The government of Portugal announced that the number of students with scholarships in higher education has increased by four percent, now counting almost 75,000 students. The government’s +Superior program has also increased by 18 percent compared to 2020, offering over 5,200 scholarships.
According to a press release issued by the Portuguese government on April 12, this increase comes in a bid to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 through scholarships and other aids, Erudera.com reports.
Data from the beginning of the year until April 9 show that now 74,809 students in Portugal are scholarship holders, marking a four percent increase compared to 2020 with almost 2,600 scholarships offered additionally.
As the press release further reveals, around 5,225 scholarships were provided under the +Superior program, which also presented an 18 percent increase compared to last year and the largest number of scholarship holders since the program has been launched.
The + Superior Program enables students to benefit from the program, which aims to encourage and support higher education attendance by economically disadvantaged students who reside in different regions in a bid to contribute to a less demanding and demographic area.
Nearly 1,025 scholarships were provided for students with disabilities, which also records an increase of two percent compared to 2020, which means there were 20 more scholarships offered to the same category of students compared to last year.
In the meantime, 24 emergency aids were granted by the General Directorate of Higher Education (DGES) during this academic year.
The Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education (MCTES) has advised universities and colleges to create programs that should minimize the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on students.
As per the programs, since students are set to be back on campus starting from Monday, the institutions are expected to pay particular attention to students’ psychological support and be prepared to monitor the situation if necessary.
Most scholarships have been offered to the Polytechnic Institute of Bragança (744), University of Beira Interior (716), University of Trás-os-Montes & Alto Douro (609), University of Évora (469), which makes up to 5,114 scholarships annually.
In 2014-2015, around 64,824 scholarships were provided annually compared to the 2021 number that is expected to be around 81,059.
Since 1999, Portugal is also a member of the Bologna Education Process, similar to many European countries. The country counts around 50,000 international students enrolled in Portugal’s best universities, such as the University of Lisbon, Porto, and Coimbra.