B1.03. Which are the conditions for European Union students with foreign secondary education to enter Higher Education in Portugal?
Last Updated 2 years ago

European Union students with foreign secondary education can apply for access and entry into a Bachelor or Integrated Master through the National Access Route, since:

a) Foreign secondary education course must be equivalent to Portuguese secondary education

To obtain equivalence from a foreign secondary education course to Portuguese secondary education, you must apply for a certificate of equivalence.

  • The equivalence certificate is issued by secondary schools in Portugal.
  • The equivalence certificate must identify the foreign secondary education course and its final classification, on a scale from 0 to 200 points.
  • You can find more information about foreign equivalences here

b) Must take final foreign national exams

To replace the entrance exams, the foreign final exams must satisfy, cumulatively, the following conditions:

  • Have a national scope – these are exams required for entry into higher education in that country, which are constituted as nationally-based exams or have national recognition. If no exams are required in the country for admission to higher education, are considered the final exams in foreign secondary education subjects that are national or local exams in the foreign country and are recognized at national level;
  • Be homologous exams of entrance exams;
  • Are valid for replacement of entrance exams. The exams are valid in the year they are taken and in the two following years (in the 2019 application, only can be used foreign exams performed in 2017 and/or 2018 and/or 2019).

c) Foreign final exams must be counterparts to the Portuguese entrance exames

The homology of foreign exams is set annually (until the 31th may of the year before the application) by the National Commission for Access to Higher Education (CNAES).

To apply for a specific academic year, consult the DGES website

d) Portuguese national final exams

Candidates holding a foreign secondary education course may choose to ask for the replacement of the entrance exams by foreign final exams or to take only the final national exams of Portuguese secondary education.

If they intend to use their foreign secondary education exams and simultaneously take Portuguese national final exams, the following applies:

  • when the replacement of one or more foreign exams isrequested, they cannot use the classification of the Portuguese secondary education exam, even if this classification is higher, when they have taken a similar foreign exam;
  • when they have not taken a homologous foreign exam, they can resort to the Portuguese exam classification to prove the entrance exam.

e) If you intend to apply for a course for which the completion of prerequisites is required, this will also be a condition of access

Application instructions for the National Access Route - How to substitute the exames

For the application:

Access the online application platform:

  • With the Portuguese identification number – citizen card or identity card. The identification number will be requested on the online application platform.
  • With an internal number – candidates who do not have a Portuguese identification number need an internal number to access the platform, which must be requested by the candidate, at a Higher Education Access Office - GAES (gaes@uevora.pt).

Request the access password:

The password request is made on the online application platform. The candidate indicates the identification number/internal number, the name, the e-mail address he/she wishes to use and the place of delivery of the request (you can choose a secondary school or a Higher Education Access Office).

Then, the system sends a message to the specified e-mail, with the confirmation link. By accessing this link, the applicant must print the order confirmation receipt and deliver it in person to the secondary school or GAES, previousely indicated in the order for confirmation.

If the candidate is a minor, the receipt for the request must be signed by the guardian or by someone who demonstrates that they exercise parental or guardianship.

After validation of the request, the password is sent to the candidate's email.

The access password assigned is only valid in the year to which the application refers.

The access password can be used in all application stages of the same year.

Activation Sheet:

Candidates who do not take national final exams for Portuguese secondary education must request an Activation Form from a GAES. The Activation Form contains a code that is requested in the online application and without which it isn't possible to proceed.

Online form:

Once logged in to the online application platform, the candidate must complete the application form. Candidates who intend to substitute foreign final exams for their entrance exams must indicate this intention in the appropriate place on the online form.

The online application form for the replacement of entrance exams by foreign exams must be completed in each of the phases to which the candidate applies (1st phase and/or 2nd phase and/or 3rd phase)

In case of omission or error in filling out the online form, the candidate doesn't benefit from the replacement of the entrance exams.

Documents to upload:

The request for replacement of entrance exams by foreign final exams and the filling of the online form must be instructed with the upload of all documents that support the request.

  • Document attesting the completion of the foreign secondary education course, indicating the final grade of the course.
  • Document attesting to the completion of the foreign final exams, with indication of the respective classification and the date of completion of the exams.
Note: These documents must be issued by the legally competent authority of the country to which the foreign secondary education qualification refers.

  • Certificate of equivalence of the foreign education course to Portuguese secondary education, indicating the final classification of the course, converted to a scale from 0 to 200 points.
  • Other documents that the candidates deem necessary.
Foreign documents must be authenticated by the consular services or embassies of Portugal in the country to which them relates, or by the consular services or embassies of foreign countries in Portugal, or with the Hague Apostille, for countries that have adhered to the Hague Convention;

Foreign documents in other languages than English, French and Spanish must also be translated into Portuguese by an official translator.

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