10 Cheapest Universities in South Africa

By | May 10, 2021
10 Cheapest Universities in South Africa

If you’re looking for where to get information on the cheapest universities in South Africa, then you’re in the right place.

Every year, tens of thousands of international students from other African countries and the world apply for admission to South African universities. This is because education is held in high regards in South Africa

South Africa has one of the best educational systems and an abundance of well-equipped universities that outmatch some universities in developed countries like the US and the UK.

Cheapest Universities in South Africa 

Finding a high-quality university that is pocket-friendly is quite difficult but in South Africa, you’ll get a lot of options even if you’re a local or international student.

In this article, we’ll review the cheapest universities in South Africa.

1. University of KwaZulu-Natal

The University of KwaZulu-Natal was founded in 1910 as the Natal University College. It was upgraded to tertiary institution level in 1949 and renamed to the University of Natal.

The University of KwaZulu-Natal was formed as a result of the merger between the University of Natal and the University of Durban-Westville in 2004.

The University offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs to both local and international students. It is made up of four colleges which offer a wide range of professional courses.

Some of its courses include

  • Agriculture
  • Engineering
  • Science
  • Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Life Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • Statistics and Computer Science
  • Medicine
  • Medicine, Nursing,

Tuition Fees

  • R24, 300 – R53, 100 for undergraduate programs
  • R39, 770 – R44, 000 for a Masters program
  • R30, 680 – R40, 000 for a Doctorate program

2. University of the Free State

The University of the Free State was founded in 1904 as an institution of higher learning. It was one of the white-only precinct universities in South Africa at the time its inception. The university was de-segregated in 1996 and went on to appoint its first black vice-chancellor in 2010.

The university has its main campus in Bloemfontein and two satellite campuses in other parts of South Africa.

The university offers undergraduate and postgraduate programs to local and international students.

Tuition Fees

  • R30, 300 – R50, 100 for undergraduate programs
  • R30, 770 – R40, 000 for a Masters program
  • R20, 680 – R30, 000 for a Doctorate program

3. Rhodes University

Rhodes University is one of the four universities in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. It was established in 1904 as a public research university. It is the oldest university in the province and one of the oldest universities in South Africa.

It was initially founded as a University College before being upgraded to tertiary institution level in 1951.

Rhodes University has six faculties which offer several graduate and undergraduate degree programs.

Tuition Fees

  • R30, 300 – R50, 100 for undergraduate programs
  • R20, 770 – R30, 000 for a Masters program
  • R20, 680 – R50, 000 for a Doctorate program

4. North-West University 

North-West University was formed as the result of a merger between the University of North-West and the Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education in 2004.  Due to the merger, it became one of the largest universities in South Africa with a population of over 60,000 students.

The university offers several full-time and distance education programs in its 6 faculties.

Tuition Fees

  • R18, 300 – R28, 100 for Undergraduate programs
  • R20, 770 – R40, 000 for a Postgraduate program

5. University of Cape Town

The University of Cape Town is a top university in South Africa. It was established in 1829, as the South African College. It was upgraded to a tertiary institution level in 1918. The University of Cape Town is the oldest university in South Africa and the highest-ranked African university in the world.

The university has several campuses which serve its 6 faculties. It offers more than 50 undergraduate and postgraduate programs.

The fees for its undergraduate programs are quite affordable, however, the fees of its postgraduate programs are very expensive.

Tuition Fees

  • R30,000 – R58, 100 for Undergraduate programs
  • R100, 770 – R500, 000 for a Postgraduate program

6. University of Fort Hare

The University of Fort Hare is a public university in South Africa, it was one of the few universities that focused heavily on the higher education of black Africans during the apartheid regime.

The University has several campuses located in different parts of South Africa which houses its five faculties.

Tuition Fees

  • R25, 000 – R45, 000 for undergraduate programs
  • R18, 770 – R28, 000 for a Masters program
  • R15, 000 – R20, 000 for a Ph.D. program

7. University of the Witwatersrand

The University of the Witwatersrand is a public research university established in 1896. It is the third-oldest university in South Africa.  As of 2017, the university had more than 38,000 students registered in its undergraduate and postgraduate programs.

Tuition Fees

  • R25, 000 – R75, 000 for undergraduate programs
  • R100, 770 – R208, 000 for a Masters program
  • R15, 000 – R30, 000 for a Ph.D. program

8. Stellenbosch University

Stellenbosch University is one of the oldest universities in South Africa, and among the first universities in the country to be upgraded to tertiary institution level. It is one of the highest-ranking universities in Africa.

The university consists of 10 facilities and about 150 departments for undergraduates and postgraduates. The public research university has more than 40 research institutions.

Tuition Fees

  • R35, 000 – R65, 000 for undergraduate programs
  • R50, 770 – R80, 000 for a Masters program

9. University of Limpopo

The University of Limpopo was formed as a result of the merger between the Medical University of South Africa and the University of the North in 2005. It has four faculties and offers several undergraduate and postgraduate programs.

Tuition Fees 

  • R30, 772 – R49, 000 for undergraduate program
  • R30, 716 – R41, 686 for Masters Program
  • R43, 600 for Ph.D. program

10. University of Venda

The University of Venda was established in 1982 to serve only Venda inhabitants. Today, it serves all South African citizens and international students. The university offers several courses in its seven faculties.

Tuition Fees 

  • R20, 772 – R60, 000 for undergraduate program
  • R10, 716 – R40, 686 for Masters Program
  • R15, 600 – R40, 000 for Ph.D. program

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