineering, law, or architecture, among many other fields, which are not recognized by its respective highest professional association authority ("Ordens Profissionais"). Among the oldest recognized and most extensively accredited courses in Portugal, are those university degrees awarded by the state-run universities. After the large 1998 - 2000s reforms and upgrades, many polytechnic "licenciatura" degrees started to be offered by the largest state-run polytechnic institutes, like those in the cities of Lisbon and Porto, have been awarded in the same way with wide official recognition by the concerned "Ordens Profissionais" and the State.
Admission and inequalities
Admission to state-run higher education level studies requires either a secondary school credential, "Diploma de Ensino Secundário", given after twelve study years, allowing the student to be examined through the "
Exames Nacionais de Acesso ao Ensino Superior", or an extraordinary exam process available to anyone aged 23 or older. Admission to private institutions is at the total discretion of each school.
With secondary school credential
Students must have studied the subjects for which they are entering to be prepared for the entrance exams, but they are not required to have previously specialised in any specific area at the secondary school. Students sit for one or more entrance exams, "Concurso nacional" for public institutions or "Concurso local" for private institutions. In addition to passing entrance exams, students must fulfill particular prerequisites for the chosen course. Enrollment is limited; each year the institution establishes the number of places available. At the universities this is called the "
numerus clausus". For the public institutions the exam scores count for the final evaluation, which includes the secondary school average marks. Then the students have to choose six institutions/courses they prefer to attend, in preferential order. The ones who reach the marks needed to attend the desired institution/course, given the number of vacancies, will be admitted. This means that the students could not be admitted at its first or second choice, but be admitted at the third or even sixth choice. In some cases, those entering polytechnics or nursing and health technologies schools with previous vocational training will receive institutional preference.
Portuguese ordinary admissions are based in a competitive system of "
numerus clausus", different programmes have different admission rules and each institution sets the entrance ENESexams needed for admission which may vary greatly from one institution to another.
2008 tableFact|date=September 2008 of new alumni by institution in state-run universities and polytechnics, excluding
international studentsand extraordinary admissions.
Source: "FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia" [http://www.fct.mctes.pt/]
International partnership agreements
International partnership programmes and international conventions or agreements in higher education include:
*Portugal is a signatory of the
Bologna processand therefore belongs to the European Higher Education Area. (see Higher education in Portugal#European Higher Education Area)
*Portugal is an active member of
Socrates programmeand Erasmus programmeexchange scheme.
*"Programa MIT-Portugal" (see [http://www.mitportugal.org/ MIT-Portugal official site] ): is a partnership in
graduate educationand researchin advanced systems engineering, bioengineering, energy and transportation systems, and also in management, involving the Massachusetts Institute of Technology(U.S.A.), Portuguese universities [http://www.rtp.pt/index.php?article=257006 Rádio e Televisão de Portugal ] ] , other research institutions, and companies. Mariano Gagothe Portuguese Minister of Science Technology and Higher Education said, in his perspective, about MIT-Portugal programme: "The worst (higher education institutions) should learn and the best should be ready to face the challenges". The institutions in this programme include: the " Instituto Superior de Ciências do Trabalho e da Empresa" (only in management), Minho University, New University of Lisbon, Catholic University of Portugal(only in management), Technical University of Lisbon, University of Coimbra, and the University of Porto. [ [http://www.mctes.pt/docs/ficheiros/Portugal__MIT___texto_do_acordo.pdf#search=%22partnership%20programme%20MIT%20Portugal%22] , [http://diariodigital.sapo.pt/news.asp?id_news=245695] ] [http://www.rtp.pt/index.php?article=257008 Rádio e Televisão de Portugal ] ] [ [http://www.publico.clix.pt/shownews.asp?id=1272488 Publico.Pt ] ] The program includes companies like Volkswagen's AutoEuropa, Amorim, and Simoldes, among others. The project is financed by the Government of Portugaland participants were selected by the Portuguese Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education based on multicriteria MIT's evaluation of the Portuguese institutions [ [http://www.mitportugal.org/About.aspx] ] .
*"Programa CMU-Portugal" (see [http://www.cmuportugal.org/ CMU-Portugal official site] ): is a partnership in
information technologyand communications, part of the national policy for the hi-tech boom, involving the Carnegie Mellon University(U.S.A.) and several Portuguese institutions including companies, such as Portugal Telecom, Siemens, Novabaseand Critical Software, the eight faculties and colleges that integrate various research centres involved in the CMU-Portugal Program: Faculty of Sciences of Lisbon University, School of Engineering of Minho University, Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the New University of Lisbon, Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the University of Coimbra, Faculty of Economical and Enterprise Sciences of the Catholic University of Portugal, Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto, " Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto" (IPP), and " Instituto Superior Técnico" (UTL). It also includes several other higher education institutions, such as the universities of Aveiro, Beira Interior and Algarve. [http://www.mctes.pt/docs/ficheiros/PROGRA_OVERVIEW_CMU__26out06.pdf] This project will be financed by the national government and major hi-tech companies. [Santana, Maria José. (October 28, 2006). [http://jornal.publico.clix.pt/noticias.asp?a=2006&m=10&d=28&uid=&id=104411&sid=11532 Portugal une-se à Carnegie por instituto internacional] . Público]
*"Programa UTAustin-Portugal" (see [http://www.utaustinportugal.org/ UTAustin-Portugal official site] ): is a partnership in
graduate educationand researchinvolving the University of Texas at Austin(U.S.A.), several Portuguese universities, other research institutions and companies, including: the "Instituto de Engenharia de Sistemas e Computadores do Porto", "Instituto de Medicina Molecular", " Instituto Pedro Nunes", University of Porto, New University of Lisbon, University of Aveiro, University of Coimbra, University of Lisbon, " Instituto Superior de Ciências do Trabalho e da Empresa", and the " Instituto Superior Técnico" of the Technical University of Lisbon. [ [http://bip.inescporto.pt/index.php?id=88&no=64&lng=pt Boletim INESC Porto ] ]
* [http://www.enqa.eu/files/EPHEreport.pdf Quality Assurance of Higher Education in Portugal - An Assessment of the Existing System and Recommendations for a Future System] , Report by an ENQA (the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education) review panel, November 2006
* [http://www.mctes.pt/docs/ficheiros/Background_Report_on_HE_OECD_Final_10may061.pdf Tertiary Education in Portugal - Background Report prepared to support the international assessment of the Portuguese system of tertiary education, Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education, (April 2006)]
* [http://www.utwente.nl/cheps/documenten/portugal.pdf CHEPS - Higher Education Monitor, Higher Education in Portugal, Ana-Maria Dima, February 2005 Country Report]
* [http://www.country-studies.com/portugal/education.html Education in Portugal - country-studies.com]
* [http://www.euroeducation.net/prof/porco.htm Euroeducation.net - Structure of Educational System in Portugal]
* [http://www.country-data.com/cgi-bin/query/r-10902.html country-data.com Portugal - EDUCATION]
* [http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0101-73302004000300016&lng=en&nrm=iso Funding higher education in Portugal: between State and market, Educ. Soc. vol.25 no.88 special, Campinas Oct. 2004]
* [http://qesdb.usaid.gov/cgi-bin/broker.exe?_program=gedprogs.ged_country_une_2.sas&_service=default&cocode=4PRT+&sscode=ALL Selected Statistics for Portugal, Source: UNESCO, Institute for Statistics]
* [http://www.bologna-bergen2005.no/Docs/Portugal/PORTUGAL.PDF NATIONAL REPORT ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE BOLOGNA PROCESS (AUGUST 2003)]
* [http://campus.fct.unl.pt/gdeh/Bolonha/Coments.pdf "Contribuição para a discussão pública do documento elaborado pelo Grupo de Trabalho para a reorganização do Ensino Superior", José Filipe dos Santos Oliveira, Professor at the F.C.T. - "
Universidade Nova de Lisboa"] (in Portuguese)
* [http://www.engenharia.com.pt/ Engenharia do Séc.XX] (in Portuguese)
* [http://jvcosta.planetaclix.pt JVCosta - Higher Education in Portugal] (in Portuguese)
* [http://www.mitportugal.org/ MIT Portugal Program]
Education in Portugal
List of colleges and universities in Portugal
* [http://www.mctes.pt/ "Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Ensino Superior" (Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education)]
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