Reforming the Portuguese public sector: A route from health to higher education

TitleReforming the Portuguese public sector: A route from health to higher education
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsBruckmann, S, Carvalho, T
EditorMusselin, C, Teixeira, P
Book TitleReforming higher education. Public policy design and implementation

To analyze changes in HE from a comparative perspective, between countries or within the same country, may highlight differences in the global tendencies and contribute to dismantle the convergence myth. This study develops such a comparative perspective. Assuming NPM and managerialism as the referential concepts it tries to analyze changes in HE in a comparative ‘inter country’ perspective. Taking Portugal as a case study it aims to understand the similarities and differences between the two most symbolic sectors of the welfare state: higher education and health. These changes involved transformations at the organizational level, in presence of decentralization and deregulation processes, with consequences for professionals translating attempts to replace the traditional organizational and professional order, based on professionals’ self-regulation by a new one based on market assumptions. A qualitative study has been developed based on content analysis of legal documents and semi-structured interviews with academics and nurses working in public hospitals and higher education institutions. Data analysis shows that traditional bureaucratic way of organizing public institutions has given way to a more rational one, that professionals’ deregulation is not similar for professionals in health and higher education, and that there are significant differences between the two sectors.

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