Education Options for School Leavers & Graduates In The Algarve
Moving to the Algarve with older children can throw up many conundrums, one being the higher education on offer in the region for university courses.
The decision is not an easy one as I myself found out with my own children (see conclusion). In this article, I will try to guide you in the right direction or at least make your decision an easier one.
With plenty of options for kids under the age of 18 including International schools and Portuguese public schools, unfortunately, after that age, the options do become limited.
Higher Education and Options in the Algarve
Higher education in Portugal is both research and professionally oriented provided by long-standing universities and modern polytechnics.
You will find that most courses are taught in the native Portuguese language, however, several can be found in English, especially at the graduate level.
Even with a high-quality education system, universities remain quite modest with their fees. It will cost you around €1,250 per year in public institutions while going private will cost you up to €4,000.
There are many affordable facilities throughout Portugal and even more attractive is the fact that the Portuguese government offers grants and scholarships to both EU and non-EU nationals.
However, in this article, we are concentrating on the Algarve region.
The University of Algarve is the Nearest Option
The University of Algarve is the only public university in the Algarve region of Portugal. It offers a range of undergraduate and graduate programs in fields such as business, tourism, marine biology, environmental science and more.
In addition, there are some private higher education institutions that offer courses in various fields including hospitality, business, and sciences.
Founded in 1979, it is a Portuguese public higher education institution located in 3 cities of the Algarve, having its headquarters and two out of its three campuses in Faro (namely the Gambelas and Penha), another campus in Portimão and one in Lagos.
The university has four faculties Tourism and Maritime Technology, Science and Technology, Health Sciences and Economics.
It is renowned for its innovative research programs especially, being a coastal region, in the areas of marine science and environmental science. Boasting a modern infrastructure and facilities including an auditorium, student housing, libraries and sports centres.
The main campus in Faro includes the majority of the university’s facilities and covers a wide selection of courses.
The campuses in Portimão and Lagos offer more specialised programs and provide better research facilities, in particular for the studies of maritime technology and tourism.
But here’s the bad news for English-speaking students in the Algarve – There are some English courses however judging from the feedback and reviews they may not meet the professionalism and requirements of the real world.
Looking at studying further afield I have added the best alternative option below.
University of Lisbon (ULisboa)
The University of Lisbon is considered one of the best universities in Portugal for international students. However, travelling from the Algarve would mean a 2-3 hours journey each way every day. Perhaps a better option would be to live on campus!
In 2013, the old University of Lisbon merged with the Technical University of Lisbon and is now considered the best university in the country.
This institution boasts high-quality education in its 18 schools and research units. It excels in several areas of study including technology, computer sciences, engineering, mathematics and physics.
As its slogan indicates “a university from Lisbon to the world,” it is truly an international facility. Providing a great personified academic living experience for international students.
With its prime location, being situated in Lisbon the colourful cultural capital city of Portugal, it boasts the largest academic sports complex in Lisbon. Add to that the cultural sites, museums, botanical gardens, and the fantastic nightlife the city have to offer!
So Lisbon is a viable option and with so much more choice than the Algarve it is worth serious consideration.
Further afield, The University of Porto is another great education option but would mean a live on-campus situation as 5-7 hours travelling to Porto is too far to be commuting every day!
A Thoughtful Conclusion
Looking at when my son left school, he reached the decision himself to go back to the UK on his own and attend university there, a decision that he has never looked back on. I guess by the age of higher education our children do become more independent and these decisions are best left to them to decide!
Google Local Guide for the Algarve. Been living in the Algarve for over 20 years and loving the experience. Now writing about and photographing the Algarve experience to share with others. Contributor to all that is Algarve on Wikipedia