#EAIR2019 Programme

#EAIR2019 Programme

Polytechnic Institutes in Portugal: research on the impact of twelve institutes on the local economy



Responsibility of Higher Education for Society and Labour MarketResponsibility of Higher Education for Society and Labour Market


Pedro Oliveira et al, University of Porto, Portugal

Single presentation - 30 Minutes



Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are recognized as important actors in regional development. In Portugal, the higher education system comprises Universities, mostly located on more developed regions in coastal area, and Polytechnic Institutes mostly located in inner and less developed regions of the country. These Institutes do need to demonstrate that their presence, in the regions where they are located, has an impact on the surrounding communities contributing to their economic development. Thus, the aim of this work is to present the estimation of the economic impact of twelve Polytechnic Institutes, located in quite diverse regions, based on a shared model so that comparisons have a collective framework of analysis, considering the different socioeconomic realities. Results of this study show that the economic impact of HEIs ranged from 27 million euros to 172 million, which represents between 1.8% and 10.6% of the local GDP. In addition, the level of economic activity generated, for every euro of government funds, ranges from 1.7 to 4.7 euros. Moreover, these Institutes are, in general, major local employers and, therefore, its impact is even more significant in less developed and isolated regions; furthermore, they have a major role in granting access to higher education to young people that, without the presence of these Institutes in these regions, would not enroll in higher education.