University fees 2019: how much it costs to study in South Africa

 ·29 Jan 2019

In December 2017, former president Jacob Zuma announced that all tertiary education would be free in South Africa.

In the year since there has been confusion about how or when this change may be made, with the current National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) still in effect.

This means that the payment of university fees is still a major consideration for many South African students, with costs expected to rise over the next decade.

According to recent data published by Old Mutual, parents/students can expect to pay R64,200 for the first year of university in 2019 – on average.

This is expected to rise to R107,600 by 2025 and as much as R165,600 by 2030.

Fees in 2019

Below BusinessTech looked at the cost of a year’s study at universities around the country.

The fees are applicable to first-year studies for 2019 and only act as an approximation and exclude other fees such as textbooks, travel and residency.

The fees sourced include the following undergraduate degrees:

  • Bachelor of Commerce (BCom);
  • Bachelor of Arts (BA);
  • Bachelor of Science (BSc);
  • Bachelor of Law (LLB, undergraduate);
  • Bachelor of Science/Engineering (BEng).

Fees are typically charged per module needed to make up the credits of a given degree, thus the fees represented below give the broader idea of the cost of a single year of study, rather than a comprehensive overview.

Where ranges are given, the average amount was taken. For institutions where no Bachelor of Engineering is offered, a Bachelor of Science in Engineering is featured.

Some universities calculate their fees per module, require student registration, or did not provide an estimated value for the degrees by the time of publication.

University BA BCom BSc LLB BEng
University of Cape Town R56 320 R68 135 R62 186 R57 278 R64 490
University of the Witwatersrand R47 500 R49 465 R50 460 N/A R55 190
Stellenbosch University R42 664 R44 863 R50 908 R50 134 R59 167
University of KwaZulu Natal R44 735 R38 520 R41 217 R39 760 R47 000
University of Pretoria R41 687 R42 600 R44 062 R40 500 R47 444
Rhodes University R45 690 R49 988 R47 532 R51 253 R47 532
University of Johannesburg R40 015 R32 560 R50 020 R38 895 R47 330
University of Free State* R33 670 R33 395 R40 825 R37 380 N/A

* Faculty average

Read: How much it will cost to send your kids to school and university over the next 18 years in South Africa

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