An agreement among the Macao government, the Portuguese Institute of the Orient and Oporto University in northern Portugal may smooth the way for Macao people to study at the university, the Macao Higher Education Bureau says.

The bureau issued a written statement saying it has reached agreement with the institute and the university to cooperate in turning out people bilingual in Chinese and Portuguese.

The statement says the language training will make it easier for Macao people to pursue their first degrees or postgraduate degrees at Oporto University.

The university and the institute will offer prospective students one year of instruction in Portuguese, the first half to be given in Macao and the second in Portugal, to make them sufficiently proficient in the language to study in Oporto, the Higher Education Bureau says.