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Portugal edgi 506 europe_presentation

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  • Portugal has seen a massive growth in the number of students enrolled in tertiary education since 1960. Enrollments have increased from around 30,000 students to over 350,000 students in 2006, at the height of enrollments, in 2000, Portugal saw nearly 400,000 students enrolled in tertiary education; this lead to rapid development of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and over-expansion in the field leading to a lowering of standards and diminishing quality. In 2007, Portugal began the implementation of the Bologna process, adjusting the longstanding system of University and Polytechnic Institutions.

    As of 2006 Portugal had over 150 institutions of higher learning, including nursing schools, military schools (both public university and public polytechnic) and a private Catholic University (ENQA, 2006 ).
  • The Bologna Process is complex and deep in scope, so for the sake of this presentation we have simplified it down to a few goals.

    Portugal has been a member of the Bologna process since 1999; however, Higher Education Institutions (HEI’s) were unable to adjust programs until 2006/2007 when educational laws were changed in Portugal. New laws reframed the role of polytechnic and university institutions to allow for the development of programs that meet the Bologna Process goals.. However, too quick of a shift to the Bologna Process model has resulted in universities changing their degrees and systems "in form rather than in substance" (Veiga, 2007, p. 2). Portuguese tertiary institutions have adjusted the length and title of programs and degrees, but struggle to achieve “vocationally driven first tier programs” (Veiga & Amaral, 2007, p. 5). Historically, polytechnic and university institutions offered differing focuses, differing lengths of study and could grant different degree types. Prior to the Bologna Process and subsequent educational law changes universities exclusively had the right to grant doctoral degrees (Arija, 2005). Polytechnic institutions were meant to provide “cultural and technical training,” while universities provide “scientific and cultural training” (Arija, 2005). The new system allows polytechnic institutions to create programs similar to that of universities while eliminating their current first tier programs which were intended to be shorter than university offerings.

    “The restructuring of the degrees and cycles [has] led to the apparent destruction of the binary system (universities and polytechnics) which existed in (sic) for more than 30 years” (Fatima & Abreu, 2007, p.1).
  • Use Bologna Process to rewrite and increase regulatory controls and quality assurance:

    Increase qualification levels and reduce drop-out rates
    After years of expansion, renew focus on quality, diversity and development

    Simplify Binary System:

    Continue using two-tier system as a means of differentiation between offerings (i.e. research based vs. liberal arts or junior college to university)


  • Privatization is spreading rapidly in Portugal. This quick expansion of Private tertiary level programs is outpacing the ability for the country to standardize basic requirements and necessities for students, Higher Education Institutions and the State. Without a National Quality Assessment System in place, growing Private programs are causing many problems for student education and Public Universities and Polytechnic Schools.

    Student enrollment has reached a point of stagnation in the 21st Century, yet more private HEI’s are springing up. This imbalance in supply and demand creates no profit—a must for private institutions.

    Private Universities and Polytechnic Schools offer a narrower range of degree programs than their public counterparts due to being in the infancy stage of existence as well as long course program approval periods. These periods are usually conducted by Public University academics and administrators, therefore, are examined with bias and many programs do not get approved.
  • Private Universities and Polytechnic Schools are not meeting the demands and standards of the National Universities. A National Quality Assessment System would standardize which degree programs are offered, the length of programs, the pedagogy and curricula. A National Quality Assessment System would have a built-in Pre-Accreditation System in order to screen programs and budding Private Universities and Polytechnic Schools for the actual Accreditation Process. The National Quality Assessment System would also unify internal reviewers and International Higher Education specialists in order to create a less biased and more proficient system of diversifying Portuguese degree programs.
  • According to Knight (1999) “Globalization is the flow of technology, economy, knowledge, people, values, ideas ... across borders. Globalization affects each country in a different way due to a nation’s individual history, traditions, culture and priorities.” Internationalization is a response to Globalization (Knight 1999). Portugal has several concerns when it comes to internationalization in higher education. The first concern is student mobility. The movement of international students to and from Portugal tends to be limited mostly due to language issues and cost. Many students from Portugal travel to Spain, U.K., France, Italy, and Germany (Dima 2005). Incoming students are mostly from Spain, Italy, and France (Dima 2005).
    The second challenge is the differences in degrees between and among universities and polytechnics. Dima (2005) has noted that although the Bologna Process has been in place there has been little formal change in degree structure in Portugal because the present structures were created under an act of Parliament and therefore must be changed under an act of Parliament.
    A third challenge is international accreditation of higher education institutes in Portugal that is comparable to other international universities.
    The final challenge is the lack of support by the private sector. Higher education institutes in Portugal need the support and partnerships of the private sector in order to build Portuguese research centers (Dima 2005).
  • A policy that addresses the mobility of students may allow students to transfer between universities and polytechnics and credits between countries. Teaching courses in English may encourage greater mobility of students into Portugal to study. An evaluation and accreditation system that aligns with universities internationally and can be used in both universities and polytechnics will allow for greater international accreditation and greater mobility of students. Research policies that encourage partnerships between the private sector and higher education institutions will all for more research in universities in Portugal and possibly the advancement of the private sector on the local, national, and international levels.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Presentation to Portugal’s Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education: THE HIGHER EDUCATION SYSTEM OF PORTUGAL: CHALLENGES & OPPORTUNITIES Presented by Warren Basla, Brent Jensen, Angelo Juliani & Jaclyn Tshudy - Drexel University
    • 2. BACKGROUND  Binary (Two-Tier) System of Education  University and Polytechnic  Growth in enrollment since 1960 from 30,000 to nearly 400,000 students  Stagnation since 2000 University Polytechnic Universitie s Other Schools (not integrated) Polytechni c Institutes Other Schools (not integrated) Public 14 5 15 16 Privat e 13 35 2 60 Total 27 40 17 76 Number of university and polytechnic institutions, 2006 Ministry of Science, Technology & Higher Education, 2006
    • 3. CHALLENGE #1: THE BOLOGNA PROCESS Primary goals of Bologna Process:  Create a comparable system of Higher Education degrees across Europe for the sake of employability and mobility.  Create a two-step credit based system (Undergraduate/Graduate) Concerns of Bologna Process for Portugal:  Loss of national system of education and educational traditions  Concern for a loss of culture, language and autonomy  Assessment and establishment of new degrees and programs  Requirements and standards of new programs/degrees (i.e. credits, pedagogy, length)  Adjustments to programs and degrees have focused on pedagogy and curriculum rather than on employability and mobility of students (goals of Bologna Process)  Transition process for students moving from Polytechnic to University Institutions  Confusion and competition in the roles that Polytechnic Institutions and Universities will play  Competition to create new programs that market to and attract new students
    • 4. SOLUTIONS: THE BOLOGNA PROCESS  Use Bologna Process to rewrite and increase regulatory controls and quality assurance  Simplify Binary System  Despite European graduation standards and testing implements, maintain national standards and requirements above and beyond requirements noted in diploma supplement
    • 5. CHALLENGE #2: PRIVATIZATION Privatization according to Altbach:  refers to the type of University that is responsible for generating its own revenue predominantly from students paying into revenue streams largely from tuition and fees Major Privatization Concern in Portugal:  Lack of National Quality Assessment System for growing Private Universities and Polytechnic Schools which leads to other significant problems  Explosion in quantity of Private Universities and Polytechnic Schools  Stagnation/Decrease in Enrollment creates imbalance in supply and demand  Long course program approval period from external (Public Universities) committees  Lack of International Higher Education Reviewers of programs and degrees
    • 6. SOLUTIONS: PRIVATIZATION  Develop a National Quality Assessment System  Unified External (International) and Internal Review Committee  Pre-Accreditation System  Diversify and Increase degree programs offered
    • 7. CHALLENGE #3: INTERNATIONALIZATION  Internationalization according to Knight (1999) is “one of the ways a country responds to globalization, yet at the same time respects the individuality of the nation (p.14).”  Internationalization concerns of Portugal  student mobility  degree structure  accreditation  lack of private sector–university relationships
    • 8. SOLUTIONS: INTERNATIONALIZATION  Policy Solutions to impact internationalization of higher education in Portugal:  more flexible mobility of students  Possibility of teaching in English  Quality evaluation and accreditation of universities and polytechnics  A research policy that encourages partnerships between the private sector and universities and polytechnics
    • 9. CONCLUSIONS  Keys to success for Portugal in higher education  Use Bologna Process to rewrite and increase regulatory controls and quality assurance  Develop a National Quality Assessment System and Pre-Accreditation system  Policies that encourage partnerships between the private sector and universities and polytechnics in research, evaluation, and accreditation
    • 10. REFERENCES Altbach, P. G.; Reisberg, L,; and Rumbly, L.E. (2009). Trends in Global Higher Education: Tracking an Academic Revolution (Executive Summary). A report Prepared for the UNESCO 2009 World Conference on Higher Education. Arija, P. C. (2005, May). The Bologna process in Portugal and Spain: A comparative analyse. Paper presented at the 3rd Knowpol Conference. University of Bergen. Bergen, Austria. Dima, A. (2005). Higher Education in Portugal. CHEPS Higher Education Monitor. Retrieved at http://doc.utwente.nl/53331/1/portugal.pdf Fatima, D. & Abreu, R. (2007). The Bologna Process: Implementation and developments in Portugal. Social Responsibility Journal, 3(2), 59-67. European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) (2006). Quality assurance of higher education in Portugal: An assessment of the existing system and recommendation for a future system (Occasional Paper No. 10). Helsinki, Finland. Kerklaan, V. et. al. (2008) The Role of Language in the Internationalisation of Higher Education: An example from Portugal. European Journal of Education. 43 (2), 241-255. Knight, J. (1999). Internationalisation of Higher Education. Quality and Internationalisation in Higher Education. OECD. Paris, France. Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education (2006). Tertiary education in Portugal: Background report. Lisbon, Portugal.
    • 11. REFERENCES  Robertson, S. (2008, February 17). Implementing the Bologna process in Portugal: ‘How can we know the dance from the dancer?’. Retrieved from http://globalhighered.wordpress.com/2008/02/17/some-considerations-on-the- implementation-of-the-bologna-process-in-portugal/  Veiga, A. & Amaral, A. (2007, August). A survey on the implementation of the Bologna process in Portugal. Paper presented to the 29th Annual EAIR Forum. Innsbruck, Austria.

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