Recently in Portugal there has been a substantial increase in the number of foreign students in higher education. This research aims to analyze the evolution of foreign students’ enrolments between 2005/6 to 2012/13, particularly the ones corresponding to the first curricular year. The paper explores the official data by nationality, aggregated in four groups: the African Portuguese speaking countries and Timor-Leste, Brasil, Europe and the remaining countries. The main trends during this period are the exceptional increase from the Brazilian students, the decline of students from African Portuguese speaking countries, and the growth of European students and from the remaining countries.
Keywords: foreign students, higher education, Portugal