Education & training sector in Portugal

Education & training sector in Portugal

Portugal has been successfully improving its educational system, prioritising some areas of curriculum development and well as corporate training, which has demonstrated a remarkable evolution in recent years.

Market overview

Main features of the education sector are: English language teaching from pre-primary upwards; compulsory attendance to completion of 12th grade (18 yrs old); increasing use of ICT in educational resources and continuous professional development; development of vocational education; professional and corporate training and the raising of academic standards.

Despite the current economic situation in Portugal and the need to reduce costs as defined by the Bailout agreement, the Education & Training sector retains its importance. Main budgetary cuts in education focus on rationalizing the school national network, lowering staff needs, centralizing procurement; and reducing and rationalizing transfers to private schools in association agreements, and continuing the provision of technology assets to the education network.

Parallel to this, the private sector which includes an increasing number of international / bilingual schools continues to invest in updated technological developments as a way to differentiate its offer from public sector.

Key opportunities

UK companies are well positioned to access opportunities by leveraging the Portuguese providers’ offer and engaging in innovative partnerships in the market.

The main highlights in this sector include:

  • Technology in Education – there have been several high profile projects which have brought new technologies into the classrooms, with clear objectives to improve students-to-PC ratio, universal broadband access and upgrade of digital educational resources. Now they want to expand their content and application.

  • Training for Teachers – a key area for UK providers to expand in Portugal, particularly in the use of a wide range of ICT resources; special needs learning; and specific curriculum areas such as reading and creativity.

  • English Language Training – several organizations (both local and international) provide English Language courses in Portugal, nevertheless there is continuous demand for Business English, and increasingly for technical English (eg, legal; financial; scientific), in both public and private sectors.

  • Children with Special Education Needs are integrated into the regular education system. This measure implies the use of innovative products, new teaching methods and specialised classroom techniques.

  • Corporate Training – Portuguese employers are required to ensure min. 35 hours of certified training per year to each worker. The main areas include: Leadership & Management; Sales Strategies & Marketing; CRM; Customer Focus; Coaching; Emotional Intelligence; Communication; 360º Evaluation; IT Skills and Specialist English. Providers in this field look to international partnerships to keep up with the most innovative offer.

  • Portugal as a Platform to Portuguese-speaking countries – Organizations and companies from Portugal’s Education & Training sector, as well as Higher Education institutes and universities, are expanding into other Portuguese-speaking countries, notably in new emerging economies, such as Angola, Brazil, Mozambique. Many already have established local presences which could be leveraged by UK partners.

Latest export opportunities in the Education & Training sector

Latest export opportunities in Portugal

Getting into the market

Public procurement is a key route into the Public Schools market in Portugal.

Please note that considering the specifications of tenders – where a number of rules and criteria must be met – and given that tender documents and responses are usually in Portuguese language only, we recommend that UK companies consider applying for such opportunities via a local partner, unless they are in a position to bid directly. Our local team can assist you in finding a local partner.

In the private sector procurement processes are more straightforward and often via agents/distributors well established in the market.

UK companies are well positioned to access opportunities by leveraging the Portuguese providers’ offer and engaging in innovative partnerships in the market.

More about doing business in Portugal


Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke market research and support during overseas visits though our chargeable Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS).

To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists in country – or contact your local international trade team.

Contact your local international trade team

UKTI Events

UKTI runs a range of events for exporters, including seminars in the UK, trade missions to overseas markets and support for attendance at overseas trade shows.

Latest events in the Education & Training sector

Useful links

More about OMIS and other UKTI services for exporters

Sectors: Education & Training
Countries: Portugal
Export Action Plan