A fifteen-year free education is currently being offered to residents, that includes a three-year kindergarten, followed by a six-year primary education and a six-year secondary education. The literacy rate of the territory is 93.5%. The illiterates are mainly among the senior residents aged 65 or above; the younger generation, for example the population aged 15–29, has a literacy rate of above 99%. Currently, there is only one school in Macau where Portuguese is the medium of instruction.

Macau does not have its own universal education system; non-tertiary schools follow either the British, the Chinese, or the Portuguese education system. There are currently 10 tertiary educational institutions in the region, four of them being public.In 2006, the Programme for International Student Assessment, a worldwide test of 15-year-old school children's scholastic performance coordinated by OECD, ranked Macau as the fifth and sixth in science and problem solving respectively. Nevertheless, education levels in Macau are low among high income regions. According to the 2006 by-census, among the resident population aged 14 and above, only 51.8% has a secondary education and 12.6% has a tertiary education.

As prescribed by the Basic Law of Macau Chapter VI Article 121, the Government of Macau shall, on its own, formulate policies on education, including policies regarding the educational system and its administration, thelanguage of instruction, the allocation of funds, the examination system, the recognition of educational qualifications and the system of academic awards so as to promote educational development. The government shall also in accordance with law, gradually institute a compulsory education system. Community organizations and individuals may, in accordance with law, run educational undertakings of various kinds.

The University of Macau (UM), formerly known as the University of East Asia which was founded in 1981, is situated on the island of Taipa of the Macao Special Administrative Region, overlooking the coast of Macao and three bridges linking the peninsula and the island. UM has more than 8,600 students, including over 2,500 postgraduates. At present UM's academic units include the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Faculty of Business Administration, Faculty of Education, Faculty of Health Sciences, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Social Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences and Honours College. To meet the needs of the ever-changing society, UM offers 33 bachelor's programmes, 41 master's programmes and 38 doctoral programmes. The main medium of instruction is English while some programmes are taught in Chinese or Portuguese. These programmes underscore both learning and practice and most of them offer internship opportunities at local or overseas institutions. The University of Macau boasts an outstanding faculty team consisting of more than 470 full-time faculty members from around the world, with most of them holding PhD degrees awarded by world-famous universities such as the University of Oxford, the University of California, Berkeley, California Institute of Technology, the University of Melbourne and Peking University, etc. The faculty also includes world-renowned scholars such as Nobel laureate in Economics and Academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering.

Macau University of Science and Technology is a university located in Macau, China on the Cotai Strip opposite the Venetian Macau on Taipa Island, next to the Macau International Airport. It is a private institution managed by the MUST Foundation and the first college established after the handover of Macau to the People’s Republic of China. The university offers full-time and part-time programs.

MUST occupies 212,000 square meters. The Olympic-standard stadium and a football field are available to the students and the public.

The General Studies programs, the School of Graduate Studies and the School of Continuing Studies offer a broad range of programs. MUST is authorized to award Ph.D. degrees, master degrees and bachelor degrees in their residence programs. The university enrolls 5,000 full-time students. MUST recruits students from all over the world as well as 20 provinces and cities in Mainland China for its undergraduate and graduate programs.