Yearly university fees around the world


70%Country

19 September 2018

How do university fees in the UK compare to those of the rest of the world? We tracked down the minimum yearly university fees in 59 countries around the world to answer this question.

Prospective students balking at the size of a UK student loan won’t be surprised that the UK is the fifth most expensive, at £9,250, but the USA sits comfortably at the top with yearly fees of almost £20,000. See the map above for the rest of our findings.

If you’re an aspiring student who’d consider leaving the UK for your studies, it’s worth taking into account living costs as well as the university fees themselves. In the table below, we’ve combined the uni fees with estimated yearly living costs for each country’s biggest city, so you can compare the total costs you could expect in each.

Many countries in the EU offer free tuition to other EU citizens (which, for now, we still are). However, higher living costs in these countries compared with some of the Latin American and Middle Eastern countries mean that they might still not be the cheapest options, although they do still turn out significantly cheaper than staying in the UK.

If you really want to study on a shoestring, our analysis suggests that Turkey could be your best bet, with yearly fees of only £468, and cheap living costs. In Istanbul, for example, you could get by with less than £5,000 for the whole year.

The full list of countries

Country Minimum yearly fee for students from UK Most populated city Estimated yearly living cost Total costs
United States £19,968 New York £22,281 £42,249
New Zealand £14,335 Auckland £13,649 £27,984
Australia £11,453 Sydney £16,358 £27,811
Canada £10,376 Toronto £14,060 £24,436
United Kingdom £9,250 London £17,368 £26,618
Hong Kong £8,963 Hong Kong £18,604 £27,567
Singapore £7,794 Singapore £13,934 £21,728
Israel £7,015 Jerusalem £12,892 £19,907
Lebanon £6,266 Beirut £10,141 £16,407
Cuba £5,250 Havana £4,954 £10,204
Saudi Arabia £4,676 Riyadh £7,617 £12,293
Chile £4,455 Santiago £8,453 £12,908
Uruguay £4,318 Montevideo £8,919 £13,237
Hungary £4,287 Budapest £7,342 £11,629
Qatar £4,053 Doha £14,409 £18,462
South Africa £4,053 Johannesburg £7,611 £11,664
Czech Republic £3,507 Prague £8,668 £12,175
Japan £3,227 Tokyo £14,249 £17,475
Russia £3,040 Moscow £8,192 £11,232
China £2,728 Shanghai £9,623 £12,351
Pakistan £2,728 Karachi £3,847 £6,575
Ireland £2,695 Dublin £16,690 £19,385
Latvia £2,695 Riga £7,859 £10,554
Bulgaria £2,604 Sofia £6,205 £8,809
Taiwan £2,572 Taipei* £10,417 £12,989
India £2,338 Mumbai £5,354 £7,692
Indonesia £2,338 Jakarta £6,495 £8,833
Ukraine £1,949 Kiev £4,931 £6,879
Romania £1,796 Bucharest £6,198 £7,994
Poland £1,793 Warsaw £7,767 £9,559
Netherlands £1,752 Amsterdam £15,791 £17,543
Belarus £1,559 Minsk £5,449 £7,008
South Korea £1,559 Seoul £13,520 £15,079
Colombia £1,510 Bogota £5,769 £7,280
Malaysia £1,284 Kuala Lumpur £6,265 £7,548
Switzerland £1,013 Zürich £22,398 £23,411
Estonia £898 Tallinn £8,757 £9,655
Lithuania £898 Vilnius £7,747 £8,645
Portugal £853 Lisbon £9,290 £10,143
Belgium £812 Brussels £12,480 £13,292
Maldives £779 Malé £12,576 £13,355
Italy £764 Rome £11,989 £12,752
Thailand £714 Bangkok £8,743 £9,457
Spain £624 Madrid £10,832 £11,455
Turkey £468 Istanbul £4,432 £4,899
Iceland £366 Reykjavik £19,109 £19,475
Mexico £273 Mexico City £6,501 £6,773
Germany £225 Berlin £12,097 £12,322
France £170 Paris £15,570 £15,739
Kazakhstan £156 Almaty £5,246 £5,402
Norway £27 Oslo £17,679 £17,707
Argentina £0 Bueno Aires £6,535 £6,535
Austria £0 Vienna £12,394 £12,394
Brazil £0 Sāo Paulo £6,965 £6,965
Denmark £0 Copenhagen £15,550 £15,550
Finland 0 Helsinki £13,344 £13,344
Greece £0 Athens £8,472 £8,472
Malta £0 Malta* £9,426 £9,426
Sweden £0 Stockholm £13,430 £13,430

More useful facts about studying abroad

Methodology

The university fees used in this piece were taken from TopUniversities study destination guides.

Where available, the cheapest option for an undergraduate degree was used. All fees are for UK nationals studying at a public university.

  • If a total course fee was supplied, this was divided by the length of the course.
  • Similarly if a semester fee was supplied this was multiplied by the number of semesters in each year to give a total year cost.
  • If a per-credit cost was supplied, the year cost was calculated by multiplying the credit cost by the number of credits required to pass.
  • Where a university course incurred administration fees this was divided by the course length and added to the total to give an accurate representation of the cost of the degree.

The cost of living in each city was taken from cost-of-living site Numbeo. We used Numbeo’s estimate for a single person’s living costs excluding rent in each city, and added on a third of the average rent for a three-bedroom flat outside of the city centre.

*In Taiwan the largest city is actually New Taipei. However, the cost-of-living data was unavailable for this city, so we used Taipei (the capital) instead.

“The rise of technology and cheap flights has made the prospect of studying abroad much more realistic and less daunting than it was for previous generations. A large amount of international courses are being taught in English, and if British students don’t feel like our universities offer them value for money then they won’t hesitate to consider alternatives.

Something worth keeping an eye on is whether Brexit leads the UK to leave the European Economic Area (EEA) as well as the EU. In this scenario, it is likely that tuition fees for Brits would have to be negotiated with each country, increasing the likelihood that they might shoot up. Also bear in mind that traditional student loans aren’t available when studying abroad, although some countries do offer schemes to help foreign students fund their stay”.

– Jon Ostler, UK CEO at finder.com

For all media enquiries, please contact

Matt Mckenna
UK Communications Manager
M: +44 747 921 7816
T: +44 20 3828 1338
matt.mckenna@finder.com@MichHutchison/in/matthewmckenna2

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