"The growth rate is still temporary, only at the end of September will we have the final results, but looking at the same date as last year, the growth rate is 26 percent compared to the previous year, and we expect a very significant increase in students from Portuguese-speaking countries," said the secretary of State for Science, Technology and Higher Education, João Sobrinho Teixeira, in statements to Lusa.

These applications, he explained, are those that "were admitted to Portuguese educational institutions, and now have to go through the process of granting visas and the possibility of enrolling in Portugal, at many levels such as a degree or specialised higher technical courses".

"But for now, we have over 7,600 students who are applying, and that number could double between now and September", he referred.

For the official, the growth trend is also followed by international students, who look to Portugal as an attractive destination to study.

"With regard to international students, we had a very large return in demand, which increased again; Portugal had an exceptional growth in the number of students in recent years, in 2019 it grew 24 percent, in the previous year it had been 28 percent, and during the pandemic, in 2020, there was a regression of 4 percent”, said João Sobrinho Teixeira.

The candidacy process ends on 20 August, and the official left an appeal to international students, namely kids of Portuguese emigrant parents, to apply both in their countries and in Portugal, even if they do not intend to stay in the country later.