The purpose of this article is to analyse the composition of teaching staff in Portuguese higher education institutions and assess the existing gap between reality and desirability, in the context of the accreditation regime. A risk-based approach to quality assurance was followed by analysing indicators of staff numbers, staff qualifications, staff tenure, and staff-student ratios and comparing them with mandatory minimum standards. The differences between public and private, university and polytechnic institutions and differences across subjects are discussed.
The work reveals significant differences regarding staff quality indicators within Portuguese higher education institutions. This work had implications for setting policy in respect of the accreditation of degrees in Portugal and for the establishment of rules regarding a transitional period for institutions to be able to comply with mandatory minimum standards. Although this work focuses on the Portuguese case, it might inform other cases where accreditation of degrees is being implemented.
This paper was presented at EQAF and reflects the views of the named authors only.