Adult education and women in Portugal

Conference proceedings article


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Publication Details

Subtitle: a review of the literature 2012-2016
Author list: Brito, E., Abelha, M., & Nunes, M. B.
Publisher: Universidade do Porto; Salarya University
Place: Porto
Publication year: 2017
Start page: 775
End page: 784
Number of pages: 10
Languages: English-Great Britain (EN-GB)


After 12 years of adults’ education and training coherent programs in
Portugal (1999-2011), a drop-off of these programs suddenly emerged as a
result of the governmental austerity public policies implemented
between 2011 and 2015, disregarding the Renewed European Agenda for
Adult Learning of 2011, established on the basis of the European Council
strategy for education and training 2020 (2009). In 2016 a new program
for adults’ qualification was created, with the goals of promoting the
productivity, innovation and growing of the country through the
development of learning and professional competencies in people who
couldn’t conclude the mandatory formal education or need to develop new
skills. The experience of the education and training courses (EFA)
realized in the context of the late “New Opportunities” Program was the
subject of more than a thousand publications. With the main goal of
providing useful information for the development of the new “Qualifica”
programs, the present paper intends to analyze those publications,
aiming to identify the research questions and the key subjects addressed
by the studies and the results that were achieved in terms of the
assessment and impact of the courses in the students’ lives; other goals
deal with the identification of the academic institutions where these
works were developed, the type of publications and the research fields
that led to the specific researches, the most influential authors and
the network of citations and collaboration between authors and
institutions. The methods applied coincide with the ones of a literature
review, including bibliographic search and retrieval and content and
bibliometric analysis. A particular emphasis is given to the studies
regarding women and literacy. Results show a universe of publications
that includes mostly master and doctoral thesis, but also book chapters,
journal articles and conference papers. 24 works are listed on the
Portuguese Open Access Scientific Repository (RCAAP), although only 12
reached a prestige bibliographic database such as Web of Science. Most
of the studies tried to describe and assess the results of the EFA
courses, mainly in terms of the achievements in literacy, self-esteem,
special qualifications and employment of the participants (social and
intellectual capital) and were developed in the context of Education,
Sociology, Psychology and Information Science research fields. Google
Scholar notices around 100 publications that worked with the subjects of
literacy and women, but only four authors devoted their study
specifically to women’s achievements through the adult’s courses. Most
Portuguese academic institutions with Education courses supported
studies on the subject, though the results show that the universities of
Algarve, Minho, Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro and Nova de Lisboa carried
the most of the researches. Finally, the results of the studies analized
lead to the conclusion that EFA courses play an important role in the
life of the citizens, promoting new opportunities of employment, changes
in values and attitudes and, in general, a gain not only in
intellectual capital, but mainly in the social capital of the people who
attended the education and training programs, especially in women.


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Last updated on 2019-13-08 at 00:46