Top-ranked universities in Portugal

Portugal is regarded as one of the European countries that have a high rate of education. Portugal is also an attractive and accessible destination for international students seeking a degree abroad in Europe. If you want to study in Portugal, then you need to know which of its universities are right for you. This article will help you list the top-ranked universities in Portugal.

1. Catholic University of Portugal


One of the top-ranked universities in Portugal is the Catholic University of Portugal (UCP). This university is privately funded and recognized by the Portuguese State as a free, autonomous university institution of public utility.

UCP was established in 1967 and it rapidly gained a solid reputation for the high quality of its teaching and the strength of its research, for the fruitful debates of ideas that it encourages, for its focus on internationalization.

UCP degree programs and the resulting qualifications have the same value and effects like those from state universities.

Since it started operating, in 2009, A3ES (the Portuguese Evaluation, Quality-assurance, and Accreditation Agency for Higher Education) has been accrediting and evaluating our degree programs.

2. University of Nova de Lisboa

top-ranked universities in Portugal


The first university was founded in 1289 in Coimbra, in response to the growing need for education, as well as communication with other European universities. This tradition has remained until today when universities are fundamental institutions in Portuguese society.

During its early years, the University concentrated its offers mainly on postgraduate and specialized programs, but since late 1977, NOVA has not stopped expanding its offers.

Basically, NOVA is a decentralized university; its faculties and institutes enjoy great autonomy. Currently, NOVA has 20,077 registered students and 1,800 teachers and researchers.

With more than 20,000 students, NOVA University has 2,527 foreign students of 109 nationalities.

Above all, the NOVA University of Lisbon (NOVA) offers all its students a vibrant and relaxed atmosphere in an appropriate environment, characterized by a high international profile and a close relationship between professors and students.

3. University of Lisbon

top-ranked universities in Portugal


The University of Lisbon is the largest university in Portugal and is based in the capital of Lisbon. Its history goes back several centuries until the end of 1200, but it acquired its university status thanks to a merger in 2013 between the Technical University of Lisbon and the Universidade de Lisboa.

Currently, this elite university provides education to more than 45,000 students, which makes it one of the largest by the number of students enrolled in Western Europe.

Academically composed of 18 study schools, Ulisboa offers a series of around 400 degrees and courses of study to its students. The vast majority of these programs are taught in English for their international student community.

The university receives more than 1,000 foreign students annually. Thanks to the location of the university in the city of Lisbon, students are exposed to the rich Portuguese culture and society.

4. University of Porto

top-ranked universities in Portugal


Located in Portugal’s second-largest city, the origins of the University of Porto (UP) date back to the 18th century, when it provided education in science, arts, and humanities, before gaining official university status in 1911.

UP today comprises 14 faculties, 15 schools, including a business school, and 51 scientific research institutions spread across three campuses. It offers around 600 programs, from degrees to professional training courses.

It provides a wide and diverse academic portfolio and adopts ‘hands-on’ teaching methods by way of equipping graduates with practical skills needed in the job market. Consequently, the university boasts high graduate employment rates for its graduates.

UP has the highest student population of any of Portugal’s universities, with a cohort of approximately 31,000, of which around 13% are international students representing 100 nationalities. The university’s collaborations with overseas universities have recently expanded and include projects with universities in Brazil and several African countries.

This is one of the top-ranked universities in Portugal for students to apply to continue the higher education.

5. University of Coimbra


Known for being one of the oldest universities in the world in continuous operation, the University of Coimbra is an elite public university located in the city of Coimbra, which was established in 1290. Its original headquarters was in Lisbon before its transfer to Coimbra.

The university currently provides education to some 25,000 students and is academically organized in 8 different faculties. Education is comprehensive and encompasses humanities, social sciences, medicine, law, engineering, technology, and sports.

Research plays a new role in its academic base and the university is a founding member of the prestigious group of Coimbra universities. The university also has an exceptionally high international student community of more than 10%, making it one of Portugal’s best universities for international students.

6. University of Aveiro


The University of Aveiro (UAveiro) is a public foundation under private law whose mission is to contribute to and develop graduate and postgraduate education and training, research, and cooperation with society. UAveiro is one of Portugal’s 14 public universities. It was founded in 1973 and paved the way for the creation of teaching offers in several knowledge fields. Today, UAveiro is widely recognized as one of the most innovative universities in Portugal, for the quality of its teaching and research and for its cooperation with regional and national business.

Its organization and matrix structure, encompassing University (16 departments) and Polytechnic (four schools) subsystems, stimulates knowledge exchange and cross-contamination between knowledge fields, promoting useful proximity between teaching and research, which results in a very appealing message for national and international students.

Internationalization is of major importance to the UAveiro since its foundation. In just 45 years the university moved from a very small institution into a community of 15 thousand students, collaborators, researchers, and teachers, coming from 90 different nationalities.

UAveiro is located in Aveiro, one of the most beautiful regions in the country and the third Portuguese district with the largest number of municipalities (19), which is why it is so different, diverse, and rich. Located in the central part of Portugal, Aveiro combines tradition, nature, and modernity perfectly. The main influence on the city is the Aveiro lagoon, which gives it a unique feature and makes it one of the river and water marvels on the Portuguese coast.

In conclusion, here are the top-ranked universities in Portugal. It is a good choice to study abroad and explore wonderful places in Portugal.

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