Encyclopedia of International Higher Education Systems and Institutions

Living Edition
| Editors: Pedro Teixeira (Editor-in-Chief), Jung Cheol Shin (Editor-in-Chief)

Higher Education Systems and Institutions, Portugal

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-9553-1_376-1



Set of institutions, structures and processes delivering higher education coordinated by the Portuguese State.

Higher Education System Development

Portugal is a sovereign country on the Iberian Peninsula, in southwest Europe, with a total territorial area of 92,090 km2. The Republic of Portugal also includes the Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira, autonomous regions with their own regional governments. In 1974, Portugal became a democracy after a 48-year period of dictatorship. Since 1986, it has been a member of the European Union. The present socioeconomic context is marked by a demographic slowdown, an aging of the Portuguese population, and a steady decrease of the illiteracy rate (see Table 1).
Table 1

Key socioeconomic indicators, Portugal. http://www.pordata.pt/Portugal, BI Portugal, at 23rd January 2017






Population (thousands)





Portuguese Higher Education System Bologna Degree Structure National Quality Assessment System Funding Formula Average Personnel Costs 
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Related Websites

  1. DGEEC – Direção-geral de Estatísticas da Educação e Ciência. www.dgeec.mec.pt.
  2. DGES – Direção-geral do Ensino Superior. www.dges.gov.pt/pt.
  3. Pordata. www.pordata.pt.

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Psychology and Education SciencesUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal
  2. 2.Centre for Research and Intervention in Education (CIIE)PortoPortugal
  3. 3.Centre for Higher Education on Policies Studies (CIPES)MatosinhosPortugal

Section editors and affiliations

  • Barbara M. Kehm
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Education, Robert Owen Centre for Educational ChangeUniversity of GlasgowGlasgowUK