Education in Portugal

The educational system is divided into preschool (for those under age 6), basic education (9 years, in three stages), secondary education (3 years), and higher education (university and polytechnic).

Portuguese universities have existed since 1290. The oldest Portuguese university was first established in Lisbon before moving to Coimbra. Universities are usually organized into faculties. Institutes and schools are also common designations for autonomous subdivisions of Portuguese higher education institutions, and are always used in the polytechnical system. The Bologna process has been adopted since 2006 by Portuguese universities and polytechnical institutes.

Scientific and technological research activities in Portugal are mainly conducted within a network of R&D units belonging to public universities and state-managed autonomous research institutions like the INETI - Instituto Nacional de Engenharia, Tecnologia e Inovação. The funding of this research system is mainly conducted under the authority of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education. The largest R&D units of the public universities by number of publications which achieved significant international recognition, include biosciences research institutions like the Instituto de Medicina Molecular, the IPATIMUP and the Instituto de Biologia Molecular e Celular, among others. One of the largest non-state-run research institutions in Portugal is the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência. A number of both national and multinational high-tech and industrial companies, are also responsible for research and development projects.


On Downloads please find a chart with the current Portuguese system of education for information purposes.

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