Portuguese higher education institutions are receiving more and more foreign students, according to official figures that last year there were almost 45,000 students enrolled in universities and polytechnics.
Most of these students had finished high school abroad and decided to pursue their studies in Portugal, but there is also a group of students who were already in higher education and chose Portugal to obtain academic credits that will later be recognized by the foreign institution to which they belong.
Last year, these students accounted for 11.9% of the total number of students enrolled in Portuguese institutions, reveals the Survey of Registered Students and Graduates of Higher Education (RAIDES) conducted by the Directorate General of Statistics and Education (DGEEC) .
Under international mobility programs, universities and polytechnics received 44,485 students in the academic year 2017/2018.
More than half (28,122) are part of the group that completed secondary education abroad and decided to obtain a degree in Portugal (Mobility degree).
Compared to the previous year, there was an increase of 26.7% of these students, which last year represented 7.5% of the total enrollment in higher education.
Most are women (51.6%) and come from Brazil (39%), Angola (11.4%), Cape Verde (9.3%) and France.
They are looking for training in the areas of “Business Sciences, Administration and Law” (23.9%) and “Engineering, Manufacturing and Construction” (20.4%).
Eight out of ten enrolled in a public institution, with 77.6% of the total opting for a university over a polytechnic.
However, polytechnics have seen a large increase in foreigners: in the academic year 2016/2017 there were 4,809 students and last year they were over six thousand (6,306).
The Metropolitan Area of Lisbon is home to more students (37.2%), and last year the Algarve region stood out to almost double the number of students in two years, from 350 students to 592.
The majority of students enrolled in a 1st cycle degree (10.025) and a 2nd cycle master’s degree (8,260).
Last year there were another 16,363 students who were already attending higher education abroad and decided to enroll for a certain period in a Portuguese higher education institution, with the objective of obtaining academic credits that will later be recognized by the foreign institution of origin to which they belong .
There was also an increase in students (9.2% more than in the previous year), with these students already representing 4.4% of the total number of students enrolled.
Women between the ages of 18 and 22 are the profile of these students who arrive mostly under programs funded by the European Union for one semester.
Also in these cases, the vast majority (78.9%) sought a university and enrolled in a public institution (85.2%).
The Lisbon region recorded the highest increase in the number of international mobility registrations (5,795 in 2016/17 and 6,535 in 2017/18), but it was the Alentejo region that recorded the highest percentage increase, with a further 35.9 % of students in this situation (from 373 students to 507 last year.
The courses in the areas of ‘Business Sciences, Administration and Law’ were the most sought after with 26.5% of enrolled in the total enrollment in mobility.
As in previous years, the number of nationalities was varied, but Brazilian nationality continues to be the most represented (20%) followed by Spanish, Italian, German and Polish.