The cheapest places to study in Europe

Which top European institutions are the best-value universities for students?

September 11 2017
Cheapest places to study in Europe

The best-value European countries to head to for high-quality education are Italy, Germany and Finland, according to currency and travel money expert FairFX.

The company also looked at the top European universities, based on the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018, and analysed their tuition fees and living cost to determine the most affordable and the most expensive. 

The FairFX cost calculator has revealed that the average annual cost of going to university in the UK is more than £18,000, with average tuition fees at £9,234 and an average living cost of £9,526. Some European universities can offer degrees at a fraction of the price – in fact, some of them do not charge tuition fees at all. 

The most affordable countries to study in Europe

Rank

Country

Average tuition Fee

Average living costs

Average total

1

Italy

£0

£0

£0

2

Germany*

£396

£7,113

£7,519

3

Finland*

£93

£7,858

£7,951

4

Sweden

£0

£8,052

£8,052

5

Austria

£35

£8,921

£8,957

6

Belgium

£811

£8,782

£9,593

7

Luxembourg

£740

£9,975

£10,715

8

Spain

£1,934

£9,060

£10,994

9

Netherlands

£1,854

£9,659

£11,514

10

Norway

£140

£11,465

£11,604

*No tuition fees, just semester fees/student union fees

The company then analysed which universities in Europe would be the most affordable and institutions in Italy and Germany dominated the list. Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa and the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Italy took the top two spots by providing free tuition and covering living costs for the few able to secure a place. No UK universities made this list. 

At the moment it is unclear what impact Brexit will have on how much university students from the UK will have to pay for tuition fees and how much students coming from the EU will have to pay in the UK after 2019. 

FairFX’s 2018 Top 10 best value European universities to study

Value rank 2018

 World University Rank 2018

University

Country

Tuition fees

Living Costs

Total

=1

 184

Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa

Italy

£0

£0

£0

=1

 =155

Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna

Italy

£0

£0

£0

3

=155

TU Dresden

Germany

£477

£5,085

£5,561

4

 88

Free University of Berlin

Germany

£576

£6,009

£6,585

5

=113

University of Göttingen

Germany

£678

£6,009

£6,687

6

=165

University of Würzburg

Germany

£230

£6,471

£6,701

7

79

RWTH Aachen University

Germany

£475

£6,240

£6,716

8

45

Heidelberg University

Germany

£414

£6,471

£6,885

9

125

University of Mannheim

Germany

£290

£6,702

£6,992

10

82

University of Freiburg

Germany

£287

£6,933

£7,220

However UK universities took nine out of 10 places in the table for the most expensive universities to study in Europe. University College London topped the list costing £24,353 a year. Four of the universities were located in London. École Polytechnique in France was the only university outside of the UK to make this list. 

FairFX’s 2018 most expensive universities to study in Europe 

Most expensive rank 2018

World University Rank 2018

 University

Country

 Tuition fee

Average living costs

 Total

1

16

University College London

United Kingdom

£9,250

£15,103

£24,353

2

=143

University of St Andrews

United Kingdom

£9,250

£12,720

£21,970

3

=141

University of Birmingham

United Kingdom

£9,250

£12,180

£21,430

4

8

Imperial College London

United Kingdom

£9,250

£11,190

£20,440

5

1

University of Oxford

United Kingdom

£9,250

£11,129

£20,379

= 6

36

King’s College London

United Kingdom

£9,250

£11,000

£20,250

= 6

76

University of Bristol

United Kingdom

£9,250

£11,000

£20,250

8

115

École Polytechnique

France

£11,094

£8,782

£19,876

9

121

Queen Mary University of London

United Kingdom

£9,250

£10,500

£19,750

10

=126

University of Southampton

United Kingdom

£9,250

£9,953

£19,203

Read more: Best universities in Europe

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