Life in Portugal: Everything You Need to Know About Education in Portugal

Portugal is renowned for its natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. If you are planning to move here, you need to find the best schools for your children. Education in Portugal is free until the age of 18. The education system includes both public and private schools. In the last decades, this European country has made enormous efforts in the area of the population’s academic achievement.

The length of compulsory education is nine years. The education is regulated by the state. Many students receive financial assistance for extra expenses, including transport, school meals, and textbooks. The Ministry of Education is responsible for the administration of public schools in Portugal. The structure of the education system can be classified in several categories, including basic education, secondary education, and higher education.

Basic education continues for eight years. Students receive a Certificate or Diploma after three years. Secondary education is provided at all private, public, and cooperative schools. Higher education includes polytechnic and university education. The universities of Lisbon, Porto, Coimbra, Minho, and Algarve are some of the top universities in Portugal. Founded in 1290, the University of Coimbra is the oldest university in the country. These educational institutions feature special programs for international students, former students, sportsmen, and students from other universities.

Students must attend school in the area where they live, or in the area where their parents are employed. If you want to move to Portugal, you might need to register your child early to guarantee a place at the school of your choice. You will need to provide a number of documents, including proof of identity, three passport photos, health certificate, registration papers, and a leaving certificate. Pre-school attendance is optional.

Subjects taught in Portuguese schools include mathematics, environment studies, artistic education, English language, Portuguese language, physical education, history and geography of Portugal, natural sciences, and philosophy. Professional courses include marketing, administration, civil construction, sports, social action, and equipment design. Students with artistic skills can take attend specialized courses such as dance courses, music courses, and drama courses.

At the end of each school year, pupils are assessed in a National Exam. Those who obtain good results will go to the next stage. The university system in Portugal is based on research and theory. Students can obtain degrees in economics, law, medicine, and psychology. Polytechnic education aims to develop critical analysis skills and provide a higher level cultural education. You can find English-speaking international schools in the Algarve and Lisbon.

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