The complete guide to education in Portugal

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Here is a comprehensive guide to navigate the Portuguese outstanding and diverse education system.

One of the drivers for the increasing number of immigrants moving to Portugal is its outstanding, diverse education infrastructure. The country's education system has undoubtedly been influenced by EU standards, but the nation continues to drive education internally, be it at a school or university level, to continuously produce massive talents.

Portugal's education institutes also benefit from a wide array of diverse students and teachers coming in from all around the globe, allowing all participants to widen their horizon and obtain knowledge and cultural experiences that they would otherwise not had the chance to do elsewhere. 

For those looking at Portugal as their new home, it is imperative that they look into the education environment in Portugal, understand where its many benefits come from, and cross-check possible educational routes with the nation's growing economy.


Portugal has an abundance of primary, secondary, and high schools throughout its many cities. The majority of these schools are public, state-funded institutes that provide top-tier education.

Public schools are free for citizens and residents, but a public school does require students to be residents in close proximity to be able to enroll. For those looking to enroll their children in a specific public school, they need to look to reside in the area that school services.

Private schools are also plentiful in Portugal. Many of them are international schools that provide teaching in English for various curriculums such as IGCSE or SAT. These schools allow new immigrants with older children to pick up on education without losing a beat if their children are not yet proficient in Portuguese. 

There are various Montessori, Waldorf, Religious, and other international schools that expats can choose from, and while they are not free like public schools, they are very affordable compared to other countries such as the UK or the US.


Portugal is blessed with a wide array of top-tier universities. Educational institutions such as the universities of Lisbon, Porto, Minho, and others, including the legendary Coimbra, which was founded in 1290, provide exceptional education to local residents and international students.

There are both state-funded and private universities to choose from, and while public universities are free for citizens and long term residents, they do require a small fee of about 700 EUR per year.

But even looking into tuition for private universities in Portugal shows it is a bargain, especially considering the top-tier education they provide. On average, tuition in Portugal ranges between 500-1,050 EUR per year. In the UK, on the other hand, the average is between 9,000 -13,000 GBP, while the US has an average of 10,000 - 26,920 USD.

The cost of living is also a very important factor to consider, especially for those not looking to relocate to Portugal full time but who want their children to eventually study there. This is quite common for those who obtain Portuguese residency through the golden visa, as the scheme does not require any golden visa holders to remain in Portugal for more than seven days a year, meaning parents can maintain their residence status while living abroad, but their children can live and study in Portugal.

The cost of living in Lisbon, Portugal's most expensive city, is a staggering 54% less than Paris, 74% less than London, and a whopping 167% less than New York. This allows parents to provide top-tier education for their children at a very affordable cost.

Emerging sectors

For those looking to remain in Portugal, it is necessary to understand the market and how it is growing to enable them to enroll their children into majors in demand. 

Portugal has a very diverse economy, with a high focus on agriculture, arts, energy, scientific research, and manufacturing. However, recently the highest growing sectors have been healthcare, tourism, and ICT.

In fact, healthcare and ICT have recently dominated the fastest-growing startup scene in Portugal, accounting for the majority of successful scale-ups in the country.

General managers in healthcare currently sit among the top earners in Portugal, and the Universities of Lisbon, Porto, and Coimbra continue to churn out the top talent needed to fill those positions. 

Six out of the top ten earning jobs in Portugal fall within the ICT sector's domain, and the universities of Lisbon, Porto, de Aveiro, and Nova de Lisboa provide some of the best ICT programs available.

The recent lifting of COVID restrictions has also given the tourism sector a massive boost, and with Portugal's status as one of the hottest EU tourist destinations, the tourism industry is set to continue growing. 

Polytechnic Porto, Algarve, and de Aveiro universities lead the way in terms of tourism degrees, offering both undergraduate and postgraduate certificates for students to choose from. 

Great education for a greater future

The emphasis Portugal puts on education is evident within its populace and economy, and it is continuously pushing the envelope through introducing new courses, scholarships, and career paths for its residents. 

To know more about education in Portugal and how to get there through the golden visa, contact us today to book a free, comprehensive consultation. 

Who are we ?

Optylon Krea is an investment management and real estate development company that caters to the needs of international Golden Visa investors, with €1.8 Billion managed to date from Portugal to Turkey.
We have been the first to explore the Golden Visa eligible fund route in 2018 and are currently leading that market segment with more than € 200M under our advisory.


Investors from more than 40 countries


million equity managed for Golden Visa eligible funds


active funds under advisory

We strongly believe that Portugal is shifting from a mass tourism destination to a luxury resort. That is why we are bringing momentum to the main cities by developing high street retail and prime serviced apartment projects.

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