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Portugal has never had so many students enrolled in higher education

“Historic maximum of foreign students” among those in system

Portugal has never had so many students enrolled in higher education.

In line with the reality that the basic system is also awash with students – many of them from foreign nationalities – the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education has announced that the last academic period (2022/ 2023) saw a 3% increase in numbers on courses in universities and polytechnics.

The ministry acknowledged also that “an historic maximum of foreign students” were registered in the system.

Of those students enrolled, only 19.5% (86,631) came from the private sector (private schools).

This is a tendency that began in 2015-2016, writes Lusa. Back then 358,450 students were enrolled in higher education (as opposed to this last year’s 446,028). The 24% increase in numbers sees 17% (74,597) of today’s students as coming from other nationalities.

Minister Elvira Fortunato said the panorama is proof that “Portugal is well on the way to achieving long term qualification goals”: by 2030 the country aims to have 60% of its under-20s in higher education, and 50% of those aged between 30-34 in the workplace with degrees.

22% enrolled in business sciences, administration and law

In terms of training areas, 22% of students are enrolled in business sciences, administration and law, 20% in engineering, manufacturing and construction and 16% in health and social protection.

Last year, around a third of students (155,082) enrolled for the first time in the 1st year, with more women than men in almost all areas of education and training.

Among foreign students, 24% (17,822) are students on international mobility programmes, such as the Erasmus programme.

In the case of foreign students enrolled to study entirely in Portugal, the majority come from Brazil (30%), followed by Guinea-Bissau (12%), Cape Verde (11.3%), Angola (9.3%) and France (6%).

Source: LUSA