L. Amaral, R. Vasconcelos, M. Pinheiro

University of Minho (PORTUGAL)
Higher education in Portugal, in the last forty years, has undergone profound changes with the enlargement of public higher education network, the appearance of new institutions, the quantity and the heterogeneity of students. The implementation of the Bologna Process in European community countries led to the redesign of higher education Portuguese courses as well as their corresponding curricula.
In recent years, the use of Project-led education was one of the most significant changes in teaching and learning, particularly in engineering in higher education in Portugal.

This teaching methodology encourages students and teachers to undertake new roles, new responsibilities and a new learning perspective. This study aims at understanding whether the role of the tutor is to be suitable to the needs and expectations of Project-led education students.

These changes however are not only structural. At the University of Minho, new teaching and learning methodologies were adopted, which could guide the training of professionals on to the twenty-first century.

The opportunity arising from the implementation of Project-led education in Engineering methodology was used in the University of Minho’s courses. This teaching method is intended to provide students with educational support programs that benefit the academic performance, allowing the opportunity to upgrade, train and develop the ability to study and learn more effectively. Through the Project-led education it is possible to provide students with techniques and procedures and develop the ability to communicate orally and in writing.

Students and teachers have assumed new roles in the teaching-learning process allowing in one hand the students to explore, discover and question themselves about some knowledge and on the other hand the teachers to change to a tutor, a companion and to a student project guide.

Therefore, surveys were analyzed, comprising questions about the most significant contribution of the tutor as well as if there are some initial expectations that have not been foreseen by the tutor.