Lisbon University students dismayed at the demise of the Ministry of Higher Education

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The Academic Association of the University of Lisbon today expressed its dismay at the extinction of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education, considering that it constitutes “a step backwards” in the valorization of the knowledge economy and higher education.

In an open letter addressed to the Prime Minister-designate, Luís Montenegro, the general board of the association, which represents the collective interests of the more than 52,000 students at the country’s largest university, calls for the disintegration of the announced Ministry and the maintenance of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education.

Expressing their “enormous dismay”, the students argue that it is not possible for “just one minister, regardless of his individual political quality or that of the secretaries of state under his tutelage, to be able to manage this very important area of governance in a reformist way, in parallel with several challenging portfolios, thus framed in a ‘super-ministry'”.

Despite agreeing with the need for “a concerted national strategy for education”, the Academic Association of the University of Lisbon (AAUL) believes that “the various cycles of education in Portugal need a personalized response to the various problems that exist”.

“What’s more, we fear that the merger of these two ministries could severely impact on the government’s ability to carry out the necessary reforms in our Higher Education,” the association emphasizes in the letter released in a statement.

In his opinion, the country can’t have a government that doesn’t see the revision of the Legal Framework for Higher Education Institutions (RJIES) and the reformulation of the Social Action model as priorities or that “delays the debate on the current funding model for Higher Education”.

“Education in Portugal is going through enormous difficulties. The government that will soon take office faces enormous challenges. They say that young people are the future, but the future cannot be built alone. That’s why it’s urgent to invest in higher education that’s accessible to all,” he said.

For the academic association, “it is urgent to honor the commitment announced during the election campaign to give priority to this area”, which advocates training young people in order to achieve “the progress” they so desperately want.

He also argues that it is urgent to honor “the commitments made to higher education institutions and to give this crucial area for the future of Portugal the value it needs”.

Economist and former Assistant Secretary of State for Internal Administration Fernando Alexandre was Luís Montenegro’s choice for the portfolio of the “super-ministry” that brings together education, science and higher education.

The Prime Minister-designate, Luís Montenegro, and the ministers of the XXIV Constitutional Government take office on Tuesday and the Secretaries of State on Friday. The debate on the government program is scheduled for April 11 and 12.

Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert is a 55-year-old writer and journalist based in Porto, Portugal. Born in France, he brings a unique blend of French and Portuguese perspectives to his work. Education Hervé studied Journalism and Literature at the University of Lyon in France. After completing his studies, he gained valuable experience working with various French media outlets (Portugal France also). Career He worked for several years as a journalist in France before making the move to Portugal. In Porto, he joined the Portugal Pulse team as a staff writer. Skills Hervé specializes in storytelling, investigative journalism, and cultural commentary. He has a flair for capturing complex issues in a relatable way. Personal Life He currently resides in Porto and enjoys the city's rich culture, from Fado music to Francesinha cuisine. Hervé continues to maintain strong ties to his French heritage, often traveling back to France for family visits and cultural exploration. With his unique background and diverse skill set, Hervé Hubert adds a layered, multicultural lens to every story he covers.

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