5 Affordable Universities in Portugal 2024-2025

Portugal is a Southwestern European country situated along the Atlantic coast of the Iberian Peninsula. Its capital and largest city, Lisbon, is a hilly coastal area. As of 2024, the population in the country is around 10,301,000. Here, we will be looking at some of the best affordable universities in Portugal for international students.

Moreover, this fascinating place is known for being one of Europe’s oldest countries. It is also famous for its scenic beaches such as Matosinhos Beach, impressive buildings like the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos, and of course, the mouthwatering food, much like the Francesinha Sandwich, Porco Preto, and Pastel de nata.

In Portugal, the education system is organized into three levels. The first level is pre-primary education for children aged three to five, followed by basic education for children from the ages of six to 14. Afterward, secondary education is the third level for those who are 15 to 17 years old.

Once a student successfully finishes these three levels, they may decide to advance to higher education and pursue it at a university or a polytechnic institute. As of 2019, the most popular fields of study for students in the country include engineering, manufacturing & construction, business, administration, and law.

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Cheap Universities in Portugal

1. University of Minho

  • Tuition Fee:
    • Undergraduate – €2,000 to €6,500
    • Postgraduate – Varies
  • Tuition Link

The University of Minho is a Portuguese public university divided into three campuses and is one of the cheapest universities in Portugal for international students. The first one is the Gualtar Campus located in the picture-perfect Braga city. The other two are the Azurém and Couros Campuses, both situated in the historic city of Guimarães.

Furthermore, the learning center has a number of remarkable alumni such as political scientist Nuno P. Monteiro, psychologist & famed novelist Ana Cristina Silva, award-winning scientist Rui L. Reis, and computer scientist Alexandra Silva.

The institution boasts of its orchestra, 108 emergency fund scholarships, and 30 patent applications. Moreover, as of 2024, there are 19,632 students at the university. These students are spread out across the schools and institutes at the university, which includes School of Architecture, School of Sciences, School of Law, School of Economics & Management, School of Engineering, School of Medicine, School of Nursing, School of Psychology, Institute of Social Sciences, Institute of Education, Institute of Arts & Humanities, and Research Institute I3Bs.

When it comes to tuition fees, the exact amount depends on the student’s chosen course. Furthermore, it must be noted that international students pay a higher amount than national students.

2. University of the Algarve

  • Tuition Fee:
    • Bachelor’s – €3,000 to €4,000
    • Master’s – €2,000 to €4,000
    • PhD – €2,000 to €6,600
  • Tuition Link

A public center of learning established in 1979, the University of Algarve is located in the South of Portugal. It is an esteemed university, thanks to its excellence in research and high-quality teaching.

Furthermore, this affordable university in Portugal offers a wide range of courses for all students and through the Faculty of Human and Social Sciences (UAlg), Faculty of Science and Technology (FCT), Faculty of Economics (FE), Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences (FMCB), School of Education and Communication (ESEC), School of Management, Hospitality and Tourism (ESGHT), School of Health (ESS), and Institute of Engineering (ISE).

At the university, there are nine areas of residences, 14 amphitheaters, more than 31 study areas, and various other facilities. Currently, 8,500 students are pursuing their education at the University of Algarve.

For tuition fees, it varies depending on the student’s chosen program of study.

3. University of Lisbon

The University of Lisbon is a prestigious institute of higher education in Portugal and a leading one in Europe. The public research university is the largest one in the country, and it was officially established in 2013 after its merger with the Technical University of Lisbon.

The highly regarded university is complete with facilities such as student halls, museums, dining halls, gardens, sports and health centers, and bookstores. Moreover, the remarkable institution boasts of its long list of notable alumni which includes Angolan fiction writer Pepetela, physician & Portugal’s national drug coordinator João Castel-Branco Goulão, Cape Verdean politician José Luís Jesus, mathematician & founder of Portuguese Mathematical Society Pilar Ribeiro, and film director Ricardo Costa.

Similar to other public research universities, tuition fees at this learning center depend on the student’s chosen study program.

4. ISCTE – Lisbon University Institute

ISCTE – University Institute of Lisbon is a public institution of tertiary education founded in 1972. It is considered one of Portugal’s leading modern universities. The institute boasts of its top-quality education, groundbreaking research, and diverse environment. Currently, there are 10,000 students at the university, and 20% of these are from over 80 different countries all around the globe.

In line with this, the university is big on internationalization strategies. As a matter of fact, ISCTE actively works with universities in various countries all over Europe and worldwide. Moreover, there are also joint degree programs offered at the institution.

Students can choose from a large number of course offerings from any of ISCTE’s four schools: School of Social Sciences, School of Sociology & Public Policy, School of Technology & Architecture, and Business School.

Tuition fees depend on a student’s chosen course at this affordable university in Portugal. Most of the courses have a fee of €7,000 per year, while only five cost €5,500 for each academic year. New students must consider associated service fees like the application fee, reservation fee, and enrollment fee.

5. Católica Lisbon School of Business & Economics

Católica Lisbon School of Business & Economics, otherwise known as Católica Lisbon SBE or CLSBE, is a prominent Portuguese business school. It is the first to be accredited with the Triple Crown. Besides, it is the only one with the CFA® University Affiliation Program.

This cheap university in Portugal has a diverse community of international students of over 60 different nationalities. In line with this, the university has 145 ongoing partnerships with top universities worldwide such as Aston Business School, BI Norwegian Business School, Carnegie-Mellon University, City University of Hong Kong, and Queen’s School of Business.

New students must note that enrollment into their chosen program entails paying the tuition fee, application fee, and enrollment & first registration fee.

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