Portugal offers free and compulsory education for students until the age of 18 after the completion of the 12th grade. Students can decide whether they wish to study at private (paid) or public schools (free). Nursery and kindergarten education is publicly funded and free but not obligatory. Students until grade 9 learn all the basics of primary education. After which students join a secondary educational institute in Portugal. This can either be a secondary school that focuses students toward universities providing general secondary courses in various subjects. Or students can join a technical/vocational school that teaches the pupils the necessary skills to follow a specific profession. Both however must offer Portuguese language, physical education, philosophy, foreign language and religious education.
Universities in Portugal are required by law to have their tuition fees at least at 1.3 times the minimum wage of Portugal. This does little to cap tuition fees and so universities are free to set any price they wish so long as it is above the current minimum wage of Portugal. Therefore, Bachelor students often pay approximately 1000 Euros per academic year whilst PhD student can pay approximately 3000Euros per academic year. Prices are subject to change and differ between universities and the programs students desire to study, therefore student are recommended to check universities themselves for more accurate information on tuition fees.
To apply to a Portuguese university for an undergraduate degree, students must first have their secondary education diploma officially notarized and recognized by a Portuguese embassy or consulate in the student's home country. After this has been completed, students are required to submit their application through the Portuguese centralized online system, "candidatura online". (Most of this process is in Portuguese).
For post graduate applications, students are asked to apply to the university directly.
There are only a few programs at bachelor, masters and Doctoral level degrees that are taught in only English. The majority of programs are taught purely in Portuguese or a mixture of Portuguese and English. It is because of this that most students are required to show some form of proof of understanding the Portuguese language to be admitted into Portuguese universities.