8 Cheapest Universities in Portugal for International Students

What do you know about Portugal, before we delve more into cheapest universities in Portugal. Note that Portugal is a country that everyone is acquainted with, thanks to its status as one of the most popular tourist destinations and a sought-after site for year-abroad degrees for international students.

The country’s history spans over a thousand years, but it is most recognized for its complex tapestry of customs and culture, as well as its breathtaking scenery.

The gorgeous landscape, inspirational beaches, big towns, and reasonably warm temperature are just a few of the country’s most appealing aspects.

This, however, does not include all of the powerful and enticing aspects that Portugal has to offer to every prospective student.

The majority of higher education institutions in Portugal provide a comprehensive education, allowing students to pursue a variety of courses and disciplines of study. Students interested in pursuing advanced technological education have the option of enrolling in a more specialized college.

When considering the country’s magnificent scenery, which stretches from the mountain ranges to the coastal belt, the rich culture of the cities, and the moderate Mediterranean climate, potential international students will have an interesting academic experience.

The country has had a significant increase in economic development during the last few decades. Portugal’s government has pledged to increase the number of overseas students in the country during the next ten years.

In terms of exchange, Portuguese institutions use the ACTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) option, which allows students to study at many European universities or institutes of higher education if they choose.

In this post, we’ve created a list of institutions in Portugal that provide the best tuition prices as well as high academic potential. Any student can be concerned about their finances, but have no fear! We are certain that the information provided in this article will provide you with a comprehensive picture of what Portuguese institutions have to offer.

How many universities are there in Portugal?

Universities have existed in Portugal from the early 13th century. However, as of 2019, the country has about 20 public higher education institutions, as well as a number of private and polytechnic universities.

Is it possible to study in Portugal just in English?

In Portuguese universities, the major language of instruction is Portuguese. However, numerous institutions also offer English-taught programs, so it’s only a question of going through the university brochure to see what courses are available.

International students may find studying in Portugal challenging. We’ve put up a guide on How to Study in Portugal for International Students to assist international students with this procedure. If you’re interested in learning more about the needed materials, application procedure, and student visa application, check out this guide!

What are the living expenses for a student at a Portuguese university?
Because there are many inexpensive colleges in Portugal for international students, tuition costs and the cost of living are often regarded to be significantly lower than in most European nations. The average cost of tuition at a single university is about $1500 USD each academic year, while the cost of living is around $900 USD per month.

International students can study for free in Portugal in a variety of ways. If you’re interested, check out How to Study for Free in Portugal (9 Steps).

Is it possible for overseas students to work in Portugal?

EU/EEA international students can work without limitations at most European universities (especially those in EU member states). Students from outside the EU/EEA, on the other hand, can work part-time for up to 20 hours per week on a casual basis.

Universities in Portugal’s Neighborhood with a Low Cost of Attendance

There are a number of good institutions that offer a high-quality education at a reasonable cost. Look at them!

Cheapest Universities in Portugal for International Students

1. University of Porto

The Institution of Porto was founded in 1911 and is a public research university. This prestigious school, which is located in the lovely city of Porto, is the country’s second biggest university, with over 30,000 students enrolled.

The university’s academic profile includes 15 schools of study and other academic sub-departments, all of which are distributed over three main sites.

The university provides over 600 courses and degrees of study at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels via various faculties. The institution also places a great emphasis on research and development, giving the campus amenities a strong scientific edge.

This low-cost university in Portugal today houses over 50 world-class research organizations, all of which contribute significantly to the potential. Furthermore, the university’s worldwide quality grows with each passing year.

Approximately 15% of the present student cohort is made up of foreign students from over 100 different countries outside of Portugal.

The university has consistently been listed among the top 10 Portuguese institutions of higher education, as well as in the top 300 greatest universities in the world, due to its excellent academic capacity (according to the ARU Rankings).

2. University of Lisbon

The University of Lisbon, located in the capital city of Lisbon, is a public research university that is now the country’s largest institution of higher learning.

The institution was founded in 2013 as a result of a merger between the old University of Lisbon and the Technical University of Lisbon, but it has a long history dating back to the late 13th century.

Over 18 main faculties and institutes of study make up the academic organization, which focuses on a wide range of subjects ranging from law, science, and medicine to geography, economics, and pharmaceutical studies. The university provides a total of over 400 majors and courses of study to its student population through various institutions.

As of 2019, this prestigious school has over 45,000 students, which is one of the reasons it is considered the country’s largest university. The large number of English-taught degree programs is another aspect that attracts international students.

Students benefit from the university’s position in the capital city, which exposes them to the Portuguese culture and friendly society, as well as providing them with unique possibilities compared to other institutions.


3. University Institute of Lisbon

The University Institute of Lisbon is the next university on our list of the cheapest universities in Portugal (Institute Universitario de Lisboa or the ISCTE). The institute, which was founded in 1972 and is a relatively new addition to the Portuguese higher education system, has grown into a varied and powerful educational centre with over 9000 students enrolled.

It began as a business school that specialized on business studies and labor science education. It now has four academic schools: a business school, a school of social and human sciences, a school of sociology and public policy, and a school of technology and architecture.

In collaboration with other schools such as the University of Lisbon, the campus is located in the Cidade Universitaria municipality. The Portuguese Business Research Institute and the Institute of Telecommunications are two more cutting-edge research institutes.

The ISCTE has evolved into a full-fledged research institution that is among the best in the country, thanks to its rising dominance in academics and research. The institute also offers degrees at various levels, including undergraduate, postgraduate, doctorate, and short-term programs.

4. University of Minho

The Institution of Minho is a public university with campuses located throughout the country’s northern regions.

The institution was founded in 1973 with the goal of introducing the notion of “new universities” to the country. This was a watershed moment in Portugal’s higher education system, with a slew of new schools springing up all throughout the nation.

However, due to stormy circumstances, the management chose to divide the campus into sub-campuses, and as a result, this great school is mostly located in Braga and Guimaraes.

This low-cost university in Portugal is also one of the largest in the northern areas, with a student population of over 20,000 (as of 2019).

Despite its young age, the university has grown into a world-class institution that is routinely listed among the top 100 institutions under 50 years old. The Times Higher Education system has also been named among the world’s top 500 colleges.

The institution has numerous academic schools that include subjects including medicine, architecture, social sciences, engineering, law,  sciences, and psychology. For its student population, the institution offers more than 100 degrees in total.


5. University of the Azores

The Institution of the Azores is the sole public research university outside of Portugal’s mainland, located on the Azores islands. This institution was established in 1976, shortly after Portugal’s Carnation Revolution, with the goal of improving the country’s sustainable development and higher education.

It is essentially formed of three primary campuses that are situated in three distinct locations of the Azores, with a student enrolment of over 5000. The university’s unusual setting allows for a fascinating study experience, yet it continues to attract a huge number of international students on an annual basis through its numerous exchange programs.

The university is divided into numerous schools and departments of study. Although Portuguese is the primary language of instruction, the institution continues to emphasize the provision of many English-language courses for international students.


6. University of Algarve

The University of Algarve is a public research university with campuses in Faro and Portimao. The institution, which was founded in 1979 as part of a new generation of Portuguese universities, is one of the oldest in the country.

Since then, it has grown into a globally recognized school with over 8000 students enrolled. Approximately 20% of the student body is made up of international students from more than 70 countries.

This low-cost university in Portugal focuses on “Sea, Health, Food & Wellbeing, Arts & Heritage, and Tourism,” although its academic programs are generally of excellent quality.

7. University of Coimbra

The University of Coimbra, which was founded in 1290, has a reputation for being one of the world’s oldest institutions still in existence.

Nonetheless, it is a prestigious public university with a campus in Lisbon that was relocated to Coimbra. The city is recognized for being one of the most varied and colorful in all of Lisbon, with a plethora of traditions available to its students.

Currently, the institution has over 25,000 students who have access to one of the country’s most comprehensive education systems. Humanities, medicine, law, engineering, social science, technology, and sports are among the eight faculties that make up the university



With approximately 12% of its student body coming from outside the country, the university tries to retain a strong international orientation. Despite its excellent academic requirements, one advantage of the university is its lower tuition rates, which is why it is well worth considering applying.

8. Catholic University of Lisbon

Tuition fees: From EUR 5500
Link to the university website

The Catholic Institution of Lisbon, a public university in the capital of Lisbon, rounds up our list of inexpensive universities in Portugal. It is the country’s only government-run institution that works in collaboration with the Catholic Church.

The institution, which was founded in 1967 with a concentration on Philosophy education, today has a student body of approximately 11,000 students. It also has 18 faculties of study and is home to prestigious schools like the Catolica Lisbon School of Business and Economics.

I hope you found this post on low-cost universities in Portugal useful. Visit the Cheap Tuition Category if you’re interested!


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