Portuguese Higher Education Institutions

Higher education in Portugal comprises of university and non-university education. The non-university higher education is also referred to as polytechnic education. Universities and polytechnic institutes in Portugal have gone through many transformations since 1990 in compliance with the Bologna process. 

Types of Higher Education Institutions

In Portugal, there are both public and private institutions. Following are the higher education institutions in Portugal: 
  • University (Universidade)
  • Polytechnic institute (Instituto Politecnico)
  • Higher Education College (Escola Superior)
  • Higher Education Institute (Instituto Superior)
Higher Education Courses offered by higher education institutions in Portugal: Arts and humanities, education sciences, law, social sciences, military studies, management, media studies, teacher training, information technology, visual arts, natural sciences, economics, architecture, mathematics, physical education, medicine, and social services.

University Higher Education 

The universities are overseen by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education, and all are represented in the CRUP – Council of Rectors of Portuguese Universities. The universities are headed by a Rector and are comprised of faculties and university institutes. 

The Universities in Portugal provide theoretical and research based studies in a wide range of areas, such as law, economics, medicine, psychology, and natural sciences. The Universities in Portugal develops a strong cultural and scientific base of the students. 

Universities in Portugal confer the following degrees:
  • First cycle: Bachelor 
  • Second cycle: Master (Mestre)
  • Third cycle: Doctorate (Doutor) and Aggregation (Agregacao)

Non-university Higher Education/Polytechnic

The Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education manages and supervises Polytechnics institutes in Portugal. These are represented as a whole by the ADISPOR – Association of Portuguese Higher Polytechnic Institutes
The polytechnics in Portugal offer vocational studies that allow students to enter the labor market. Courses in accounting, nursing, teaching and healthcare are offered at the polytechnic higher education institutions. The polytechnics in Portugal develop a strong technical and cultural base of the students, thus preparing them for a particular profession. 

Polytechnic in Portugal award bachelor’s and master’s degree. Polytechnics also provide short-cycle study programme that lasts for 1-1.5 years.

Higher Education College and Institutes (Escolas Superiores and Institutos Superiores)

These higher education institutions offer study programmes in a wide range of fields, such as engineering and technology, applied arts, education sciences, business and management, teacher training,  agriculture and silviculture, nursing, and fine arts.

Special Higher Education Institutions

In Portugal, there are special higher education institutions that are associated with the police and the military. 
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