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Portugal:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

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Overview Portugal

Contents

Portugal:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Portugal:Historical Development

Portugal:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Portugal:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Portugal:Political and Economic Situation

Portugal:Organisation and Governance

Portugal:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Portugal:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Portugal:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Portugal:Organisation of Private Education

Portugal:National Qualifications Framework

Portugal:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Portugal:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Portugal:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Portugal:Funding in Education

Portugal:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Portugal:Higher Education Funding

Portugal:Adult Education and Training Funding

Portugal:Early Childhood Education and Care

Portugal:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 3 years

Portugal:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children under 3 years

Portugal:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 3 years

Portugal:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 3 years

Portugal:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 3 years

Portugal:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 3 years

Portugal:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Portugal:Single Structure Education (Integrated Primary and Lower Secondary Education)

Portugal:Organisation of Single Structure Education

Portugal:Teaching and Learning in Single Structure Education

Portugal:Assessment in Single Structure Education

Portugal:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Single Structure Education

Portugal:Upper Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Portugal:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Portugal:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Portugal:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Portugal:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Portugal:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Portugal:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Portugal:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Portugal:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Portugal:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Portugal:Higher Education

Portugal:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Portugal:First Cycle Programmes

Portugal:Bachelor

Portugal:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Portugal:Second Cycle Programmes

Portugal:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Portugal:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Portugal:Adult Education and Training

Portugal:Distribution of Responsibilities

Portugal:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Portugal:Main Providers

Portugal:Main Types of Provision

Portugal:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Portugal:Teachers and Education Staff

Portugal:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Portugal:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Portugal:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Portugal:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Portugal:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Portugal:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Portugal:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Portugal:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Portugal:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Portugal:Management and Other Education Staff

Portugal:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Portugal:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Portugal:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Portugal:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Portugal:Management Staff for Higher Education

Portugal:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Portugal:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Portugal:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Portugal:Quality Assurance

Portugal:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Portugal:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Portugal:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Portugal:Educational Support and Guidance

Portugal:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Portugal:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Portugal:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Portugal:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Portugal:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Portugal:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Portugal:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Portugal:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Portugal:Mobility and Internationalisation

Portugal:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Portugal:Mobility in Higher Education

Portugal:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Portugal:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Portugal:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Portugal:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Portugal:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Portugal:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Portugal:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Portugal:National Reforms in School Education

Portugal:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Portugal:National Reforms in Higher Education

Portugal:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Portugal:European Perspective

Portugal:Legislation

Portugal:Institutions

Portugal:Glossary

Bilateral Agreements

As a result of the close relations with other countries, of the regulation of areas where it is necessary to establish international rules or to reaffirm its participation in international organisations, much like other democratic states, Portugal relies on bilateral or multilateral treaties, agreements or conventions, voluntary and discretionary foreign policy tools.

There are mainly two types of areas within education where treaties or agreements are forged:

  • Aid (non-commercial transfer of goods, capital and services – educational aid, technical assistance, cooperation, etc.).

  • Culture (exchanges and other joint programmes in the field of culture in the broadest sense - education, science and technology ...);

Generally-speaking, the content of these agreements requires, in specific cases, further regulation, establishing specific measures of cooperation and aid.

The programmes arising from these agreements, which typically last 3 years, are defined by the Joint Committees. These programmes generally include the following areas of cooperation:

  • the ongoing exchange of documents and information in education, in order to get a better understanding of the different educational systems;

  • the exchange of education experts, in order to constantly update knowledge of reforms and innovations, both in education systems and pedagogy;

  • the teaching of languages and cultures of respective countries;

  • recognition and equivalence of qualifications;

  • the setting up of partnerships between schools;

  • cooperation in higher education.

In terms of bilateral cooperation, the Ministry of Education works within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ framework, preparing and monitoring the negotiation of agreements, programmes and protocols.

The priority areas of these policy instruments are education, exchange of information and educational practices, recognition of equivalent studies, the mobility of teachers, students and experts and partnerships among schools.

It is also worth mentioning that Portugal, and the ME in particular, have worked with the following countries in the field of bilateral cooperation: Germany, Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Benin, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, China, Cyprus, Colombia, Congo (DR) Congo (RP), South Korea, Ivory Coast, Croatia, Cuba, Denmark , Egypt, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, United States, Estonia, Philippines, Finland, France, Gabon, Greece, Hungary, India, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kuwait, Latvia, Libya, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Morocco, Mauritania, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Netherlands, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, UK, Czech Republic, Romania, Russia, Senegal, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Sweden, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay, Venezuela and Zambia.

In addition to the above-mentioned agreements, it is worth mentioning bilateral cooperation with Portuguese-speaking countries (Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Sao Tome and Principe and East Timor), due to the historical links between the various nations.

Bilateral cooperation in the field of education is more significant with certain countries that the MES regularly has joint initiatives with via an annual or sporadic schedule, which includes France, which specifically promotes and develops the provision of Portuguese and the French in education systems; the promotion of European and international sections; the Luso-French Language Assistant Bilateral Programme; the linguistic and pedagogical development of teachers and comparability of qualifications in vocational education, as well as Spain, a country that MES regularly cooperates with, particularly with the Spanish Embassy’s Consejería de Educacíon in Lisbon, including activities connected with the Pilar Moreno Prize and the Bilateral Conversation Support Programme which also includes the knowledge and dissemination of both countries’ culture; reciprocal teaching of the language, literature and civilization in educational institutions of the respective countries; the institution and operation of teaching establishments; the negotiation of a specific agreement regarding the equivalence of degrees and diplomas in both non-higher and higher education.

In addition to the above-mentioned agreements, it is worth mentioning bilateral cooperation with Portuguese-speaking countries (Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Sao Tome and Principe and East Timor), due to the historical links between the various nations.

In recent years, bilateral cooperation between Portugal and those countries has occurred as part of the Indicative Cooperation Programmes (ICP), and, since 2015, as part of Strategic Cooperation Programmes (SCP), which establish cooperation between Portugal and each of the other countries and the parameters governing the Portuguese contribution to the economic and social development of the partner country.

There has been support for bilateral and multilateral activities within this framework as part of cooperation for development, geared towards integrated action that focusses on achieving the Millennium Development Goals, as well as the Agenda goals in the future post-2015.

On a bilateral level, the work focuses on identifying the different constraints that the respective education systems have to deal with, and aims to support expanding coverage and improving the quality of primary education, the development of secondary, general, and vocational education and training, as well as supporting institutional capacity building through training activities for trainers, teachers and managers and technicians, introducing new technologies and teaching methods, supporting the design and development of teaching materials, such as school books for students and teachers, and support for the definition of appropriate forms of school and pedagogical management and planning and resource management methods.

The teaching and dissemination of the Portuguese language is a major priority, either explicitly or implicitly, in all programmes, such as in work that aims to improve the quality of education, as one of the constraints of the educational systems of Portuguese-speaking countries is that students’ and teachers’ Portuguese (the language of teaching) is not particularly proficient.

In 2015, bilateral relations with the various Member States of the Portuguese-speaking community, such as Angola, Cape Verde and East Timor have been considerably strengthened.

Cooperation and Participantion in Worldwide Programmes and Organisations

Organization of Iberia-American States for Education, Science and Culture (OIS)

Portugal is a member-state of the Organization of Ibero-American States, international body for cooperation among Ibero-American countries in the areas of education, science, and culture within the context of development, democracy and regional integration.

Within this context, Portugal has cooperative relations with all the countries that comprise the OIS, which, in addition to Portugal are, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Spain, Guatemala, Equatorial Guinea, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Within this context, Portugal has cooperative relations with all the countries that comprise the OIS, which, in addition to Portugal are, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Spain, Guatemala, Equatorial Guinea, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Portugal has participated in projects and initiatives of this organization, as well as monitoring and participating in decision-making and technical bodies, as well as those involved in implementation, including the Ibero-American Conference on Education, "Educational Standards 2021: the education we want for the Bicentennial generation" the Languages in Education Programme, the Ibero-American Children and Youth Theatre Programme, the Ibero-American Literacy Plan (ILP), the Teacher Mobility Programme and the Ibero-American Knowledge Forum (IKF) for international academic mobility in higher education, which focus on research, development and innovation in order to improve the region’s productivity and competitiveness.

The "Educational Standards 2021" project, which Portugal has been involved with since the beginning, which was considered by the Ministers of Education of that organization in April 2009 in Lisbon to be a historic opportunity and a strategic challenge to give the definitive boost that education required in each of the Ibero-American countries, was adopted by OIS in order to develop Member State education systems.


Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLC)

Portugal is a founding member of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLC), an international organisation set up on 17th July 1996 and based in Lisbon. In addition to maintaining good political-diplomatic relations between its members, the aims of the CPLC in terms of international relations involve cooperation (in economic, social, cultural, legal, technical and scientific fields) and the implementation of projects promoting and disseminating of Portuguese Language (including the promotion of the International Institute of the Portuguese Language). Portugal, as a member state of the CPLC, is represented at all levels.

Currently, the members of the Portuguese-speaking countries, in addition to Portugal, are Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Sao Tome and Principe, East Timor and Equatorial Guinea, which joined in 2014.

In terms of cooperation, the CPLC has focussed mainly on priority areas such as education, health, citizenship and training. On a multilateral level, cooperation for development involves activities within the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLC), which constitutes an excellent multilateral forum for enhancing mutual friendship and cooperation among its members.

Portugal participates in initiatives and projects resulting from the decisions of the Conference of CPLC Education Ministers, particularly in the areas of educational evaluation, vocational education and training, distance learning, history and literature teaching (being responsible for coordinating some of these projects).

In addition, as part of multilateral cooperation in the field of education, the Ministers of Education in the Portuguese-speaking countries are scheduled to adopt the Multilateral Cooperation Strategic Plan in Education for the 1st half of 2015 for the 2015-2020 period.

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

Portugal participates in the activities of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), in joint reflection and work on finding solutions to the difficulties that education systems face, within a broad framework of human resource development.

It is represented in the Education Policy Committee, on the Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI) Governing Board, the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), on the Council of Participating Countries in the Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS), the INES Working Party, the INES Network for the Collection and Adjudication of System-Level Descriptive Information on Educational Structures, Policies and Practices (NESLI), INES Network on Data Collection and Development on Economic, Labour Market and Social Outcomes of Education (LSO), the Advisory Board of Institutional Management in Higher Education (IMHE), the Informal Working Group on Higher Education, the National Expert Group on Vocational Education and Training (VET) and Early Childhood Education and Care Network (ECEC). In relation to Portugal’s more recent participation, it is worth mentioning its involvement in the work done within PISA, TALIS, INES and ECEC.

United Nations (UN)

The objectives of the United Nations, which exists officially since 24th October 1945, are to maintain international security, develop peaceful relations between nations, foster cooperation in solving international cultural and humanitarian issues and promoting respect for human rights.

Portugal has been a member state of the United Nations since 14th December, 1955, and its participation in the education sector in the UN’s international projects has been characterised by preparing responses to requests of various kinds, such as reports on the implementation of treaties, pacts and conventions signed by Member States, which this Ministry has made a major contribution to, namely as regards to human rights.

Within the context of Portugal's participation in the UN, it is also worth mentioning the role of the education sector, as a result of the Portuguese State’s obligations in relation to human rights, particularly in the context of the different international mechanisms in this area, which Portugal adheres to.

The Ministry of Education(ME) works alongside the United Nations (UN), an international organization that was founded in 1945, currently has 193 member countries and whose mission and activities are governed by the objectives and principles stipulated in the Founding Charter.

The ME contribution to the UN mission is particularly important regarding High Commissioner for Human Rights and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).


United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

As a member state of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the UN agency that specalises in the areas of education, science and culture and boasts 195 members and 9 associated countries, the Portuguese National Commission was set up in 1979.

Since then, Portugal has been involved in many of the organization’s major initiatives, participating in the General Conference and all activities in this area, such as the International Conference on Education (ICE), which is held every two years, where the National Report on the Development of Education is presented.

Nationally, there has been constant work within the framework of Dakar in two main areas: support for the preparation of the National Education Plans for the Portuguese-speaking African Countries and development projects for bilateral and multilateral cooperation within the framework of the "Education for All" project. Portugal has also been involved with the initiative “Decade of Education for Sustainable Development” (2005-2014) launched by the United Nations, whose closing conference was held in Aichi-Nagoya, in Japan (November 2014). Here, the Global Action Programme for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), whose main objective is mobilising key ESD stakeholders, providing a practical implementation guide. It was also involved with the Associated Schools System in 1981 whose main goal is promoting peace and international cooperation through education, via the development and implementation of pilot projects and intercultural education, boasting around fifty Portuguese schools associated with the initiative.

Lastly, in 2014, Portugal drafted the National Report regarding the implementation of the Education for All Programme.


The Council of Europe (CoE)

Bringing together 47 member states and recognising the observer status of 6 other States (the Holy See, the United States, Canada, Israel, Japan and Mexico), the Council of Europe, which is based in Strasbourg (France) and is Europe's oldest political organisation, was created in 1949 and boasts the main mission of defending human rights and parliamentary democracy, with respect for the rule of law as its main guiding principle. The Council of Europe can be described, primarily, as lending "know-how" in areas such as human rights, local democracy, education, culture and environment.

The Council of Europe’s activities in the field of education are mainly in following areas or cooperation programmes.

Portugal participates in the governing bodies of the CoE, namely the Committee for Educational Policy and Practice, involved in the following activities under the aegis of the organization:

  • Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights;
  • Education for World Citizenship;
  • Higher Education;
  • Multi-lingual and intercultural Education;
  • Pestalozzi - Lifelong Learning Programme for Education Professionals;
  • Education of Roma children in Europe;
  • Teaching the Memory of the Holocaust and Prevention of Crimes Against Humanity;
  • Teaching History.

Portugal participates in the governing bodies of the CoE, namely the Committee for Educational Policy and Practice, involved in the following activities under the aegis of the organization: