Yearly university fees around the world

Georgia-Rose Johnson
by , Shopping & Travel Publisher

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

CountryMinimum yearly fee for students from UKMost populated cityEstimated yearly living costTotal costs
United States£19,968New York£22,281£42,249
New Zealand£14,335Auckland£13,649£27,984
Australia£11,453Sydney£16,358£27,811
Canada£10,376Toronto£14,060£24,436
United Kingdom£9,250London£17,368£26,618
Hong Kong£8,963Hong Kong£18,604£27,567
Singapore£7,794Singapore£13,934£21,728
Israel£7,015Jerusalem £12,892£19,907
Lebanon£6,266Beirut£10,141£16,407
Cuba£5,250Havana£4,954£10,204
Saudi Arabia£4,676Riyadh£7,617£12,293
Chile£4,455Santiago£8,453£12,908
Uruguay£4,318Montevideo£8,919£13,237
Hungary£4,287Budapest £7,342£11,629
Qatar£4,053Doha£14,409£18,462
South Africa£4,053Johannesburg£7,611£11,664
Czech Republic£3,507Prague£8,668£12,175
Japan£3,227Tokyo£14,249£17,475
Russia£3,040Moscow£8,192£11,232
China£2,728Shanghai£9,623£12,351
Pakistan£2,728Karachi£3,847£6,575
Ireland£2,695Dublin£16,690£19,385
Latvia£2,695Riga£7,859£10,554
Bulgaria£2,604Sofia£6,205£8,809
Taiwan£2,572Taipei*£10,417£12,989
India£2,338Mumbai£5,354£7,692
Indonesia£2,338Jakarta£6,495£8,833
Ukraine£1,949Kiev£4,931£6,879
Romania£1,796Bucharest£6,198£7,994
Poland£1,793Warsaw£7,767£9,559
Netherlands£1,752Amsterdam£15,791£17,543
Belarus£1,559Minsk£5,449£7,008
South Korea£1,559Seoul£13,520£15,079
Colombia£1,510Bogota£5,769£7,280
Malaysia£1,284Kuala Lumpur£6,265£7,548
Switzerland£1,013Zürich£22,398£23,411
Estonia£898Tallinn£8,757£9,655
Lithuania£898Vilnius£7,747£8,645
Portugal£853Lisbon £9,290£10,143
Belgium£812Brussels £12,480£13,292
Maldives£779Malé£12,576£13,355
Italy£764Rome£11,989£12,752
Thailand£714Bangkok£8,743£9,457
Spain£624Madrid£10,832£11,455
Turkey£468Istanbul£4,432£4,899
Iceland£366Reykjavik£19,109£19,475
Mexico£273Mexico City£6,501£6,773
Germany£225Berlin£12,097£12,322
France£170Paris£15,570£15,739
Kazakhstan£156Almaty£5,246£5,402
Norway£27Oslo£17,679£17,707
Argentina£0Bueno Aires£6,535£6,535
Austria£0Vienna£12,394£12,394
Brazil£0Sāo Paulo£6,965£6,965
Denmark£0Copenhagen£15,550£15,550
Finland0Helsinki£13,344£13,344
Greece£0Athens£8,472£8,472
Malta£0Malta*£9,426£9,426
Sweden£0Stockholm£13,430£13,430

More useful facts about studying abroad

Methodology

TopUniversities

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 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

Click here for more research. For all media enquiries, please contact

Matt Mckenna
Head of UK communications
T: +44 20 8191 8806
matt.mckenna@finder.com@MichHutchison/in/matthewmckenna2

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