Almost 50,000 students placed in higher education, only 16% left out


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Almost 50,000 students were placed in the first phase of the National Competition for Access to Higher Education (CNAES), a figure slightly lower than last year, but which represents the entry of 84% of candidates.

Of the 59,073 students who have now applied to higher education, 49,438 have been placed, 0.7% less than in the same phase of the competition held last year, according to data released by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education (MCTES).

More than half of the candidates (56%) managed to stay in their first choice, with nine out of ten (87%) staying in one of their first three choices.

Of the 1,119 higher education courses that were available in this first phase of the competition, the majority had all their places filled, with only 305 courses still having places available.

In total, there were 5,212 places left for the second phase of the CNAES, which starts on Monday with 1.4% fewer places than last year.

Only four higher education institutions currently have zero unfilled vacancies: the Nursing Schools of Lisbon, Porto and Coimbra and ISCTE – Instituto Universitário de Lisboa.

Some polytechnic institutes are once again the least sought after and have the most vacancies, such as the Polytechnic Institute of Bragança (which has 944 places available), Viseu (462) and Braga (339 places).

The universities of Lisbon, Porto and Coimbra opened the most places for the first phase of the CNAES (7,424 places, 4,706 and 3,396 respectively) and were also the most desired, with more students putting their courses as their first choice: 9,066 candidates chose the University of Lisbon first and 7,576 the University of Porto.

The figures released by MCTES show that there are once again institutions that have opened up places on courses that no students applied for: 38 courses, the majority of which are in polytechnic institutes and in the field of engineering.

On the other hand, Aerospace Engineering courses continue to be among the most sought-after and with the highest entry averages, in a group of 14 courses – including Medicine – in which only students with an average mark above 18 were admitted.

The results of the first phase of the competition are available on the website of the Directorate-General for Higher Education ( as of 00:00 on Sunday and students who wish to do so now have until September 5 to apply for the second phase of CNAES.

The 5,000 or so vacancies left over from this first phase are available on the DGES website, and on September 4 the vacancies that have now been filled but for which students have not registered or enrolled will be available again.

Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi, CEO and founder of Portugal Pulse, has led career that spans multiple continents and industries. Born in Paris and later immigrating to Tel Aviv, Israel, Moti's background uniquely positions him at the intersection of European and Middle Eastern cultures. He holds a Law License from Ono College, reflecting his multifaceted interests in law, media, technology, and culture.    Moti's love affair with Portugal began in 2016 when he founded EASY NATIONALITY, an immigration office focused on aiding the Sephardic community in the wake of Portugal's law of return for Sephardic Jews. This endeavor demonstrated his commitment to creating meaningful social and cultural bridges.    In 2018, he launched Hadshot Portugal, the first-ever news website about Portugal in Hebrew. Recognizing the importance of bringing Portuguese culture and news to a broader audience, Moti took the step of immigrating to Lisbon in 2023, where he founded both Portugal Pulse and Portugal France. These platforms aim to offer comprehensive coverage of Portuguese news, events, and culture to the English and French-speaking worlds, respectively.    Moti's vision extends beyond news dissemination. He aspires to be an ambassador for Portuguese culture and to strengthen the connections among Portuguese diaspora communities worldwide. In pursuit of this ambitious goal, Moti founded Aliança Portugueses in 2021. Through this initiative, he aims to bring together Portuguese communities, creating a network of individuals and organizations bound by their love for Portugal.

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