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!
Europe offers a huge number of international Master's programmes that you can apply to. International students in Europe enjoy great living standards, cities full of culture, and an intense social life.
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. They can even apply for the European Health Insurance Card and enjoy the same type of medical care they receive in their home country. Things are more complicated for non EU/EEA students, who usually need to pay tuition fees and apply for private medical insurance.
EU citizens studying in the EU
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 permits might differ for them.
Non-EU citizens studying in the EU
European higher education institutions welcome non-EU students in Europe: although they are required to pay for tuition fees, they can apply for scholarships or funding almost everywhere. Europe has a total of over 16 billion EUR worth of scholarships available every year.
Country fee focus
Would you prefer the charming districts of Paris or do you care more about the sound academic environment of 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 range of tuition fees you can afford.
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, and it also depends on if you come from Europe (the European Economic Area) or not.
Average tuition fees for Bachelor's degrees in Europe are:
- 4.500 EUR/year for EU/EEA-students
- 8.600 EUR/year for students outside EU/EEA
Average tuition fees for Master's degrees 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/year, with affordable living costs or even for free in many European countries.
Tuition fees: an overview per country
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 600-1.500 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, in order 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.
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 6.000 EUR to 16.000 EUR/year. Some highly specialised courses may reach over 35.000 EUR/year for non-EU students.
Scholarship programmes are available both for European and non-European students.
In Finland, starting from August 2017, non-EU/EEA students have to pay a minimum tuition fee of 1.500 EUR/year for Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes taught in English, while degree courses taught in Finnish or Swedish and PhD courses remain tuition-free.
Erasmus Mundus programmes have a tuition fee that ranges from about 3.000 to 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.
France is one of the most popular countries, and also has very affordable tuition fees: public universities charge both EU and non-EU students only between about 200 EUR and 650 EUR/year, depending on the level of study (Bachelor’s/Master's) and study programme.
For instance, average tuition fees for Medicine studies can lead to 452 EUR/year, while for Engineering, students will have to pay around 620 EUR/year.
Private universities can charge annual tuition fees between 1.500 and 6.000 EUR, or even higher.
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/semester, that covers the public transportation ticket and other student services.
However, for a "non-consecutive" Master’s 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 a tuition fee that can lead up to 10.000 EUR/semester, or even more.
Private universities can charge up to 30.000 EUR/year for postgraduate degrees.
In Italy, study fees depend on the university and on the income of the students’ family; the same applies to EU/EEA and Swiss students.
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.
Private universities can charge up to 16.000 EUR/year. In general, in Italian universities, there are no (or very low) admission costs.
In the Netherlands, study fees for EU students at any degree level can be up to 2.000 EUR/year.
The average tuition fees for non-EU students studying a Bachelor’s programme is between 6.000 and 12.000 EUR/year, while, for a Master’s programme, these range between 8.000 and 20.000 EUR/year.
EU-EEA/Switzerland students are entitled to receive a public loan. Citizens coming from other countries may apply for a study loan or scholarship, but under certain conditions.
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.
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.
In 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.
In private universities, a Bachelor’s programme could cost between 5.000 EUR and 12.000 EUR. Master’s programmes and PhD 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/year. These fees apply to all international students.
In Sweden, non-EU and non-EEA/Switzerland citizens have to pay an application fee of around 100 EUR. Each university sets its own study fee, that can range between 9.000 to 15.800 EUR/year. These fees apply only to Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes, while PhDs are tuition-free.
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.
For EU-EEA members, study fees in public Swiss universities range at about 550 EUR/semester for a Bachelor’s or a Master’s degree, and around 200 EUR/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.
Students who come to Switzerland on an exchange programme don’t pay any tuition fees.
In private universities, tuition fees range from 750 to 8.000 EUR/semester. You can apply directly to Geneva Business School from Switzerland, with the help of Studyportals.
The United Kingdom
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 referring to non-EU students, which are subject to some restrictions.
In these cases, tuition fees range from 7.500 EUR/year up to a max of 12,600 EUR/year.
‘Oversees’ study fees can range from 4.300 EUR/year to around 27.700 EUR/year.
Nonetheless, the United Kingdom still remains one of the favourite destinations for many foreign students worldwide. Thanks to the quality of their teaching and the facilities offered, United Kingdom’s universities are every year in the top 10 of The Times Higher Education World University Ranking.
Europe is going for more international students
Despite the financial crisis, the European Union is going to invest more money in education. The European Commission has presented its multi-annual financial framework (2014-2020) that proposes 70% funds increases for training and education.
17 billion EUR will be supporting transnational learning mobility, cooperation between institutions, modernisation of education, and implementation of education policies in the Member States.