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Decree Law No. 133/2019

Publication: Republic Diary No. 168/2019, Series I of 2019-09-03
  • Issuer: Presidency of the Council of Ministers
  • Diploma Type: Decree Law
  • Number: 133/2019
  • Pages: 49 - 57

Summary in plain english

What is it?

This decree-law approves the legal scheme of the distance higher education.

The distance education is the education in which:

    • the participants, professors and students are physically separated;
    • there are online teams which offer technological support to the participation and interaction between the participants;
    • there is no time and space limit regarding the education contents;
    • the pedagogical model is based on virtual environments.
What is going to change?

Organization and operation rules of the scheme of distance and network (online) higher education are established.

To whom is this decree-law applied?

It is applied to all higher education institutions and to all courses which grant a distance learning academic degree.

The distance education may be provided by higher education institutions, individually or in partnership with other national or foreign institutions.

The operation of the distance learning courses depends on the accreditation by the Higher Education Evaluation and Accreditation Agency and, then, must be registered by the General Directorate for Higher Education.

The higher education institutions, to grant academic degrees, must have:

    • human resources (qualified teaching and technical staff, for instance); and
    • material and technological resources (for instance, technological infrastructures and a website aimed for the students).

A development agreement is entered between the State and Open University, in which the latter undertakes to, namely:

    • exclusively provide courses on the modality of distance education;
    • promote the quality higher education in Portuguese around the world;
    • provide its methodologies, infrastructures and systems to all higher education institutions for the purposes of distance education.

The State bears the costs of the distance learning courses through consortiums between the Open University and other higher education institutions.

What advantages does it bring?

It ensures the development and quality of the distance learning higher education.

It promotes the investment on the qualification of the Portuguese population.

It ensures the efficiency of an education for the higher qualification of older students, outside of the benchmark age, in a work environment.

When does it enter into force?

This decree-law enters into force five days following its publication.

Original Version


  • Legal translator is the translation of texts within the field of law


Legislative consolidation integrates the various amendments and rectifications made into an original legal diploma in order to make its consultation more accessible to the citizen.