Portugal boasts five universities which are listed in the 2017 QS rankings for world universities. From these, the University of Porto enjoys the top listing. Portugal has a rich history of excellence when it comes to universities, and in university strength ratings, the country’s system of higher education has been classed as number 35 in the world.
This enchanting European country is also home to various highly respected polytechnics, so this give potential students a broad choice. The polytechnics differ from universities in that the latter has a stronger focus on academia, whereas the former concentrates on getting students ready for a particular career pathway.
Specific subjects are only on offer at either polytechnics or universities, however, there is also a great deal of convergence. For instance, both institutes offer humanity, management and engineering degrees.
Over the last ten or so years, the European Bologna reform has been adopted by Portugal’s polytechnics. This is very beneficial, as it works to set up a general Europe-wide higher education structure. Due to this implementation, the universities in Portugal offer students a choice of three degree levels.
These tiers comprise: licenciatura (bachelor level), which normally takes 3 to 4 years to complete. Mestrado (masters level), which generally takes 1 to 2 years to fulfill. And duotoramento (doctorate level), which in most instances takes a period of 3 years. While a large percentage of programs, especially at bachelor level, are conducted in Portuguese, it is more usual to find graduate level courses which are taught in English.
In 1290, the renowned University of Coimbra was set up, and it has moved from strength to strength. The University of Porto was established in 1911, and from its 30,000 plus body of students, over 3,000 have gone there to study from other countries. Lisbon’s Universidade NOVA was established in 1973, and is also a popular destination for foreign students. The subjects on offer from these universities and others, are second to none.