Top 15 cheap universities in South Africa: fees, ranking, courses offered

Top 15 cheap universities in South Africa: fees, ranking, courses offered

Are you looking for a cheap university in South Africa for international students? The cost of university in South Africa is relatively lower than most people outside the continent expect. You will not believe how many of SA's cheap higher learning institutions are internationally acknowledged as academic giants.

cheap universities in South Africa
South Africa's higher learning institutions are the best research institutions on the continent. Photo: @mkc.photo (modified by author)
Source: Instagram

How much does university cost in South Africa? It is $2,500 to $4,500 per academic year for bachelors degrees and $2,700 to $3000 for postgraduate certification. Therefore, $400 per month is enough to rent a spacious and quality house in SA, pay bills, travel, and save some cash.

List of cheap universities in South Africa

What is the cheapest degree to get in South Africa? The tuition fee depends on the course and the career's marketability and salary range. For instance, an engineering course costs more than a business course. What is the cheapest university in Africa? African public universities are some of the cheapest top-notch learning institutions on the continent.

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1. University of Witwatersrand

(1st in SA and 176th worldwide)

cheap universities in South Africa
Wits limited black students' administration in 1959. However, it still moulded some of Africa's greatest leaders. Photo: @witsuniversity
Source: Facebook

The public institution was established in 1896. Earn nursing, statistics, computer studies, mechanical, aeronautical, electrical and other engineering qualifications from Wits.

  • PhD - R21, 000
  • Masters/doctorate - R66, 000 to R152, 000
  • Undergrads - R45, 000

2. University of Cape Town

(2nd in SA and 120th worldwide)

cheap universities in South Africa
UCT was established in 1829 as the South African College, a boys' high school, but received a charter to become UCT in 1918. Photo: @exquisiteCape
Source: Facebook

UCT is in Cape Town in SA's Western Cape Province. Planning and geometrics, molecular and cell biology, engineering courses, obstetrics and gynaecology, oceanography, and more programs are available. UCT course fee is:

  • PhD - R40, 000
  • Masters/doctorate - R60, 000
  • Undergrads - R22, 000
  • International students - R75, 000

3. Stellenbosch University

(2nd in SA and 390th worldwide)

cheap universities in South Africa
Maties was the first college on the continent to sign the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to sciences and humanities knowledge. Photo: @stellenboschuniversity
Source: Facebook

Stellenbosch will make you one of Mzansi's best professionals of economic and management sciences, arts and social sciences, theology, agri-sciences, and more. It is in Stellenbosch and was the first school to make a microsatellite in Africa.

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  • Undergrads / Postgrads diploma (Africans) - R21, 000 to R22, 000
  • International (non-African) students - R44, 000

4. University of Kwazulu Natal

(4th in SA and 500th worldwide)

cheap universities in South Africa
UKZN has five campuses in the province of KwaZulu Natal. Photo: @ukzn1
Source: Facebook

The Durban-Westville and Natal universities merged on 1st January 2004 to create the UKZN. The institution offers various courses related to life sciences, philosophy and classics, earth and environmental sciences, and more disciplines of knowledge. The UKZN course fee is:

  • Masters - R40, 000 to R44, 000
  • Doctorate - R31, 000 to R40, 000
  • Undergrads - R25, 000 to R53, 000

5. University of Pretoria

(4th in SA and 261st worldwide)

cheap universities in South Africa
The school is a multi-campus research institution with headquarters in Pretoria. Photo: @UnivofPretoria
Source: Facebook

UP was established in 1908. IT, engineering, dentistry, veterinary sciences and more courses are available at an affordable rate.

  • Undergrads - R30, 000 to R66, 000

6. University of Johannesburg

(5th in SA and 601st worldwide)

cheap universities in South Africa
It was established as a partnership between TWR, RAU, and VU universities. Photo: @go2uj
Source: Facebook

Since its establishment in 2005, UJ has always released the best-skilled professionals to the world. Those who desire to become engineers, radiotherapists, biomedical technologists, optometrists, chiropractors and more should choose this school. UJ course fees are:

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  • Undergrads - R103, 000 to R112, 000
  • Masters/doctorate/PhD - R115, 000 to R172, 000

7. The University of the Western Cape

(6th in SA and 885th worldwide)

cheap universities in South Africa
UWC is in the Bellville suburb of Cape Town. Photo: @SABCNewsWesternCape
Source: Facebook

The institution was established in 1960 for people of colour only. Meanwhile, UCT and Stellenbosch were among the many colleges in Cape Town segregated for whites only. The low-tuition-fee-charging college offers law, dentistry, community and health sciences, arts, education and more courses.

  • Undergrads (SA natives) - R19, 000
  • International students - R37, 000
  • Masters/doctorate/PhD - R34, 000

8. Rhodes University

(5th in SA and 700th worldwide)

cheap universities in South Africa
The leading public research school in South Africa was named after Cecile Rhodes in appreciation of the Rhodes Trust. Photo: @rhodesuniversity
Source: Facebook

It came into existence in 1904. Courses offered cover education, humanities, commerce, pharmacy, law and more.

  • Undergrads - R27, 000 to R31, 000
  • International students - R36, 000 to R38, 000

9. North-West University

(9th in SA and 1188th worldwide)

cheap universities in South Africa
The school was established in 2004 with its head office in the Potchefstroom campus. Photo: @northwestu
Source: Facebook

The school has three campuses located in Potchefstroom, Mahikeng and Vanderbijlpark. There is enough room for tourism, psychology, nursing, journalism, business, engineering, and more courses.

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  • Undergrads - R32, 000 to R47, 000

10. University of Free State

(9th in SA and 2095th worldwide)

cheap universities in South Africa
UFS became an independent institution in 1950 with a new name, UFS. Photo: @UFSUV
Source: Facebook

The multi-campus school is located in Bloemfontein, Free State, SA, and was established in 1904. You will find theology, agriculture, education, business, and more courses here. UFS course fee is:

  • Undergrads - R17, 000
  • International students - R20, 000

11. Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University

(12th in SA and 1311th worldwide)

cheap universities in South Africa
NMMU came into existence in 2005 after PET merged with UPE. Photo: @MandelaUni
Source: Facebook

It was named NMMU in 2017. Popular courses are behavioural sciences, culture, governance, music, tourism, industrial psychology, art and design.

  • Masters - R18, 000 to R23, 000
  • Undergrads - R94, 000
  • PhD - R19, 000 to R21, 000

12. University of Fort Hare

(17th in SA and 1879th worldwide)

cheap universities in South Africa
Several African leaders, heads of republics, and Nobel Prize winners are this institution's alumni. Photo: @Rev_Mente
Source: Twitter

The school opened in 1959. Courses you will find here include education, law, management and commerce, agriculture, and social sciences and humanities. The course fee is also fair and reasonable.

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  • Undergrads - R19, 000 to R44, 000
  • Postgraduates - R13, 000 to R22, 000
  • International students - R26, 000 to R45, 000

13. University of Limpopo

(17th in SA and 2982nd worldwide)

cheap universities in South Africa
The school is in Thohoyandou in Limpopo province. Photo: @phalanndwa6 (modified by author)
Source: Twitter

It was opened in the Limpopo Province of SA in 2005. The institution has modern learning facilities for computer sciences, law, medicine, languages, and more. You only need:

  • Masters - R31, 000 to R42, 000
  • Undergrads - R30, 772 to R49, 000
  • PhD - R44, 000
  • International students: course fee + extra 50% of the tuition fee

14. University of Venda

(18th in SA and 3347th worldwide)

Top 15 cheap universities in South Africa: fees, ranking, courses offered
The former Republic of Venda government established the UNIVEN in 1982. Photo: @193357067346886
Source: Facebook

UNIVEN's law, agriculture, health sciences, and alumni appreciate studying here. The institution's course fee is:

  • Undergrads - R32,000 to R39, 000
  • Masters - R12, 000 to R25, 500
  • PhD - R14, 000 to R27, 000

15. University of Zululand

(22nd in SA and 4228th worldwide)

cheap universities in South Africa
The school was established in 1960 at the north of the Tugela River in KwaZulu-Natal. Photo: @UNIZULU
Source: Facebook

UniZulu's courses are human movement sciences, educational psychology, consumer science, zoology and more.

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  • Undergrads - R3, 000

Apply to these cheap universities in South Africa today. You will love the institutions' friendly students and educated professors. Moreover, South African culture is fun to learn and easy to adapt to.

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