New higher professional technical courses (CTSP – cursos técnicos superiores profissionais) were introduced by Decreeto-Law 43/2014, of 18 March 2014 (text available in Portuguese). These CTSP courses aim to broaden and diversify higher education provision in Portugal by attracting new audiences to higher education, in particular, young people coming from secondary vocational education.
CTSP have a strong regional presence, and interact with regional companies and business associations. They aim to meet economic needs of the region in which they are taught. CTSP last four academic semesters (two years), give 120 ECTS and conclude with a diploma of higher professional technicians corresponding to level 5 of the European qualifications framework (EQF) for lifelong learning.CTSP are administered in polytechnic higher education institutions.
Their curricula consist of the following components: general and scientific training; technical training, an work-based learning.
Each course is created following consultation with local enterprises, employers’ and professional associations and national authorities in employment and vocational training. So far, about 20 CTSP have been created in sectors such as engineering, computer science, commerce and environment.