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The proportion of young Portuguese pursuing their studies after completing compulsory education continues to rise — 58.7% of the students who complete secondary school pursue higher education studies.

The EU's target for 2020 of having 40% of the young Europeans with a higher education qualification has been reached and surpassed, whereas Portugal's rate is currently at 33.5%.

There is an increasing number of Portuguese students accessing tertiary education. Nearly 80% of the students who completed science-humanities courses, and 20% of the students who completed professional or vocational courses have moved on to higher education. 

Among the students who completed science-humanities courses in 2016/17, the percentage of students entering into higher education was higher in the Northern and Central regions. In some districts of those regions, the percentage was higher than 90%. The Alentejo and the Algarve regions, in turn, have the lowest rates of students pursuing tertiary education.

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