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The Portuguese Council of Ministers has given its approval to a decree-law on international students earlier this month. The International Students Regulations (Estatuto do Estudante Internacional) establishes a new framework concerning tuition fees for and the admission of international students outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland and outside the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP).
From now onwards, Portuguese universities will be allowed to charge higher enrolment fees for international students as an own source of funding. In addition, universities will be entitled to reserve a contingent of admissions exclusively for international students. Moreover, the new decree-law stipulates that special entrance exams for international students have to be organised; this would verify Portuguese or English language skills, depending on the language of instruction of the respective study programme.
Already in 2012, the Council of Rectors of Portuguese Universities (CRUP) raised the issue of revised legislation on tuition fees and the admission of international students. The share of international students in Portugal amounts to 7.4 % or 28 363 students in total numbers in 2011/12. However, the vast majority will not be affected by the new student regulations, as 54.6 % come from a CPLP country and further 24.8 % from a member state of the European Union.
Portuguese government - Press release (in Portuguese)
Directorate-General for Statistics on Education and Science - Student profile 2011/2012 (in Portuguese)