Portugal

Recent developments:
  • Five universities now have foundation status which gives greater autonomy in some aspects of their activities
  • Financial pressures continue to cause problems for Portuguese universities as austerity measures remain in place across the public sector

Organisational autonomy: medium high

The law states selection criteria for executive heads, dismissal procedure (with external confirmation necessary), and exact term of office. Universities must include and freely appoint external members in their board/council. Portuguese universities decide on their academic structures. They may create both for-profit and non-profit legal entities with restrictions.

Financial autonomy: medium high

Universities may not reallocate block grant funds across set categories. Universities can keep surpluses with the approval of an external authority. There are differences in access to borrowing as only foundation status universities are able to contract loans. Universities may own and sell buildings with notification to the ministry. At Bachelor level tuition fees for national/EU students have to be set below a ceiling stipulated by an external authority, while universities may freely set fees for other levels and for international students.

Academic autonomy: medium low

Universities negotiate overall student numbers with the ministry. At Bachelor level admission criteria are co-regulated between universities and the ministry. All new degree programmes at Bachelor, Master and doctoral levels must be submitted for prior accreditation so as to be introduced. Universities cannot choose either quality assurance mechanisms or providers.

Staffing autonomy: medium high

The recruitment of senior academic staff is regulated by law, while an external confirmation is only required for senior administrative staff with civil servant status. The State controls the overall expenses in salaries, which are externally set for staff with civil servant status. Dismissals are strictly regulated for these staff. The law regulates the composition of promotion committees for senior academic staff.

Organisational weighted 80% unweighted 74%

100

100% Selection procedure for the executive head

The selection of the executive head is not validated by an external authority

75

75% Selection criteria for the executive head

The law states that the executive head must hold an academic position

This applies to 13 other countries: Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Flanders, France, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Poland, Serbia, Spain, Sweden

80

80% Dismissal of the executive head

The dismissal is confirmed by an external authority but the procedure is decided by the university

This applies to 2 other countries: Hungary, Sweden

0

0% Term of office of the executive head

The exact length is stated in the law

100

100% External members in university governing bodies

Universities cannot decide as they must include external members

Universities can freely decide on external members

This applies to 6 other countries: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Italy, Lithuania, United Kingdom

100

100% Capacity to decide on academic structures

Universities can decide on their academic structures without constraints

60

60% Capacity to create legal entities

Universities are only allowed to create not-for-profit legal entities

This applies to 2 other countries: Slovenia, Switzerland

Financial weighted 70% unweighted 75%

60

60% Length of public funding cycle

60

60% Type of public funding

Block grant is split into broad categories and there are no or limited possibilities to move funds between these

This applies to 7 other countries: France, Wallonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden

0

0% Ability to borrow money

Universities cannot borrow money

This applies to 5 other countries: Hesse, Hungary, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland

80

80% Ability to keep surplus

Surplus can be kept but the approval of an external authority is needed

This applies to 2 other countries: Iceland, Luxembourg,

80

80% Ability to own buildings

Other restrictions

This applies to 2 other countries: France, Wallonia,

40

40% Tuition fees for national/EU students at Bachelor level

Universities can set the level of tuition fees under a ceiling set by an external authority

This applies to 4 other countries: Hungary, Iceland, Italy, United Kingdom

100

100% Tuition fees for national/EU students at Master's level

Universities are free to set the level of tuition fees

This applies to 6 other countries: Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Serbia, United Kingdom

100

100% Tuition fees for national/EU students at doctoral level

Universities are free to set the level of tuition fees

100

100% Tuition fees for non-EU students at Bachelor level

Universities are free to set the level of tuition fees

100

100% Tuition fees for non-EU students at Master's level

Universities are free to set the level of tuition fees

100

100% Tuition fees for non-EU students at doctoral level

Universities are free to set the level of tuition fees

Staffing weighted 62% unweighted 62%

58

58% Recruitment procedures for senior academic staff

Other restrictions

83

83% Recruitment procedures for senior administrative staff

Appointments need to be confirmed by an external authority for some staff

This does not apply to any other country.

58

58% Salaries for senior academic staff

Salaries are set by an external authority/civil servant status for some staff

This applies to one other country: Austria

58

58% Salaries for senior administrative staff

Salaries are set by an external authority/civil servant status for some staff

This applies to 3 other countries: Austria, Italy, Spain

60

60% Dismissal of senior academic staff

Dismissals are strictly regulated due to civil servant status for some staff

This applies to 6 other countries: Austria, Brandenburg, Hesse, Ireland, North Rhine-Westphalia, Serbia

60

60% Dismissal of senior administrative staff

Dismissals are strictly regulated due to civil servant status for some staff

This applies to 6 other countries: Austria, Brandenburg, Hesse, Ireland, North Rhine-Westphalia, Spain

43

43% Promotion procedures for senior academic staff

The law states who has to be included in the selection committee

This applies to 3 other countries: Norway, Serbia, Spain

Promotions are only possible if there is a post at a higher level

This applies to 7 other countries: Brandenburg, Croatia, Wallonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Serbia

71

71% Promotion procedures for senior administrative staff

Promotions are only possible if there is a post at a higher level

This applies to 4 other countries: Brandenburg, Wallonia, Lithuania, Serbia

Academic weighted 54% unweighted 52%

60

60% Overall student numbers

Universities negotiate with an external authority

60

60% Admissions procedures at Bachelor level

Admission criteria are co-regulated by an external authority and universities

100

100% Admissions procedures at Master's level

Admission criteria are set by the university

0

0% Introduction of programmes at Bachelor level

All new degree programmes/courses must be submitted to prior accreditation to be introduced

0

0% Introduction of programmes at Master's level

All new degree programmes/courses must be submitted to prior accreditation to be introduced

0

0% Introduction of programmes at doctoral level

All new degree programmes/courses must be submitted to prior accreditation to be introduced

This applies to 9 other countries: Croatia, France, Wallonia, Hungary, Italy, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain

100

100% Termination of degree programmes

Universities can terminate degree programmes independently

100

100% Language of instruction at Bachelor level

Universities can choose the language of instruction for all programmes

100

100% Language of instruction at Master's level

Universities can choose the language of instruction for all programmes

0

0% Selection of quality assurance mechanisms

Universities cannot select quality assurance mechanisms

0

0% Selection of quality assurance providers

Universities cannot choose the quality assurance agency

100

100% Capacity to design content of degree programmes

Universities can freely design the content of degree programmes and courses (other than for the regulated professions)