Tertiary Education and Management

, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 193–206 | Cite as

The reform process of Portuguese higher education institutions: from collegial to managerial governance

  • Sofia BruckmannEmail author
  • Teresa Carvalho


Portuguese public higher education institutions have been undergoing a major reform process since 2007. The most noticeable changes were introduced by Law 62/2007, which gave higher education institutions the option to choose between two different institutional models (foundational and public institute), and allowed the implementation of new government and management structures. We know, from the institutional-ism theoretical perspective, that in a process of change institutions tend to be more similar than diverse. This study aims to analyse how Portuguese higher education institutions reacted to external pressures and reorganised their internal government and management structures. The main question it tries to answer is to what extent were institutions able to introduce more diversity in their organisational models? In order to find clues to answer this question, the study compares higher education institutions’ internal structures by developing a qualitative study based on content analysis of internal legal documents from six universities (three that remain public institutes and three that have a foundational model).


governance management organisation structures 


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Copyright information

© The European Higher Education Society 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Social, Political and Territorial Sciences DepartmentUniversity of AveiroAveiroPortugal
  2. 2.CIPES — Centre for Research in Higher Education PoliciesMatosinhosPortugal

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