How Did the Portuguese Use Education and Technology For Their Voyages of Exploration?

September 11, 2023
David Sunnyside

From the late 15th century Portugal led Europe in its voyages of exploration. Encouraged by Prince Henry the Navigator, Portuguese seamen sailed southward along the coast of Africa seeking a water route to the East and looking for a mythical king named Prester John. They learned much about the African coastal area and made advances in cartography, navigation and designed and built highly maneuverable little ships called caravels.

Higher education in Portugal is provided in university subsystems and polytechnic subsystems, public or private. University institutions have a strong theoretical base and are research-oriented. Polytechnic institutes have a more practical training and are profession-oriented.

Students with a complete secondary school education can apply to universities through a national process based on priority for those with good grades. The system also allows people with no formal education to enter university through the Exame Extraordinario de Avaliacao de Capacidade para Acesso ao Ensino Superior (extraordinary evaluation of capacity to access higher studies), which requires the student to pass an exam in general Portuguese, an interview to assess motivation and a CV. Students who successfully pass this process can enter in a university through the admission process that each superior course has, with special exams correspondent to subjects of each knowledge domain.

Some parents and employers think that the existence of private institutions, where accessibility is based on ability to pay could gloom the meritocracy concept in this country and lead to easier entrance criteria and lower teaching standards. Moreover, they can exclude a substantial portion of Portuguese born students that cannot afford to study at those schools.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram