University fees in South Africa


Friday, August 20, 2021

Learn all about finances and University fees in South Africa



If you are interested in studying a bachelor’s, master’s or any other degree, you should be thinking about finances. 

Studying in South Africa is a great idea. Really good colleges, nice landscapes, beautiful cities, and all you can dream of characterise this country. But there is a big aspect we can´t ignore: tuition fees. Students keep on protesting against the big raise fees have been showing. Also, they are expected to keep rising over the next decade.

Tuition fees in South Africa vary depending on the university, whether it is private or public, the discipline and your citizenship status.

Tuition Fees at Public Universities


There are over 20 public universities in South Africa, and tuition fees vary depending on their policy, the type and length of studies, the students’ nationality, and so on.

If we take the University of the Witwatersrand as an example, we can find the following numbers: 

  • Bachelor’s degrees: Locals' tuition is nearly within 1,500–3,850 EUR per study program. Foreign students pay double local tuition, so, it is twice as much as local students.  
  • Master’s degrees: Locals usually pay 720–12,800 EUR per study program. Foreign students pay double local tuition, so, it is twice as much as local students and also need to pay an additional International Registration Fee (IRF) of 340 EUR.

Students from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) member countries (Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, etc.) aren’t considered as foreign students and pay the same tuition as local South African students. 

You need to keep in mind that any of these fees include the costs of books and other study materials or the costs of memberships at sports clubs.

Tuition fees at private universities


Private universities tend to be a lot more expensive than public universities in South Africa. They also have different systems to calculate tuition. Some have one amount for the entire study programs, others use a ‘cost per credit’ system, and so on.

Let’s take the Cornerstone Institute as an example. This institute employs a ‘cost per credit’ system and the cost for one credit goes from 14 to 30 EUR. Take into account that study programs have among 120–144 credits per year.

This particular university includes some additional fees like: 

  • Application fee: 17 EUR
  • Annual payment plan: 130 EUR
  • Technology fee: 25 EUR

Based on these parameters, we can say that the most affordable universities in South Africa are: 

  • Cape Peninsula University of Technology: Bachelors and Masters start at 360 EUR per year.
  • North-West University (NWU): Bachelors start at 400 EUR per year.
  • University of Johannesburg: Masters start at 755 EUR per year.

Now you have all the information you need regarding tuition fees at South African universities. From here, you can start making your own college budget, and adjusting your finances to what you think is best. 

Also, you need to take into account that students need between 300 and 750 EUR to cover the monthly costs of living in South Africa if you are thinking of moving out of your house when starting college. 

And that´s a wrap. That was all you needed to know regarding student finances in South Africa. If you need any more help when signing up at a master’s degree program, leave your personal information at the chart above, and we will reach you to help you. 

To learn more about master’s degrees in South Africa, continue navigating on https://mastersdegrees.co.za/.




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