Tuition Fees at Universities in Europe in 2017 - Overview and Comparison Costs and funding

Looking for a top class university with accessible study fees in Europe? The European university system is mostly based on public funding, that is why European universities can provide excellent quality for very low or even no tuition fees at all!

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Study in Europe and benefit from hospitality and engaging social life

In total, Europe offers over 30,000 international study programmes that you can apply to. International students in Europe enjoy great living standards, cities full of culture and an intense social life. In most cities, universities and student organisations involve international students in diverse social activities making them feel like home. Check out why Europe is so popular among international students.

Differences between EU and Non-EU students in higher education

In general, EU students should have the same rights when they move to another EU country. EU citizens are automatically entitled to study in other EU member states: they should not be paying higher tuition fees and they should be able to receive a residence permit (in order to obtain financial support as any other national student). Usually, the same works for EEA and Swiss students too, although some conditions regarding public student loans and residence permit might differ for them.

For non-EU students, this works differently. European higher educational institutions welcome non-EU students in Europe: although they are required to pay for tuition fees (on behalf of Norway and Finland), almost everywhere they can apply for scholarships or funding. Did you know that in Europe there are in total over 16 billion EUR worth of scholarships available every year? Have a look at ScholarshipPortal.com to find the one that matches your requirements best.

Compare 53,746 Master's degrees in Europe

Country fee focus. Would you prefer the charming districts of Paris or do you care more about a sound academic environment in Oxford? Whether you are looking for a Bachelor's, a Master's, or a Ph.D., on StudyPortals, you can choose your destination country and search for a maximum tuition fee.

Below, you will find information on study fees for international university students in different European countries.

Average tuition fees in Europe

Tuition fees in Europe are generally very low compared to other continents, while many European universities are placed at the top of international university rankings.

Of course, this differs per country, though, and it also depends on if you come from Europe (the European Economic Area) or not.

Average tuition fee for Bachelor's degree in Europe:
  • 4.500 EUR/year for EU/EEA-students
  • 8.600 EUR/year for students outside EU/EEA
Average tuition fee for Master's degree in Europe:
  • 5.100 EUR/year for EU/EEA-students
  • 10.170 EUR/year for students outside EU/EEA

What many students don’t realise is that they could study for less than 1,000 EUR per year, at affordable living costs and tuition, or even for free in many European countries.

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Tuition fees: An overview per country

Austria

In Austrian universities, there are no tuition fees for students from EU-EEA member countries, Switzerland and least developed countries. All the others pay a study fee between 600-1500 EUR/year (in average, 726.72 EUR/semester). However, all students (both EU and non-EU) are compelled to pay a semester fee of 18 EUR to be a member of the Austrian Student Union.

For more information, you can visit the website of the OEAD (Austrian agency for international mobility and cooperation in education, science and research). Also, check out how it's like to study in Vienna.

Read more about tuition fees and living costs in Austria

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Denmark

University education in Denmark is free for students from the EU-EEA member countries and Switzerland. For all other students, tuition fees range from about EUR 6,000 to EUR 16,000 EUR/year. Some highly specialised courses may reach to over 35,000 EUR/year for non-EU students.

Find out more about student life and costs of studying in cities of Denmark:

Scholarship programmes are available both for European and non-European students.

Read more about tuition fees and living costs in Denmark

Finland

Currently, public universities don't charge tuition fees to their studies, regardless of their nationality.

Starting from August 2017 though, non-EU/EEA students will have to pay a minimum tuition fee of 1,500 EUR/year for Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes taught in English, while the rest of degree courses taught in Finnish or Swedish and PhD courses remain tuition free.

Check out what it's like to study in the cities of Finland:

Erasmus Mundus programmes have a tuition fee that ranges from about 3,000-20,000 EUR. Here, non-EU/EEA students usually pay a higher fee than EU-students. However, Erasmus Mundus Scholarships and other financing options are available for these studies.

Read more about tuition fees and living costs in Finland

France

France is one of the most popular countries and has also very affordable tuition fees: public universities charge both EU and non-EU students only between about EUR 200 and EUR 650 EUR per year depending on study level (Bachelor’s/Master's) and study programme. For instance, average tuition fees for medicine studies can lead to 452 EUR per year, while for engineering, students will have to pay around 620 EUR per year.

Find out more about life and study costs in French cities:

Private universities can charge annual tuition fees between 1,500 and 6,000 EUR or even higher.

Read more about tuition fees and living costs in France

Germany

Germany is another European country that has top universities but very low tuition or even no tuition fees. In contrast to other countries, this also applies to students outside of the EU/EEA!

Students just have to pay an administration fee between 100 and 200 EUR per semester that covers the public transport ticket and other student services.

Check out the student life and costs of studying in these German cities:

However, for a "non-consecutive" Master or PhD degree (if your prior studies are not in the same field as the one you apply to in a German university), you will be charged with tuition fee that can lead up to 10,000 EUR per semester or even more. Private universities can charge up to 30,000 EUR per year for postgraduate degrees.

Read more about tuition fees and living costs in Germany

Italy

In the boot of Europe, study fees depend on the university and on the income of the student family; the same applies for EU/EEA and Swiss student. In public universities, annual fees range between 850 and 1,000 EUR/year depending on the university that was chosen. Some of the renowned public universities may charge fees higher than 1,000 EUR.

Find out more about life and costs of studyin in Italian cities:

Private universities can charge up to EUR 16,000/year. In general, in Italian universities there are no (or very low) admission costs.

Read more about tuition fees and living costs in Italy

The Netherlands

In the Netherlands, study fees for EU students at any degree level can be up to 2,000 EUR per year.

The average tuition fees for non-EU students studying a Bachelor’s programme is between 6,000 – 12,000 EUR per year, while for a Master’s programme, these range between 8,000 – 20,000 EUR per year.

Have a look at the life and costs of studying in Dutch cities:

EU-EEA/Switzerland students are entitled to receive a public loan. Citizens coming from other countries may apply for a study loan or scholarship at certain conditions.

Read more about tuition fees and living costs in the Netherlands

Norway

Higher education in Norway is considered to be free of charge for everyone, although in state universities, students have to pay for a small semester fee of NOK 300-600 ( 32 - 64 EUR approx.). Students are granted a student card that gives them the right to have health care and transport for free, as well as reductions for cultural activities and events.

More details about studying and meeting living costs in these Norwegian cities:

In private universities, there are tuition fees to be paid depending on the programme chosen, ranging between 8,300 and 10,000 EUR per year.

Read more about tuition fees and living costs in Norway

Spain

Each regional government sets its own tuition fees for Bachelor’s degrees. In public universities, a Bachelor's degree costs between 680 and 1,400 EUR/year and for a Master's or a PhD, students would pay between 1,350 and 1,500 EUR/year.

Check out details about studying abroad and paying for studies in these Spanish cities:

In private universities, a Bachelor’s programme could cost between EUR 5,000 and EUR 12,000. Master’s programmes and PhDs study fees are calculated per credit; each credit can cost between 22 and 36 EUR. Therefore, a typical Master’s programme of 60 ECTS per academic year could cost between 1,320 and 2,160 EUR yearly. These fees apply to all international students.

Read more about tuition fees and living costs in Spain

Sweden

In Sweden, non-EU and non-EEA/Switzerland citizens have to pay an application fee of SEK 900 SEK (~100 EUR). Each university sets its own study fee that can range between SEK 80,000-140,000 (~ 9,000-15,750 EUR/year). These fees apply only to Bachelor and Master programmes, while PhDs are tuition-free.

See what it's like to study and meet the living costs in these Swedish cities:

At the same time, the parliament of Sweden has allocated funds for two scholarship programmes for foreign students: one is directed only to scholars from 12 developing countries (Bangladesh, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia); while the second one has no geographical limitations. Check out details about university admission in Sweden.

Read more about tuition fees and living costs in Sweden

Switzerland

For EU-EEA members, study fees in public Swiss universities range at about 580 CHF (535 EUR) per semester for a Bachelor and a Master degree and around 216 CHF (200 EUR) per year for a PhD

In most cases, the same fees apply for foreign students as well; only in five universities, foreign students are asked to pay extra taxes. Scholarships are available for EU and eastern European students.

More details about studying and meeting costs in Swiss cities:

Students who come to Switzerland on an exchange programme don’t pay any tuition fee. In private universities, tuition fees range from 810 and 8650 CHF (750 and 8,000 EUR) per semester.

Check out 55,037 Bachelor degrees in Europe
The UK

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are allowed to set their own strategy on tuition fees. In Scotland for example, Scottish and non-UK EU citizens do not have to pay any tuition fee.

In universities from England, you will find ‘home’ or ‘oversees’ rate of fees. The first one refers generally to EU residents and EEA/Switzerland students, the latter refer to non-EU students, which are subject to some restrictions. In these cases, tuition fees range from 6,000 GBP (7,560 EUR/year approx.) up to a max of 10,000 GBP/year (12,600 EUR/year approx.).

More details about studying at meeting costs in these British cities:

‘Oversees’ study fees can range between 3,500 GBP/year (EUR 4,255 approx.) and around 22,000 GBP/year (27,700 EUR approx.). Nonetheless, the United Kingdom still remains one of the favourite destinations for many foreign students worldwide. Thanks to the quality of their teaching (in English) and the facilities offered, United Kingdom’s universities are every year in the top 10 of the Times Higher Education World University Ranking. For more information about what type of fee (‘home’ or ‘oversees’) you should be paying, you can have a look at the UK Council for International Student Affairs website.

Read more about tuition fees and living costs in the UK

Europe is going for more

Fight fire with fire, some say. That is why despite the financial crisis, the European Union is going to invest more money in education. Recently, the European Commission has presented its multi-annual financial framework (2014-2020) that proposes 70% funds increases for training and education: 17 billion euros that will be supporting transnational learning mobility; cooperation between institutions; modernisation of education and implementation of education policies in the Member States.

To be admitted to a university abroad, you will need to meet minimum language requirements for that institution. Get your English speaking up to date by attending one of the many English language courses offered by language schools abroad.

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