The OECD Review of Portugal’s higher education, research and innovation system is the result of the joint endeavour by the OECD Directorates for Education and Skills and for Science, Technology and Innovation (STI). The review was requested by the Ministry for Science, Technology and Higher Education (Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Ensino Superior, MCTES), conducted under the auspices of the Committee for Scientific and Technological Policy (CSTP) and the Education Policy Committee (EDPC).

The purpose of this review is to provide a comprehensive understanding of the key elements, relationships and dynamics that drive Portugal’s higher education, research and innovation system and the opportunities to enhance it through government policy. More specifically, the review:

  • provides an independent and comparative assessment of the overall performance of Portugal’s higher education, research and innovation system;

  • recommends where improvements can be made in the system; and

  • formulates recommendations on how government policies can contribute to such improvements, drawing on the experience of OECD and non-OECD countries and evidence on relevant processes, systems and policies.

The review is relevant to a wide range of stakeholders in Portugal, including government officials; agencies which are part of the governance of the higher education, research and innovation system; senior management in higher education and research institutions; entrepreneurs; business leaders and researchers; as well as the general public.

The review team, comprised of OECD analysts and international experts, carried out four fact-finding missions in Portugal during 2017. In November 2017 it presented preliminary results during a week of consultations. These consultations included key stakeholders convened in locations across Portugal, and a full-day workshop with the Ministry’s Coordinating Council on Higher Education. Key results from the review were presented to the Education Policy Committee on November 15, 2017, and a draft version of the “Overall Assessment and Recommendations” was presented for peer review to the Working Party for Innovation and Technology Policy (TIP) of the CSTP on December 12, 2017. The Ministry of Science, Technology, and Higher Education convened a pre-launch event in Lisbon on February 9, 2018, in which the Minister of Science, Technology, and Higher Education, the Minister of the Economy, members of Parliament, and a wide range of stakeholders from the higher education, research, and innovation organisations participated.

The findings in the report reflect policies and practices as of end of 2017. Changes to policy adopted after that date, apart from the 2018-2030 Innovation Strategy (adopted March 2018), were not examined in the review.

The review was led by Dominique Guellec (Head of the Science and Technology Policy Division, STI, OECD) and Thomas Weko (Senior Policy Analyst, EDU, OECD). The report was authored by Thomas Weko, Simon Roy (Policy Analyst, EDU, OECD) and Philippe Larrue (Policy Analyst, STI, OECD). A team of international experts provided valuable contributions: Laura Cruz-Castro, Catalina Martinez, and Luis Sanz-Menendez (Spanish National Research Council, Institute of Public Goods and Policies, Spain); Jon File (Center for Higher Education Policy Studies, University of Twente, Netherlands); Paula Stephan (Georgia State University, United States), and Matthias Weber (Austrian Institute of Technology, Austria).

Key analytical support for the project was provided by Anna Pons (Analyst, EDU, OECD), Manuela Fitzpatrick (Consultant, EDU, OECD), Blandine Serve (Statistician, STI, OECD) Johannes Weber (STI, OECD), and Cynthia Lavison (CFE, OECD). Administrative support was provided by Jonathan Wright (Assistant, EDU, OECD), Célia Braga-Schich (Assistant, EDU, OECD) and Chrystyna Harpluk (Assistant, STI, OECD). The review team is grateful for the feedback and support received from Andrew W. Wyckoff (Director, OECD Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation, OECD), Andreas Schleicher (Director, Directorate for Education and Skills, OECD) and Paulo Santiago (Division Head, Policy Advice and Implementation Division, EDU, OECD).

The review draws heavily on the results of interviews with a wide range of major stakeholders of the Portugal’s higher education, research and innovation system during several fact-finding missions, including higher education administration, researchers, students, business and community leaders and government officials. The review team is grateful for their time and valuable input.

The review owes much to the support of government officials of the Republic of Portugal, in particular Manuel Heitor (Minister, MCTES), Paulo Ferrão (Presidente, Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, FCT) and José Carlos Caldeira (Presidente, Agência Nacional de Inovação, ANI). The contributions of Pedro Barrias and Roque Teixeira (Advisors to the Minister), Tiago Santos Pereira (Head, Studies and Strategy Office, FCT) were particularly valuable, and ensured thorough and expert consultation between the OECD review team and relevant national authorities.

The review benefited from discussions with analysts leading various OECD reviews and initiatives in support of Portugal, including Patricia Mangeol of the OECD Skills Strategy for Portugal (EDU, OECD) and David Liebowitz and Gonçalo Lima, of the OECD Review of School Resources (EDU, OECD).

While the OECD review team benefited greatly from many discussions with a wide range of Portuguese stakeholders, as well as documents, data, and a Country Background report provided by MCTES, any errors or misinterpretations in this report are the responsibility of the OECD.

End of the section -- go back , or next on the menu bar