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Portugal


Structure of Educational System
Pre-higher Education System
Higher Education System
Administrative structure of higher education  
Admissions to Higher Education and Recognition



INSTITUTION TYPES & CREDENTIALS

Types of higher education institutions:

Universidade (University)

Instituto Politécnico (Polytechnic Institute)

Escola Superior (Higher School)

Instituto Superior (Higher Institute)

Faculdade (Faculty)

 

School leaving and higher education credentials:

Diploma de Ensino Secundário

Diploma de Especialização Technológica

Bacharel (old system)

Licenciado

Mestre

Doutor

Agregação

 

 

STRUCTURE OF EDUCATION SYSTEM

Pre-higher education:

Duration of compulsory education:

Age of entry: 6

Age of exit: 15

Structure of school system:

Basic First Stage

Type of school providing this education: Ensino Básico - 1 Ciclo

Length of program in years: 4

Age level from: 6 to: 10

Basic Second Stage

Type of school providing this education: Ensino Básico - 2 Ciclo

Length of program in years: 2

Age level from: 10 to: 12

Basic Third Stage

Type of school providing this education: Ensino Básico - 3 Ciclo

Length of program in years: 3

Age level from: 12 to: 15

Certificate/diploma awarded: Certificado/Diploma

Secondary

Type of school providing this education: Escola Secundária

Length of program in years: 3

Age level from: 15 to: 18

Certificate/diploma awarded: Diploma de Ensino Secundário

Professional

Type of school providing this education: Escolas profissionais

Length of program in years: 3

Age level from: 15 to: 18

Certificate/diploma awarded: Diploma de Formação Profissional de Nivel III and Diploma de Estudios Profissionais

Specialized Tech./Voc.

Type of school providing this education: Escolas Secundárias Profissionais (Professional Schools)

Length of program in years: 3

Age level from: 15 to: 18

Certificate/diploma awarded: Diploma de Ensino Secundário, Certificado de Qualificação Profissional de Nível III.

School education:

Basic education lasts for nine years divided into three stages of four, two and three years respectively. A Diploma/Certificate is awarded at the end of the third stage. Secondary education - public, private and cooperative - is optional and consists of a three-year cycle after having completed the third cycle of basic education. Access is through the Certificate of Basic Education. There are two types of courses: general courses and technical/vocational courses, providing instruction in technical, technological, professional fields and in the Portuguese language and culture. Permeability between the courses is guaranteed. The teaching and practice of technical, technological or artistic courses are provided by vocational schools and special schools for education in Arts. Courses are sanctioned by the Certificado de Habilitações do Ensino Secundário/Diploma de Ensino Secundário, which is one of the conditions for access to higher education. In order to develop personal and profesional competencies, legislation has been passed to approve the stimulation of post-secondary-level technological specialized courses (CET). These courses qualify for the exercise of a profession (Nível IV) and enable people to pursue studies at higher education level.

Higher education:

At present, higher education in Portugal is divided into two subsystems: university education and non-university higher education (polytechnic education), and it is provided in public and  private universities and non-university higher education institutions (both public and private).The Portuguese Catholic University was instituted by decree of the Holy See and is recognized by the State of Portugal. Private higher education institutions cannot operate if they are not recognized by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education. Access is regulated by the same procedures as those for state higher education institutions. The two systems of higher education (university and polytechnic) are linked and it is possible to transfer from one to the other. It is also possible to transfer from a public institution to a private one and vice-versa.

Main laws/decrees governing higher education:

Decree: Comprehensive Law 46/86 (dated 14 October) on the Education System subsequently amended by Law 115/97 (dated 19 September) and Law 49/2005 (dated 30 August) Year: 1986

Concerns: All university and non-university (polytechnic) higher education institutions, as well as the structure of the higher education system.

Decree: Decree-Law 296-A/98 (dated 25 September) subsequently amended by Decree-Law 99/99 (dated 30 March) and Decree-Law 26/2003 (dated 7 February) and 76/2004 Year: 1998

Concerns: Access to public and private higher education institutions

Decree: Decree-Law 42/2005 (dated 22 February) on the principles and instruments for the creation of a European Higher Education Area Year: 2005

Concerns: All university and non-university (polytechnic) higher education institutions, as well as the instrument for the implementation of the Bologna Process.

Decree: Law 1/2003 (dated 6 January) on the Development and the Quality of Higher Education Year: 2003

Concerns: Public and private higher education institutions

Decree: Law 108/88 on University Autonomy amended by Law 252/97 Year: 1988

Concerns: Public universities

Decree: Law 16/94 on the Statute of Private and Cooperative Higher Education amended by Law 37/94 and Law 94/99 Year: 1994

Concerns: Private higher education institutions.

Decree: Law 37/2003 (dated 22 August) on the Funding of Higher Education Year: 2003

Decree: Law 38/94 on the Assessment of Higher Education amended by Law 1/2003 Year: 1994

Concerns: Public and private higher education institutions

Decree: Law 49/2005 (dated 30 August) introducing changes to the Basic Law on the Eduaction System to comply with the Bologna Process Year: 2005

Decree: Law 54/90 on the Statute and Autonomy of Polytechnic Higher Education Institutions (dated 5 September) amended by Laws 20/92 and 71/93 Year: 1990

Concerns: Polytechnic institutions

Academic year:

Classes from: Sep to: Jul

Languages of instruction: Portuguese

Stages of studies:

Non-university level post-secondary studies (technical/vocational type):

Non-university level: Polytechnic:

As from the publication of the law 49/2005: Polytechnic institutions award the Licenciado degree after the 1st cycle of studies and the Mestre degree after the 2nd cycle of studies. The Licenciado is awarded after a period of study of 180 credits corresponding to six semesters. In certain cases, namely education and training leading to regulated professions, the Licenciado is awarded after seven or eight semesters, corresponding to 210 to 240 credits.The Mestre degree is awarded after a period of studies of three to four semesters, corresponding to 90 to 120 credits. Access to the Mestre is open to holders of the Licenciado or a foreign higher education qualification that is recognized as satisfying the objectives of a Licenciado by the appropriate competent body of the institution the student wishes to attend.  Before the publication of the law 49/2005: Polytechnic institutions awarded the degrees of Bacharel (3 years) or Licenciado (4 years). "Cursos bietápicos de Licenciado" were also offered at polytechnic institutions. These courses were divided into two cycles, the first leading to the Bacharel degree and the second to the Licenciado degree. The first cycle lasted for six semesters, whilst the second varied between two and four semesters. Post-secondary courses were offered to those who wished to enter the labour market with a high level professional qualification. They were offered at universities and polytechnics. After completing one of these courses, the student could pursue studies leading to a licenciado.

 

University level studies:

University level first stage: Licenciado:

As from the publication of the law 49/2005: The Licenciado at universities is awarded after a period of study of six to eight semesters corresponding to 180 to 240 credits. Before the publication of the law 49/2005: The Licenciado was conferred after completion of a course usually lasting for 4 years. Many courses, however, lasted  for 5 or even 6 years. Most Licenciatura courses were organized in credit units, although some were still organized per semester or academic year.

University level second stage: Mestre:

As from the publication of the law 49/2005: The Mestre is awarded after a period of study of three to four semesters, corresponding to 90 to 120 credits. The Mestre can also be awarded after 10 to 12 semesters, corresponding to 300 to 360 credits for professions that are subject to EU regulations regarding their duration. Before the publication of the law 49/2005: The Mestre was an advanced degree in a specific scientific field, indicating capacity for conducting practical research. Courses usually lasted for 4 semesters and included attendance at lectures and the preparation and discussion of an original dissertation. It was only open to those who had obtained 14 out of 20 in the Licenciado or a legally equivalent course. Those who had obtained a mark below 14 could also be eligible for a Mestrado course after analysis of the curriculum by the competent academic bodies.

University level third stage: Doutor:

The Doutor degree is awarded by university institutions following the writing and defence of an original thesis (doctoral thesis). There is no fixed period to prepare for the Doctorate examinations. This degree is only open to holders of a mestre degree or equivalent and those who have been awarded the licenciado degree or a legally equivalent qualification with a final mark of 16. Holders of a relevant academic scientific and professional curriculum may also apply for the doutor degree following analysis of the curriculum by the competent academic body.

University level fourth stage: Agregação:

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.

 

Teacher education:

Training of pre-primary and primary/basic school teachers

Educators and teachers for basic and secondary education obtain the adequate qualification through higher education courses (which award the licenciado degree) structured on the basis of professional performance needs according to the corresponding level of educational training. The educational training of educators and teachers for basic education (1st, 2nd and 3rd cycles) is offered in Escolas Superiores de Educação or universities.

Training of secondary school teachers

The educational training of teachers for secondary education is offered in university institutions. The professional qualifications of teachers of vocational and artistic subjects can be obtained through licenciatura courses that are specially oriented towards the specific fields of study and completed by adequate pedagogical training. The professional qualification of teachers for secondary education can be obtained through licenciatura courses which guarantee the scientific education in the adequate field of study complemented by adequate pedagogical training.Educators and teachers of basic and secondary education may acquire the relevant qualification to become teachers for specialized education through courses that are specially orientated towards this field and administered by higher education institutions. These courses can only be attended by educators and teachers of basic and secondary education with practice in regular or special education who have successfully completed relevant courses in a higher education institution with its own appropriate resources.

Training of higher education teachers

Teachers at this level receive no formal professional training, but minimum qualifications are laid down for each category. University: assistente estagiário (Licenciado); assistente (Mestre); professor auxiliar (Doutor); professor associado (Doutor and 5 years' service); professor catedrático (Agregação and 3 years' service). Polytechnics: assistente (Licenciado); professor adjunto (Mestre or holder of a DESE - Diploma de Estudos Especializados (which is no longer offered)); professor coordenador (Doutor and 3-years' service).

 

Non-traditional studies:

Distance higher education

At present, distance higher education is provided by the Universidade Aberta.

 

 

NATIONAL BODIES

Administration & co-ordination:

Responsible authorities:

Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Ensino Superior (Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education)

Head: José Mariano Rebelo Pires Gago, Minister

Administrative officer: Armando Trigo de Abreu, Senior Administrative Officer

International relations: Virginia Corrêa, Director

Palácio das Larangeiras
Estrada das Laranjerais n°197-205
1649-018 Lisboa
Portugal

Tel: +351(21) 7231092

Fax: +351(21) 7271457

EMail: gmces@mctesgov.pt

WWW: http://www.mctes.pt

 

Role of governing body: Administrative role.

 

Ministério da Educação (Ministry of Education)

Head: Maria de Lurdes Rodrigues, Minister

Administrative officer: Maria José Morgado, Senior Administrative Officer

International relations: Maria Emilia Galvão, Director

Avenida 5 de Outubro, 107-13°
1069-018 Lisboa
Portugal

Tel: +351(21) 7964915

Fax: +351(21) 7938206

EMail: gme@min-edu.pt

WWW: http://www.min-edu.pt

 

Role of governing body: Administrative role.

 

Direcção Geral do Ensino Superior (Directorate-General of Higher Education)

Head: António Morão Dias, Director-General

Avenida Duque d'Avila n°137
1069-016 Lisboa
Portugal

Tel: +351(21) 3126000

Fax: +351(21) 3126051

EMail: sdges@dges.mcies.pt

WWW: http://www.dges.mctes.pt

 

 

Conselho Nacional de Educação (National Council for Education)

Head: Manuel Porto, Chairman

Administrative officer: Manuel Miguéns, Secretary-General

Rua Florbela Espanca
1700-195 Lisboa
Portugal

Tel: +351(21) 7975245

Fax: +351(21) 7939093

EMail: cneme@mail.telepac.pt

WWW: http://www.cnedu.pt

 

Role of governing body: Administrative role.

 

CRUP - Conselho de Reitores das Universidades Portuguesas (Portuguese Conference of University Rectors)

Head: José Dias Lopes da Silva, Chairman

Administrative officer: João Carlos Melo Borges, Secretary-General

Quinta de S. Miguel dos Arcos, Rua Visconde de Porto Salvo, N. 24
2780-683 Paço d'Arcos
Portugal

Tel: +351(21) 4402200

Fax: +351(21) 4402252

EMail: crup@crup.pt

WWW: http://www.crup.pt

 

 

CCISP - Conselho Coordenador dos Institutos Politécnicos (Coordinating Council for Polytechnic Institutes)

Head: Luciano Rodrigues de Almeida, Chairman

Avenida 5 de Outubro 89-3.°
1050-050 Lisboa
Portugal

Tel: +351(21) 7928350/ 7928360

Fax: +351(21) 7928369

EMail: ccisp@mail.telepac.pt

WWW: http://www.ccisp.pt

 

 

Conselho Coordenador do Ensino Particular e Cooperativo (Coordinating Council for Private and Cooperative Education)

Head: António Almeida e Costa, Chairman

Administrative officer: Conceição Reis, Senior Administrative Officer

Avenida 5 de Outubro 89-2°
1050-050 Lisboa
Portugal

Tel: +351(21) 7972910

Fax: +351(21) 7956793

EMail: ccepc@mail.eunet.pt

WWW: http://www.sg.min-edu.pt/ccepc

 

 

Conselho Nacional de Avaliaçao do Ensino Superior (National Council for the Evaluation of Higher Education)

Head: Adriano Moreira, Chairman

Administrative officer: Horácio Lopes, Secretary-General

Praça das Indústrias, Edificio Rosa, 2° andar
1300-307 Lisboa
Portugal

Tel: +351(21) 3616140

Fax: +351(21) 3616149

EMail: cnaves@cnaves.pt

WWW: http://www.cnaves.pt

 

 

Associação Portuguesa do Ensino Superior Privado (Portuguese Association for Private Higher Education)

Head: Carlos Augusto Amaral DiasCarlos Augusto Amaral Dias, President

Administrative officer: Jacinto Jorge Carvalhal, Director

Av. Da República n°47 - 2° Dto
1050-188 Lisboa
Portugal

Tel: +351(21) 799 4860

Fax: +351(21) 799 4869

EMail: contactos@apesp.pt

WWW: http://www.apesp.pt

 

 

 

ADMISSIONS TO HIGHER EDUCATION

Admission to university-level studies

Name of secondary school credential required: Diploma de Ensino Secundário

Minimum score/requirement: Minimum mark required

For entry to: All programmes

Alternatives to credentials: Special competitions organized for applicants over 23 who do not hold the Diploma de Ensino Secundário but who have to sit for a special examination (ad hoc exam); candidates already holding a medium / higher level qualification; candidates from other higher education systems.

Entrance exams required: Students must sit for the Concurso nacional (for public institutions) or the Concurso local (for private institutions)

Numerus clausus/restrictions: Each year, the institution (public and private) establishes the number of places available for each course which has to be approved by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education

Other admission requirements: In addition to passing entrance and access tests, students must fulfil particular prerequisites for the chosen course. Universities make their entrance requirements known in a booklet distributed to applicants by the Regional Office of the Direcção-Geral de Ensino Superior which is responsible for placing applicants in courses according to their preference. Vacancies allocated by public institutions are filled by means of a national competition organized by the Direcção-Geral do Ensino Superior. Each private institute fills its places by means of a local competitive examination which they organize.

Foreign students admission

Admission requirements: Foreign students must have a Secondary-School-Leaving Certificate (certified copy). In order to enter university they must also pass an entrance examination. They must present the notice of approval and length of scholarship (if necessary)

Entry regulations: Students must have a study visa (obtained from the Portuguese consulate in the country of residence) , or provide proof of adequate financial means for the duration of their studies in Portugal.

Health requirements: Health visa.

Language requirements: Students must have a good knowledge of Portuguese. Some universities organize language courses for foreigners.

Application procedures:

Apply to national body for entry to: All types of institutions and programmes.

Apply to:

Direcção-Geral do Ensino Superior, Direcção de Serviços de Acesso

Av. Duque d'Ávila n°137
1069-016 Lisboa
Portugal

Tel: +351(21) 3126000

Fax: +351(21) 3126001

 

Recognition of studies & qualifications:

Studies pursued in home country (System of recognition/accreditation): Courses of study and credentials are recognized by higher education institutions according to Decree Law no. 283/83 of June 21.

Studies pursued in foreign countries (bodies dealing with recognition of foreign credentials):

NARIC, Direcção-Geral do Ensino Superior

Head: Manuela Paiva

Avenida Duque d'Avila, 137
1069-016 Lisboa
Portugal

Tel: +351(21) 3126098/ 3126041

Fax: +351(21) 3126051

EMail: manuela.paiva@dges.mctes.pt

WWW: http://www.naricportugal.pt

 

Deals with credential recognition for entry to: University and Profession

Services provided & students dealt with: The NARIC provides information to individuals, institutions, professional bodies, private employers, job centers, etc. about the recognition of foreign higher education qualifications. It replies to written requests from those seeking to solve recognition problems relating to the pursuit of studies or to exercise of a professional activity. It also deals with the recognition of professional qualifications under 89/48/EEC.

 

Special provisions for recognition:

For the exercise of a profession: Access to regulated professions is subject to recognition by competent authorities according to Decree n° 289/91, amended by Decree-Law no. 396/99 and by Regulation no. 325/2000. The Directive 2001/19/CEE introduced changes into some of the articles of Directive 89/48/CEE.

Multilateral agreements concerning recognition of foreign studies

Name of agreement: Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Diplomas and Degrees in Higher Education in the European Region

Year of signature: 1997

 

STUDENT LIFE

Main student services at national level

Direcção-Geral do Ensino Superior (Directorate-General for Higher Education), Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education

Av. Duque d'Ávila n° 137r
1069-016 Lisboa
Portugal

Tel: +351(21) 3126000

Fax: +351(21) 3126001

WWW: http://www.asocialensinosuperior.pt

 

Category of services provided: Social and welfare services

 

Student expenses and financial aid

Bodies providing information on student financial aid:

Instituto Português de Apoio ao Desenvolvimento, Ministério dos Negócios Estrangeiros (Portuguese Institute for Development, Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Avenida da Liberdade 192-2.andar
1250-147 Lisboa
Portugal

Tel: +351(21) 3176700

Fax: +351(21) 3556456

 

Category of students: For students coming from Portuguese-speaking African countries.

Publications on student services and financial aid:

Title: Study Abroad 2005-2006

Publisher: UNESCO

Year of publication: 2005

 

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION & EXCHANGES

Principal national bodies responsible for dealing with international cooperation and exchanges in higher education:

Agência Nacional para os Programas Sócrates e Leonardo da Vinci (National Agency for the Socrates and Leonardo da Vinci Programmes)

Head: Maria João Donato

Avenida Infante Santo, n°2-Piso 7
1350-178 Lisboa
Portugal

Tel: +351(21) 3944700

Fax: +351(21) 3944737

EMail: agencianacional@socleo.pt

WWW: http://www.socleo.pt

 

Bureau of International Relations for Science and Higher Education, Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education

Av. 5 de Outubro n° 85 - 5° andar
1050-050 Lisboa
Portugal

Tel: +351(21) 7828300

Fax: +351(21) 7828357

EMail: grices@grices.mctes.pt

WWW: http://www.grices.mctes.pt

 

Direcção-Geral do Ensino Superior (Directorate-General for Higher Education)

Avenida Duque d'Avila n°137-2°Andar
1069-016 Lisboa
Portugal

Tel: +351(21) 3126000/ 3126145/ 3126098

Fax: +351(21) 3126001/ 3126051

EMail: dges@dges.mctes.pt

WWW: http://www.dges.mctes.pt; http://www.naricportugal.pt

 

Gabinete de Assuntos Europeus e Relações Internacionais, Ministério da Educação (Bureau for European Affairs and International Relations, Ministry of Education)

Av. Infante Santo
1350-178 Lisboa
Portugal

Tel: +351(21) 7931291

Fax: +351(21) 7978994

EMail: gaeri@min-edu.pt

WWW: http://www.gaeri.min-edu.pt

 

Instituto Português de Apoio ao Desenvolvimento, Ministério de Negócios Estrangeiros (Portuguese Institute for Development, , Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Head: Ruth Albuquerque, President

Av. da Liberdade, 192, 2°
1250-147 Lisboa
Portugal

Tel: +351(21) 3176700

Fax: +351(21) 3147897

EMail: cooperacao.portuguesa@ipad.mne.gov.pt

WWW: http://www.ipad.mne.gov.pt/

 

Participation of country in multilateral or bilateral higher education programmes

Name of exchange programme: ERASMUS MUNDUS

Name of exchange programme: LEONARDO DA VINCI

Name of exchange programme: SOCRATES

 

GRADING SYSTEM

Usual grading system in secondary school

Full Description: Numerical grading system 0-20; 18-20 muito bom; 14-17: bom; 10-13: suficiente.

Highest on scale: 20

Pass/fail level: 10

Lowest on scale: 0

Main grading system used by higher education institutions

Full Description: The result achieved in a subject, whether through continuous assessment or in an examination is generally expressed in a scale from 0 to 20.

Highest on scale: 20

Lowest on scale: 0

 

NOTES ON HIGHER EDUCATION SYSTEM

In order to obtain financial aid for first degree studies students must address themselves directly to the welfare services of the institution they wish to attend. Students must be Portuguese nationals or citizens of the European Union, political refugees, and citizens from a country with bilateral agreements with Portugal to which this type of support may be granted.

 

Data for academic year: 2005-2006

Source: IAU from Direcção-Geral do Ensino Superior, Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e do Ensino Superior, Lisboa, 2006



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