6 Best Portugal universities for international students

6 Best Portugal universities for international students

Portugal is undoubtedly one of Europe’s most captivating destinations, boasting several tourist attractions, including the historical edifices in Lisbon, world-renowned wine in Porto, and idyllic surfing spots in the Algarve. In this article, brought to you by Lofty Scholars, we will be highlighting the best universities in Portugal for international students.

The Portuguese higher education system adheres to the standards of the European Bologna System and is recognized as one of the most economical higher education systems in the European Union. Furthermore, most universities in Portugal offer internships in foreign companies as part of their curriculum, which enhances the students’ practical experience and enables them to apply their academic knowledge to real-life scenarios, thereby preparing them for their future careers.

Portugal Universities For International Students

  1. University of Lisbon

The University of Lisbon, the largest university in Portugal, is a public research institution located in Lisbon. It was formed in 2013 as a result of the merger of two previous public universities in the city, the former University of Lisbon (1911-2013) and the Technical University of Lisbon (1930-2013). The history of university education in Lisbon can be traced back to the 13th century.

The University of Lisbon is ranked first in Portugal and 151-200 in the world according to the 2017 Shanghai Ranking. It is also ranked 51-75 globally in Engineering/Technology and Computer Science, and 101-150, 151-200, and 151-200, respectively, in Mathematics, Physics, and Computer Science.

In the 2017 Times Higher Education World University Rankings (THE), the University of Lisbon, which is considered the largest university in Portugal, is ranked 401-500 overall. The QS World University Rankings 2018 place it at 305 overall.

  1. University of Porto

The University of Porto is a public research institution located in Porto, Portugal, which was founded on March 22, 1911. It is the second largest university in Portugal, after the University of Lisbon, in terms of student enrollment and is known for its prominent research.

Consistently recognized as one of the best universities in Portugal, the University of Porto is ranked among the top 100 universities in Europe, according to the Webometrics Ranking Web of Universities.

In 2018, the university was placed in the 301-400 category of the best universities in the world by the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU).

The QS World University Rankings for 2019 positioned the University of Porto at 328th in the world. Additionally, QS ranks the university within the top 51-100 in subjects such as Architecture, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, and Sports Science.

  1. University of Coimbra

The University of Coimbra, located in Coimbra, Portugal, is a public research university. Its origins date back to 1290 when it was founded in Lisbon. It underwent several relocations before permanently settling in Coimbra in 1537. The university is one of the oldest continuously operating universities in the world, the oldest in Portugal, and played a crucial role in the development of higher education in the Portuguese-speaking world. In 2013, it was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, which highlighted its unique culture, traditions, architecture, and historical significance.

The university has eight faculties, offering bachelor’s (licenciado), master’s (mestre), and doctorate (doutor) degrees in nearly all major fields. It is also a founding member of the Coimbra Group of European research universities, established in 1985. With over 20,000 students, including over 15% international students, the University of Coimbra is one of the most diverse and cosmopolitan universities in Portugal.

  1. University of Algarve

The University of Algarve (UAlg) is a public institution of higher education located in the southernmost region of mainland Portugal, the Algarve. It was founded in 1979 and has its headquarters and two of its three campuses in Faro, namely Gambelas and Penha, with the third campus located in Portimão.

The Portimão branch of UAlg, situated 70 km to the west of Faro’s UAlg headquarters, offers degree programs in business management and tourism, as well as technical specialization courses in accountancy and postgraduate courses in real estate appraisal and management.

  1. NOVA University Lisbon

NOVA University Lisbon, founded in 1973, is a public university in Lisbon, Portugal, with its rectorate located in Campolide. It is the newest of the public universities in Lisbon and is named the “New” (NOVA) University of Lisbon.

The university has over 20,000 students, 1,800 professors, and staff members spread across five faculties, three institutes, and one school, offering a wide range of courses in various fields of knowledge.

NOVA University Lisbon houses 42 Research and Development Units (R&D Units), 15 of which are research partnerships between NOVA and other national institutions. In 2013, the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FC&T) rated 75% of NOVA R&D Units as “Exceptional”, “Excellent” or “Very Good”.

NOVA is responsible for around 10% of the national research papers indexed to the Web of Science. Since the European Research Council (ERC) grants program was launched in 2009, NOVA’s researchers have been awarded a total of 10 grants, making NOVA one of the top national institutions in this field.

  1. Catholic University Of Portugal

The Catholic University of Portugal, also known as Católica or UCP for short, is a non-state-run university with concordat status. It has its headquarters in Lisbon, and it also has four other locations: Braga, Porto, Viseu, and an affiliate in Macau, which is the University of Saint Joseph.

According to the 2021 Times Higher Education World University Ranking, it is recognized as the best university in Portugal, with over 11,000 students and 7,549 postgraduate students. The current and sixth rector of UCP is Professor Isabel Capeloa Gil.

The Catholic University of Portugal has 14 research centers among its faculties and institutes that focus on various fields, such as arts and technologies, education and psychology, philosophy, biotechnology and chemistry, health sciences, political science, business and economics, history, social sciences, communication and culture, law, theology, and religious studies.


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