Portugal with the highest number of students in higher education ever

In 2022/23, 446.028 students were enrolled in Portuguese universities and polytechnics, an increase of 3% compared to the previous year

In the previous academic year, Portugal had the highest number of students ever enrolled in higher education, the Government announced today, which also recorded a historic maximum number of foreign students in the system.

In a statement, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education states that 446.028 students were enrolled in 2022/23 at Portuguese universities and polytechnics, an increase of 3% compared to the previous year.

Of the students enrolled in higher education institutions, 86.631 were in the private sector, which corresponds to 19,5% of the total. When comparing institutions, 30,5% of students were enrolled in polytechnics (135.833).

This increase in enrolled students is part of a trend that has lasted since 2015-2016 (358.450), registering an accumulated growth of 24%.

Portugal also registered 74.597 foreign students, which represents 17% of the total enrolled.

«This result reinforces confidence that Portugal is on the right path to achieving long-term qualification goals and that they aim to achieve by 2030 an average attendance rate in higher education of 60% among young people aged 20 and reach 50% of higher education graduates aged 30-34”, says the ministry led by Elvira Fortunato.

Around «75% of students were enrolled in initial training study cycles, distributed among 21.263 in professional higher technical courses, 277.206 in bachelor's degrees and 37.201 in integrated master's degrees», reads the statement.

The authority records an increase in students in the 2nd and 3rd cycles, with 82.610 enrolled in master's degrees and 25.202 in doctorates.

With regard to training areas, 22% of students are enrolled in the areas of business sciences, administration and law, 20% in engineering, manufacturing industries 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) correspond to students covered by international mobility programs, such as the Erasmus Program.

In the case of foreign students enrolled to attend a study cycle entirely in Portugal, the majority come from Brazil (30%), followed by Guinea-Bissau (12%), Cape Verde (11,3%), Angola (9,3%) and France (6%).