Tuition Fees at Universities in Europe in 2019 - Overview and Comparison

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 provide excellent quality Master’s degrees for very low or sometimes even no tuition fees!

Europe offers a huge number of international Master's programmes you can apply to. International students in Europe enjoy great living standards, cities full of culture, and active social lives.

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Tuition fees are different for EU and non-EU students

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 (EHIC) 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 higher 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, it works the same 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, international students can apply for scholarships or funding almost everywhere. Europe has a total of over 16 billion EUR worth of scholarships available every year.

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

Students sitting on the grass in a park in the Netherlands

University tuition fees across Europe

Tuition fees in Europe can vary significantly, but they are generally lower when compared to North America and Australia. That doesn’t mean that the quality of education is also lower. Many European universities are listed as some of the best in the world in top rankings like the World University Ranking by Times Higher Education, the QS Rankings by TopUniversities, and the Academic Ranking of World Universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

Tuition fees in Europe range between:

You can find Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes with higher tuition fees, but they are few and far between and are usually offered by private universities in disciplines like Business & Management or Medicine.

One of the trends we’ve noticed is that non-EU/EEA students should expect to pay higher tuition than citizens from the EU/EEA and Switzerland. This will vary depending on the country and university where you want to study and on the study programme itself.

That’s why, as we list the average tuition costs for popular study destinations in Europe, keep in mind that each university or programme might have exceptions or different tuition fees. Always check the programme page to see if tuition fees apply to students from your country.

Tuition fees in Austria

In Austria, public universities don’t have tuition fees for students from EU/EEA countries and Switzerland. Students from developing countries can also study for free at many public universities, but they should check if their country is on the list provided on the university's website.  All the other non-EU/EEA citizens are generally asked to pay 727 EUR per semester.

Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS) are free to decide how much students have to pay for their academic programmes. For EU/EEA students, tuition is usually 363 EUR/semester. For non-EU/EEA students, costs start at 727 EUR and can reach 7,500 EUR/semester for certain courses.

At private universities, all international students should expect to pay between:

  • 6,000 – 15,000 EUR/academic year for a Bachelor’s degree
  • 3,000 – 23,000 EUR/academic year for a Master’s degree

All students enrolling in a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Austria are required to pay a semester fee of 20 EUR to become a member of the Austrian Student Union.

For more information about scholarships and useful tips, visit the Study in Austria website.

Read more about tuition fees and living costs in Austria.

Tuition fees in Denmark

University education in Denmark is free for students from the EU/EEA countries and Switzerland. For all other students, tuition fees range from 6,000 to 16,000 EUR/academic year for Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes in Denmark.

Non-EU/EEA students also need to apply for a residence permit to study in Denmark. The processing fee is 255 EUR (1,900 DKK).

You can find more information about scholarships and admission requirements on the Study in Denmark website.

Read more about tuition fees and living costs in Denmark.

Tuition fees in Finland

If you’re from the EU/EEA, you don’t have to pay tuition for studying a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Finland.

Starting from August 2017, non-EU/EEA students have to pay tuition fees for Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes taught in English. Degree courses taught in Finnish or Swedish and PhDs remain tuition-free.

Tuition costs for non-EU/EEA students generally vary between:

  • 5,000 – 13,000 EUR/academic year for Bachelor’s degrees
  • 8,000 – 18,000 EUR/academic year for Master’s degrees

For information about scholarships and residence permits, visit the Study in Finland website.

Read more about tuition fees and living costs in Finland.

Tuition fees in France

Thanks to very affordable tuition fees, it’s not surprise that so many international students apply for Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in France. Public universities charge both EU and non-EU students between 170 and 650 EUR/year, depending on the discipline and the level of study (Bachelor’s, Master's or PhD).

French private universities charge annual tuition costs between:

  • 5,000 – 30,000 EUR/academic year for Bachelor’s programmes
  • 1,500 – 35,000 EUR/academic year for Master’s programmes

You can find information about scholarships on the Campus France website.

Read more about tuition fees and living costs in France.

Tuition fees in Germany

Most Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Germany are free at public universities for all students regardless of their country of origin.

The only exception is the Federal State of Baden-Württemberg which introduced tuition fees of 3,000 EUR/academic year for non-EU students at the end of 2017.

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 at a German university), you will be charged with a tuition fee that can lead up to 10,000 EUR/semester or even more.

German private universities charge between:

  • 6,500 – 26,000 EUR/academic year for Bachelor’s programmes
  • 1,000 – 40,000 EUR/academic year for Master’s programmes

All international students have to pay an administration fee of 100 – 350 EUR/semester. This fee covers the public transportation ticket and other student services.

If you need a visa to study in Germany, you’ll be asked to prove that you can afford your studies. From January 2020, you have to show you have funds of 10,236 EUR.

For information about study visas and scholarships, visit the DAAD website.

Read more about tuition fees and living costs in Germany

Tuition fees in Italy

Tuition fees for Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Italy vary from one university to another. In general, public universities are more affordable than private ones. To reduce study costs, international students can apply for scholarships or prove that they come from a low-income family.

At public universities, annual tuition fees normally range between 0 – 5,000 EUR for both undergraduate and graduate programmes.

Italian private universities charge higher tuition fees:

  • 3,000 – 20,000 EUR/academic year for a Bachelor’s degree
  • 3,000 – 35,000 EUR/academic year for a Master’s degree

For information about scholarships, visit the UniversItaly website.

Read more about tuition fees and living costs in Italy.

Tuition fees in the Netherlands

EU/EEA students enjoy lower tuition fees for Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in the Netherlands if they study at public universities. These tuition costs usually vary between 700 – 2,100 EUR/academic year.

If you’re not from the EU/EEA, you can expect to pay between 6,000 – 15,000 EUR/year for a Bachelor’s and between 8,000 – 20,000 EUR for a Master’s.

Dutch private universities have higher tuition costs:

  • 7,500 – 19,000 EUR/academic year for a Bachelor’s degree
  • 5,000 – 30,000 EUR/academic year for a Master’s degree

You can find more information about scholarship and financing programmes on the Study in Holland website.

Read more about tuition fees and living costs in the Netherlands.

Tuition fees in Norway

You can find free Bachelor’s, Master’s, and PhD programmes in Norway if you choose to study at a public university. These study programmes are free for all international students regardless of their country of origin.

At private universities, tuition fees are the same for all students (national, EU/EEA, non-EU/EEA):

  • 7,000 – 9,000 EUR/academic year for Bachelor’s degrees
  • 9,000 – 19,000 EUR/academic year for Master’s degrees

All students have to pay a small semester fee which usually costs 30 – 60 EUR (300-600 NOK). In exchange, they receive a student card that gives them the right to free health care and transport, as well as discounts for cultural activities and events.

For information about scholarships and grants, visit the Study in Norway website.

Read more about tuition fees and living costs in Norway.

Tuition fees in Spain

Tuition for Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes in Spain varies because each regional government sets its own tuition fees and limits. These limits are only for official degrees. You will also find university-specific degrees, for which the higher education institutions can set any tuition fee.

At public universities, a Bachelor's degree costs between 150 - 3,500 EUR/year. For a Master's or a PhD, tuition costs depend on the number of credits. Each credit can cost between 22 – 36 EUR. On average, tuition fees for Master’s programmes offered by public institutions vary between 300 – 3,500 EUR/year.

While some study programmes have the same tuition costs for all international students, others charge non-EU citizens higher tuition. The difference varies from one university or study programme to another. In some cases, international students have to pay 1,000 EUR more than EU/EEA students. In other cases, the tuition fee can be two or three times higher.

At private universities, tuition is higher:

  • 5,000 – 24,000 EUR/academic year for Bachelor’s degrees
  • 5,000 – 30,000 EUR/academic year for Master’s degrees

You can use websites like Scholarshipportal.com and Gooverseas.com to find scholarships and other financial aid programmes available in Spain.

Read more about tuition fees and living costs in Spain.

Tuition fees in Sweden

Students from the EU/EEA, other Nordic countries, and Switzerland enjoy free Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees if they study at public universities. Things are different with PhD courses, which are free for all international students.

Non-EU/EEA citizens should expect to pay between 7,500 – 25,500 EUR/academic year for a Bachelor’s or Master’s programme. They also need to pay an application fee of 85 EUR.

All international students have to pay between 5 – 33 EUR to enrol in local student unions.

There are also numerous scholarships and financial aid programmes offered by universities and government agencies. To check your eligibility, visit the Study in Sweden website.

Read more about tuition fees and living costs in Sweden.

Tuition fees in Switzerland

Public universities have very low tuition fees for all international students. You should expect to pay between 400 – 3,700 EUR/academic year for both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Switzerland.

Swiss private universities have higher tuition fees:

  • 8,000 – 42,000 EUR/academic year for Bachelor’s programmes
  • 7,500 – 43,000 EUR/academic year for Master’s programmes

All students might need to cover other expenses, like the registration fee, the semester fee, the fee for student associations, etc.

You can find more information about scholarships and funding opportunities on the Study in Switzerland website.

Students going to The Jagiellonian University, the oldest university in Poland

Tuition fees in the United Kingdom

You will find two types of tuition fees for Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in the UK:

  • Tuition for home students – includes UK and EU citizens. Scotland and Northern Ireland are exceptions. In these countries, “home students” only refers to EU and Scottish/Northern Irish citizens, and universities charge higher tuition fees for students from the rest of the UK.
  • Tuition for international students – all non-EU citizens.

At public universities in the UK, tuition costs are usually lower for home students. In contrast, private institutions do not usually make this difference and charge all students the same tuition fees, which are often higher.

Undergraduate studies

In England, tuition fees for undergraduate programmes offered by public universities are limited to 10,725 EUR (9,250 GBP)/year for home students.

In Wales, tuition fees for undergraduate programmes offered by public universities are limited to 10,435 EUR (9,000 GBP)/year for home students.

In Northern Ireland, tuition fees for undergraduate programmes offered by public universities are limited to 4,672 EUR (4,030 GBP)/year for home students. However, students from the rest of the UK can pay as much as 10,725 EUR (9,250 GBP)/year.

In Scotland, home students do not have to pay tuition fees for undergraduate studies at public universities because they are covered by the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS). Students from England, Wales, and Northern Ireland can expect to pay up to 10,725 EUR (9,250 GBP)/year.

Home students can also find numerous study programmes in the UK that are affordable (under 5,000 EUR/year) or even free.

As for international students, they can usually expect to pay between 7,000 – 40,000 EUR/year for Bachelor’s degrees at both public and private universities in the UK.

Postgraduate studies

For both home and international students, there is no maximum limit for postgraduate tuition costs in the UK. Still, many Master’s degrees are more expensive for international students.

While home students can find some Master’s programmes for under 5,000 EUR/year, tuition fees, in general, vary between 8,000 – 45,000 EUR/year for all students regardless of their nationality. At some universities, Business degrees (especially MBAs) can cost over 50,000 EUR/year.

We know studying in Britain isn’t cheap, but there are ways to reduce the costs of your education. You can explore all the scholarships and financial aid programmes available on the Study UK website or learn more about student loans from The Universities and Colleges Admission Service (UCAS).

The EU is dedicated to attracting more international students

The European Union is not responsible for the development and implementation of educational systems and infrastructures in each member state, but it provides numerous funding opportunities and educational initiatives, like the Erasmus+ programme.

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With Erasmus+, people of varying ages can go abroad to study, teach, train, or volunteer. These mobility experiences enable people to expand their knowledge & skills as they are encouraged to become more culturally aware and look at things from different perspectives.

The EU is also working on other initiatives, like:

  • A Network of European Universities
  • The automatic mutual recognition of diplomas
  • A European Student Card

These priorities are part of a plan to create a “European Education Area in which the free movement of learners is guaranteed” by 2025.

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