OECD Review of Higher Education, Research and Innovation: Portugal

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Portugal aims to develop a more innovative, inclusive and productive economy, and to ensure that the ensuing benefits are widely distributed, regionally and socially. This report assesses the extent to which Portugal’s higher education, research and innovation system is well configured to help Portugal achieve its vision of inclusive innovation, and identify which policy options might help it achieve its goals.

The assessment and the related recommendations focus on: 1) governance, strategy and funding in higher education, research and innovation; 2) the missions, profiles and use of resources of higher education institutions; 3) undergraduate and master’s level education activities; 4) doctoral training activities; 5) academic careers; 6) high-skill employment and business innovation.


Academic careers

Academic staff are the backbone of the higher education and public research systems across the world. This chapter explores the development of the academic profession in Portugal and the challenges faced by current and aspiring academics. Academic staff in Portugal’s universities, polytechnics and research centres are better qualified than ever before. However, openings for permanent academic positions are scarce and many junior academics work in comparatively precarious post-doctorate positions with limited opportunities for career progression. Systems within institutions for evaluating and rewarding good performance by staff are underdeveloped and rigid employment rules make it harder for individuals to develop specialised professional profiles. While the Portuguese government has taken steps to address some of these issues, this chapter argues that sustained efforts are required to create conditions where academic staff can fully exploit their skills for the good of their institutions and the country at large.


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