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Portugal:Short-Cycle Higher Education

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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

Professional Higher Education Technical Courses

Based on the key Higher Education policy objective of improving the suitability of educational provision, both for the diversity of demand and the country's need for qualified professionals, a cycle of non-degree Higher Education studies was created and regulated by Decree-law n. 43/2014, 18th March. This is a short cycle linked to the first cycle designated Professional Higher Education Technical Courses (PHETC), and are taught solely at Polytechnic level.

This initiative aims to introduce professional educational provision in Higher Education, at level 5 of the European Qualifications Framework for Lifelong Learning, as it provides for short cycles linked to the first study cycle (bachelor’s degree), with 120 ECTS (credits according to the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) lasting two years.

This training provision has a strong regional character, as demonstrated by how it is created, the definition of curricula and the implementation of workplace training (internship), as well as mandatory interaction with businesses and regional business associations.

The intention is to extend and diversify Higher Education provision in Portugal, thus increasing the number of citizens with Higher Education qualifications and contributing to increased national competitiveness.

These courses will meet the needs of the economy and the regions where they are taught, attracting new audiences for Higher Education, not only young people but also adults, and in particular young people graduating from Vocational Secondary Education.

Within Higher Education, PHETC will gradually replace the technological specialisation courses, benefiting from the existing training capacity in institutions offering polytechnic education to the undergraduate and Master’s level.

These courses give a sense of continuity to the professional training offered at secondary level and are closely linked to the needs of the regional business context, aiming to satisfy economic needs and those of the regions in which they will be run.

Through the enlargement and diversification of the Higher Education offer in Portugal and, at the same time, raising the number of Higher Education graduates, we are contributing to an increased national competitiveness.

The creation of PHETCs and the development of their curricula are preceded by consultation with the following organizations:

The creation of a programme is subject to a registration process, which includes an analysis conducted by the Directorate-General of Higher Education that takes into consideration a range of requirements. Apart from this, the PHETCs are subject to a quality assessment consisting of:

  • Self-assessment, carried out by each Higher Education institution, according to the parameters defined by the steering committee created for these courses;
  • external assessment, carried out according to the parameters defined by the abovementioned steering committee and experts designated by the Directorate-General of Higher Education and presented to that committee.

 

Training Areas

The branches of study in which each Higher Education institution awards the professional Higher Education technical diploma are defined by its legal and statutorily competent body, considering the vocational training needs with the qualification level 5 in the region within which it operates.

The Professional Higher Education Technical diploma in a particular study branch can only be awarded by Higher Education institutions boasting:

  • Their own educational, scientific and cultural project, appropriate to the objectives established for the study cycle leading to it;
  • their own teaching staff, qualified in the particular area, and in sufficient number, most of whom are experts with recognised experience and professional skills;
  • the human resources and materials necessary to ensure the appropriate level and quality of training, including suitable classrooms and lecture halls, equipment, libraries and laboratories.

Until 2015, the training areas with the most PHETC were:

  • Farming and animal husbandry;
  • audio-visual and media content;
  • management and administration.

 

Admission Requirements

Those eligible to apply for these courses are:

  • Students who have passed a Secondary Education course or legally equivalent qualification, students who have passed the special entrance tests that assess their ability to attend Higher Education for people over 23, according to Decree-Law no 64/2006, 21st March;
  • students who, having passed all the subjects of the 10th and 11th years of a Secondary Education course, or legally equivalent qualification, and having not completed Secondary Education, are considered suitable via entrance examinations conducted by an Higher Education institution;
  • holders of a technological specialisation diploma, a professional Higher Education technical diploma or a Higher Education degree, who wish to retrain.

The admission requirements for each Professional Higher Education Technical Course are set by the Higher Education institution, according to the respective study area.

Admission requirements, as well as their verification, are established by regulations approved by the legal and statutorily competent body of the individual Higher Education institution, previously published in the 2nd series of the Official Journal (Diário da República).

The entrance test for students who have not completed Secondary Education also assesses admission requirements.

The assessment of admission requirements is linked to the knowledge and skills that corresponds to the level of Secondary Education in the areas relevant to each course.

As part of the registration process, for each institution/study cycle pair, the maximum number of students admitted in each academic year and the total maximum number of students enrolled at the same time is established.

These limits can be subsequently changed via a change of registration process provided that the demand and the right conditions to teach can be shown.

 

Structure

The PHETC boasts 120 credits and last for four semesters.

It consists of a set of courses divided into the following training components:

  • General and scientific, aiming to inculcate appropriate attitudes and behaviour in professionals with a high level of professional qualifications and adaptability to the world of work and business, and to hone, where essential, knowledge of scientific areas underlying the individual technologies of the respective branch of study;
  • Technical, geared towards the understanding of practical activities and solving professional problems;
  • in the workplace (internships), aiming to apply the knowledge and skills acquired to practical activities associated with the respective professional profile, including supervised activities, using techniques, equipment and material involved in the production of goods or services via an internship at the end of the course.

Organization of the PHETC curricula must meet the following criteria:

  • For the combined credits of general and scientific training and technical training components, the first corresponds to a maximum of 30% and the second not less than 70%;
  • in the technical training component, all practical aspects (laboratories, workshops and/or projects) must correspond to at least 70% of contact hours;
  • the workplace training component lasts no less than a semester, corresponding to 30 credits.

The components of general and scientific and technical training must be taught in an appropriate setting, exclusively for PHETC students, where appropriate, considering the difference in the objectives for these courses and other study cycles taught at the institution.

In order to ensure proper coordination between training qualification levels 4, 5 and 6, these courses operate during the normal academic year.

 

Teaching Methods

Higher education institutions can define the teaching methods applicable to each PHETC.

As part of the registration process for courses the bibliography and recommended teaching resources for the course are presented.

 

Further Study

Holders of a PHETC diploma can enrol for undergraduate and combined 1st cycle and Master’s studies. Access is achieved via a special system regulated by Decree-law n. 113/2014, 16th July.

The application to a cycle of undergraduate studies at a polytechnic, including polytechnic departments that are part of universities, is subject to passing a specific entrance test designed to assess a student’s capacity to attend a particular study cycle.

The application to a cycle of undergraduate or integrated Master's studies at a university is subject to:

  1.  Sitting national Secondary Education examinations that correspond to entrance exams for admission to the course of study in question via the general entry systems regulated by Decree-law n. 296-A/98, 25th September; and
  2.  achieving a grade in these exams not lower than the minimum set by the Higher Education institution in accordance with Article 25 of Decree-law n. 296-A/98, 25th September.

 

Employability

Higher education institutions collect information on the careers of its graduates and published summarised information on it.

The methodology used to collect and disseminate information is common to all institutions and is stipulated by order of the Director General of Higher Education, after consulting Higher Education institutions and the steering committee.

The information should be considered as part of the annual process of establishing places and the quality assessment process.

 

Student Assessment

Higher education institutions are free to define their own assessment methods.

 

Certification

The PHET diploma is awarded by Polytechnics to those who demonstrate:

  1.  Having knowledge and capacity to understand a branch of study and to such a level that:
    1.  is based on Secondary Education level of knowledge, thus developed and expanded;
    2.  is based on advanced teaching materials;
    3.  constitutes the basis for an area of professional or vocational activity, for personal development and for further study to complete a licenciatura degree.
  2.  they can apply acquired knowledge the ability to understand in professional contexts;
  3.  the ability to identify and use information to respond to well-defined concrete and abstract problems;
  4.  the skills that allows them to communicate their understanding of the issues, skills and activities with peers, supervisors and customers/clients;
  5.  the learning skills that enable them to study with a degree of autonomy.

The PHET diplomas are registered by the relevant body of the respective Higher Education institution.

The attribution of the PHET diploma must be registered on an electronic platform.