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Reviews of National Policies for Education: Tertiary Education in Portugal 2007

image of Reviews of National Policies for Education: Tertiary Education in Portugal 2007

Portugal’s tertiary education sector has expanded significantly over the last 20 years, but participation and overall educational attainment levels remain below European standards and enrolment rates have begun to decline. The OECD review recommends that Portugal’s national government should focus on strategic direction and leave higher education institutions wider latitude for accomplishing public priorities consistent with their mission. Among its proposals for reform, the review calls for the creation of a National Council on Higher Education to oversee Portugal’s higher education strategy. The review also calls for major changes in the governance and management of higher education institutions to bring them into line with national goals, encourage their responsiveness and efficiency, and improve their quality.  Improving research and innovation is a key strategic objective of the Portuguese government, and the OECD review suggests a number of qualitative changes in Portugal’s tertiary education system to enhance performance in this area.

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Educational Programmes: Access, Quality and Relevance

This chapter looks at demographics and how labour markets drive the demand for higher education. It explains why higher education programmes will need to cater more effectively to two new groups of participants – an expanded cohort of school leavers and adult learners who want to upgrade their qualifications – if Portugal is to meet the needs of the economy in coming decades. It outlines a new role for polytechnics, and shows how the Bologna process can help higher education institutions to deliver quality.

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