Tuition Free Universities: Which Countries Offer Free Education?

Lena Heckmann & John Roman, U-Multirank

November 19, 2019 11:55 AM (CET)

Tuition free countries: which countries offer free education?


With university fees consistently on the rise, finding an affordable study programme can be challenging. However, many countries across the world offer free tuition to both their respective national students and international students. The most commonly known country with free tuition for both national and international students is Germany. To study in Germany there are no undergraduate tuition fees at most public universities; just a small student fee of around €150 – €250 (~US$180 – 300) for admission costs is charged. One exception to studying for free in Germany is in the state of Baden-Würtemberg, where tuition fees for non-EU/EEA students are €1,500 (~US$1,800) per semester.

Regardless of nationality, students are also able to study for free in France. The admission fees are comparable to Germany, totaling €184 (~US $220) each year at the undergraduate level. Please note that additional charges can bring this price up, particularly for more specialised programmes such as medicine and engineering.

Additionally, regardless of their national status students can study for free, or at low cost in the Nordic countries. The Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden all offer opportunities to study for free or at a low cost:

In Norway, studying at university is available free of charge to all students, regardless of study level or nationality. Like studying in Germany, you will only need to pay a small student fee per semester – in this case around NOK 300-600 (~US $37-74).

In Iceland, there are no tuition fees charged at the country’s four public universities, with only a registration fee of around €400 a year (~US $425). 

Denmark, Sweden and most recently Finland limit their free higher education perks to students from within the EU/EEA and Switzerland. Students from outside these regions must pay tuition fees for bachelor’s and master’s programmes. However, PhD programmes in these countries are fully funded, offering PhD candidates the chance to gain their degree without paying fees, and even earn a salary. Non-EU/EEA students can also still study in Finland for free if they study in either Finnish or Swedish.

International fees at bachelor and master levels in Denmark, Finland and Sweden vary. In Denmark, university fees range from DKK 45,000 to DKK 120,000 (~US $7,200-19,300) annually, while in Sweden they total some SEK 80.000 and SEK 140,000 (~US $9,750-17,060) for most courses. Since autumn 2017, Finland introduced tuition fees currently totaling to at least €1,500 (~US $1,800) per year, although in reality most students will actually pay some €4,000 - 20,000 (~US $4,900-24,500) per year.

If you’re more prone to warmer climates, then you might want to look at tuition free countries like Greece. In Greek public universities, EU/EEA students are usually not charged tuition fees, with the exception of a few Master programmes. All other international students will have to pay tuition fees that range from € 1,500 to 9,000 a year (~US $1,650-10,000) which also includes textbooks for the chosen courses.


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