19 November 2015 | EQAF Paper

Accreditation outcomes 2010-2015: which programmes fall short of expectations and why

Orlanda Tavares and Alberto Amaral


The paper analyses the main outcomes of programme accreditation in Portugal further to the operations of the Agency for Assessment and Accreditation of Higher Education, which were initiated in 2009.

Tracking the evolution of study programmes, the paper found that out of the initial 5262 programmes on offer in 2009/10, 40% have been either discontinued or not accredited as of July 2015. The analysis revealed differences between the private and the public sector, with higher proportions of closure in the former. It also revealed differences by disciplinary area. For Law, the discipline with highest percentage of non-accredited programmes, the main reason for non-accreditation resided in the programmes’ lack of compliance with legal requirements regarding teaching staff qualifications and full-time employment. The blurred identity of programmes, undifferentiated between university and polytechnic sectors, and curricular incoherence were other important reasons for non-accreditation.


This paper was presented at EQAF and reflects the views of the named authors only.

Comfortable read mode Normal mode X