HIGHER EDUCATION IN PORTUGAL: UNIVERSITY VERSUS POLYTECHNIC: WHAT DIFFERENCES IN MANAGEMENT (BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION) ACADEMIC DEGREES?
Instituto Superior de Gestão (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Conference name: 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2017
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:No one questions that education is a human capital asset of nations, fundamental for economic and social development. Therefore, it is a public good, irrespective of the private or public nature of the provider. Since the consolidation of the Bologna process in Portugal, in the sense of the first generations of graduates in this system, in 2006, there has been an increasing popularization of undergraduate degrees, although the country continues with a still low percentage of the Population with higher education qualifications completed. The number of individuals with higher education has risen exponentially since 2001, representing only 6.8% of the population at the time. In 2016 the value of 17.1%, most likely to exceed 20% of the population in 2020, approaching the European average. There are quantitative (non-qualitative) results, but there are no strategies that support or serve as models for analysis. Specific objectives have never been defined that take into account the needs of the market and the inherent adaptation of vacancies for the different higher education courses, to the training objectives, leaving to the individual criterion of the universities and polytechnics.
When there were goals they were quickly distorted by practice. When 20 years ago it was legislated to equate the courses of polytechnics with the degrees of university education, the greatest of the confusions settled. The idea would be to adapt the courses of polytechnics (former bachelors) to regional needs and specificities, which never happened. In fact, there are identical courses in polytechnic and university education. There are courses at universities that most resemble the polytechnic model and polytechnic courses that are closer to the university model. "Teaching to think" and "teaching to do" were never effectively separated or distinguished. Worse, there are "equal" courses, sometimes conferred by polytechnics or by universities. See, for example, the case of management BsC degrees in which students are unable to disstinguish both systems..
The Portuguese dual system in higher education, divided between polytechnic and university, generates many doubts to the students. The university education, traditionally linked to thinking and currently, much influenced by Anglo-Saxon, linked to scientific research, is attended by 66% of the current 356,000 students of higher education. Polytechnic education, traditionally linked to know-how and the applicability of knowledge, is attended by the remaining 34%. In the last ten years, this proportion did not have significant variability. All this reality makes the doubts of the candidate students perfectly legitimate and are caused by the frankly poorly designed system itself. This study tries to demonstrate that candidates to higher education choose fundamentally their course regardless of the polytechnic or university system, which they can not even distinguish.
Education can and should be an example of democratization and freedom to teach and learn. There is a need for a reorganization of higher education, the type of offer and the number of places, depending on the country and not on the basis of established interests, which fail to meet the needs and expectations of employers and students.
Keywords: Higher Education, Portugal, University, Polytechnic, Management.