The European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted to Parque Escolar (PE), a public entity owned by the Portuguese government, a EUR 600 million loan to finance investments in the country’s secondary school modernisation programme. EIB Vice-President Carlos da Silva Costa and President of Parque Escolar João Sintra Nunes signed the finance contract in Lisbon earlier today.


Carlos da Silva Costa, EIB Vice-President responsible for lending operations in Portugal said: “A well educated and skilled population is critical for the current and future economic and social development of the country. Therefore the EIB is proud to support these efforts with loans such as the one we are signing today given that adequate and modern school facilities are a pre-requisite of a successful education plan”.

João Sintra Nunes, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Parque Escolar, said: “We are delighted at the EIB’s renewed support in the form of a facility to be utilised in the coming years on advantageous financial terms. We are also grateful for the backing that the EIB has given since 2008 to this secondary school modernisation programme. The value of this programme, which will have a deep impact on the education of present and future generations, is therefore strengthened. This programme is helping to fight the economic crisis, so that to date more than 3,500 companies have been directly or indirectly involved, and more than 12,000 direct jobs have been created”.

The EIB loan will finance the first stage (2007-2012) of the Portuguese secondary school modernisation programme, covering the planning, rehabilitation and expansion, as well as furnishing and equipping, of 211 secondary schools, benefiting over 240,000 students. It will include new teaching, leisure and administrative facilities, libraries, computer rooms, science labs, canteens, bookshops, conference halls, workshops for vocational education, and sport facilities. The facilities will also be used by the local community.

The Portuguese secondary school modernisation programme, to be implemented between 2007 and 2015, will renew educational infrastructure of 332 public secondary schools. The programme will significantly improve the quality of secondary schools across the country, providing an environment more conducive to learning and teaching and enabling efficient building maintenance and management. The project will have a positive effect in the Portuguese economy as part of measures to overcome the current economic situation through the prompt implementation of a large number of relatively small schemes throughout the country boosting local employment.

The EIB already backed Parque Escolar in 2009 with a first loan of EUR 300 million supporting the secondary school modernisation programme. This operation provides complementary EIB financing to the programme increasing EIB support to education in Portugal and representing an opportunity of co-financing with another multilateral institution and structural funds.

The European Investment Bank is the long-term financing institution of the European Union (EU), working to further European objectives. Created in 1958, it operates in the EU’s 27 Member States and in over 130 other countries across the world. The Bank’s financing is geared to well-defined European policies. Financing investment in human capital formation, including education and training, is a particularly important area of EIB activity.