There is more and more Portuguese with an accent at the University of Algarve

They came from the other side of the Atlantic, first 50, then 115, then 180. In 2017/2018, there are already around 400 […]

They came from the other side of the Atlantic, first 50, then 115, then 180. In 2017/2018, there are already around 400 Brazilian students who chose the University of Algarve to make your degree complete.

O contingent Brazilian is the most numerous among international students in the Algarve academy, and in the new academic year alone, more than 200 new students from this country have enrolled at the University of the Algarve.

The number makes António Branco, dean of the University of Algarve, proud and is the envy of other academies. "When I refer these numbers to other colleagues, from other universities, I see their eyes, looking at me, recognizing that there are very good indicators here at this level," said the dean.

In 2014, a protocol was signed with INEP - National Institute of Educational Studies and Research Anísio Teixeira, the body that, in Brazil, regulates access to higher education and allows Brazilian students to apply to UAlg with the grade obtained in the National Secondary Education Examination (ENEM, equivalent to the Portuguese national examination for access to higher education). Since then, the number of Brazilian students has not stopped growing.

The first ones arrived, enjoyed the experience, and this was half the road for others to come to the Algarve.

Antonio Branco

«It ends up working like a magnet. This community was very well received, they feel very comfortable here. These young people sent a very positive message, because they know many other young people in Brazil. The fact that Brazilian students, when they arrive here, have a large, very well-organized community that already knows the city, the region, the University, helps them feel even more at home», explains the rector of the University of Algarve , who considers that having around 400 Brazilian students enrolled, «in three years, is absolutely extraordinary».

Brazilian students have the status of international student, which applies to those who have no nationality, or residency, for more than three years in the European Union.

Each university can open 20% of places for this type of student in each academic year and, according to André Botelheiro, coordinator of the Communication and Protocol Office of the University of Algarve, “this year we are close to depleting the places. We had more than 2000 candidates, but not all of them meet the conditions to be accepted».

The “weight” of Brazilian students is greater when compared to students of other nationalities. "Speaking of the first cycle, of degrees, close to 99 percent of international students [excluding mobility programs such as Erasmus] are Brazilian," André Botelheiro told Sul Informação. There is only one Chinese student in Biology and two Cuban students in Computer Engineering, with the same status as an international student.

According to the head of communication at the University of Algarve, the presence of these Brazilian students «brings a different experience, it is a student who comes to take the complete curriculum. From the experience and conversations that we are having, there are perspectives of settling new residents in Faro and in the Algarve. Many of them, after this experience, end up trying to establish their professional future here, or to continue their studies. We have a new reality and the University of Algarve was a pioneer and has very interesting numbers compared to other universities».


Number of Erasmus students is close to the limit

Erasmus students. file photo

It is not just the interest of Brazilian students, who come to complete a degree, that has grown. Also in terms of mobility programs, the University of Algarve has good numbers and the only reason it is not growing is because «we are reaching our limit», says André Botelheiro.

According to the university's communication officer, in 2017/2018 there will be around 500 students in Erasmus mobility programs, of which 253 have already arrived. “It's a number that has remained stable. There has been short growth due to the lower growth capacity. We cannot have many more mobility students, otherwise the classes will double».

In total, this year, the University of the Algarve will have, including international students, mobility programs and master's students, «1400 foreign students, with more than 90 nationalities». The most represented is the Brazilian.