10 Best Colleges in South Africa (SA) in 2024

This article reveals the best colleges in South Africa (SA) – their tuition, location and other ranking that will help you make the best of schooling choices. In a recent publication too, we filtered the list of best 30 colleges in this country, and you can learn about the schools here.

However, in this review, you are getting a well-detailed information such as tuition, location and names of some of the top student destinations in South Africa.

When selecting a school today, it is important to consider various metrics to find one that best suits you and your unique needs. A metric is a measurement used to gauge the quality of an attribute and essentially tells you if something is good or bad.

For instance, when you want to know if a movie is worth watching, you may look at movie reviews to see how many stars were given to the movie.

The criteria can be considered when choosing a college. when doing these it varies from the accreditation of the institution, location, tuition, available course, quality of professors, administration rate as well as graduation rate

Speaking of education in general, Africa was not well known by international students as a good study abroad destination.

But in the recent world university ranking, many African universities have been featured. Most of the universities that made the African rankings are in South Africa. 

Here are some of the top universities in South Africa and how much they charge as tuition fees for international students:

1. University of Cape Town

The University of Cape Town was established in 1829, the Institution is a public research university located in Cape Town in the Western Cape province of South Africa.

The University of Cape Town was one of south African oldest Universities that operates with a low tuition fee.

The university, among other universities in South Africa, is the oldest university in sub-Sahara Africa including stellenbosch university that receives full university status in the year 1918.


The international student may be required to pay R90,000 ($6716) for full-time undergraduate programs,R60,000 ($4478) for Master`s programs.

The students need to pay the residence fee of R28,000 ($2089).

if you want to obtain your Ph.D. certificate or degree in the university, then you have to pay for full Masters Degree fee plus R 3,750 ($279) .

 Here is the official website: http://www.uct.ac.za/

2. University of Kwazulu Natal

The university is made up of five campuses in the province of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa.

University of KwaZulu natal was established on 1st January 2004 after it was merged between the University of Natal and the University of Durban Westville.

This institution parades their motto as inspiring greatness.


undergraduate studies are to pay R 24, 300-R53, 100 Rand depending on the course applied, the amount is between $ 1,500 to $3,500 per academic year.

Visit the Official Website:  https://ukzn.ac.za/

3. Rhodes University

Rhodes University is a public research university located in Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa.

Rhodes University is one of the universities that was found to operate on a low tuition-based fee in South Africa.

The institution was established in the year 1904, and it includes one of the oldest universities in the province making up the 5th oldest South African university in continuous operation, after which you will get the university of the free state that was established in the year 1904.

Tuition fee ranges from R29,200 ($2174) to R50,700 ($3.775). This payment is for undergraduate programs at the university.

You will also need to pay a residence fee which ranges from R51,900 ($3864) to R54,500 ($4058). Registration fee costs R4,400 ($328).

Click here for further details: https://www.ru.ac.za/

4. University of Witwatersrand

Established in 1896, the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, is a multi-campus South African public research university situated in the northern areas of central Johannesburg. it is popularly known as Wits University or Wits. 


Regarding tuition fees, SADC students pay local fees plus a registration fee of USD 400 approx. International students from the rest of the world pay two times the local fees.

This means international students pay between $2,100 and$7,500 per academic year depending on their degree program and their nationality.

Click here for further details: https://www.wits.ac.za/

5. University of Pretoria

The University of Pretoria is a multi-campus public research university in Pretoria, the administrative and de facto capital of South Africa.

The university was established in the year 1908 as the Pretoria campus of the Johannesburg-based Transvaal University College and is the fourth South African institution in continuous operation to be awarded university status.


R30, 000-R66, 000 for undergraduate programs. That is $1,500 to $4,000 per academic year.

Visit the official website for further details: https://www.up.ac.za/

6. Nelson Mandela University (NMU)

The Nelson Mandela University (NMU) came to life in 2005 after three higher education institutions were merged: includes Vista University and the University of Port Elizabeth, and the PE Technikon, originally established in 1882 as an Art School.


 Fees for international students range from USD 1,900 to USD 4,100 for the 1st year of studies making this NMU a very cheap university in South Africa.

Non-South African students also have to pay a foreign administrative fee of USD 379.

Click here for further details: https://www.mandela.ac.za/

7. Durban University of Technology (DUT)

The Durban University of Technology (DUT) was founded less than 20 years ago, in 2002, after two technikons were merged.

It offers doctorate programs, something uncommon for technical institutes in Africa.


Tuition/fees are calculated according to the classes you are taking.

Every particular subject taught has its specific price that is measured in US Dollar and it ranges from USD 70-750 USD.

Besides this, you’ll have to make a down payment upon enrollment of USD 600 approx.

We suggest you budget between USD 2,500 and USD 6,000. However, in total, fees vary between USD 2,500 and USD 6,000 per academic year.

Visit the official website for more details: https://www.dut.ac.za/

8. Stellenbosch University (SU)

We start our list of cheapest universities in South Africa for international students with Stellenbosch University.

The two universities which are the University of Cape Town, Stellenbosch University (Su) is the oldest university with over 30,000 students, this university ranks as the third-best higher education institution in the country, having 427th place in the QS World University Ranking.

Related Post: List of Best Boarding Schools in South Africa | Ranking


As for tuition fees, these depend on your country of origin. The tuition fees of students of South African origin are ZAR 60,000 RaND Per year .

Students from other African countries pay tuition fees that range from ZAR 83,940, and every other student’s tuition fees are ZAR 110,700 per academic year.

That is between USD4,000 to USD6,500 per academic year.

Click here for further details: http://www.sun.ac.za/english

9. University of Venda (Univen)

The University of Venda (UNIVEN) is a South African Comprehensive rural based university, located in Thohoyandou in Limpopo province.

It was formed in 1982 under the then Republic of Venda government.

The University was founded in the year 1982 to serve the people of the Venda bantustan, however, the student body at Univen never consisted of Venda students only rather the student from all over the Northern Transvaal attended the Institution.

After the South Africa government program of higher institution education reform in the new Millenium, the university became a comprehensive university offering both theoretically and practically oriented courses


Regarding, they vary depending on the major and the academic year of the degree program.

For the first year of the degree programs, tuition fees go from ZAR 25,000 to ZAR 50,000.

International students must pay an additional registration fee. From USD 1,500 to USD 3,000 per academic year.

Click here for further details: https://www.univen.ac.za/

10. University of Fort Hare

The University of Fort Hare is known as one of the low tuition universities in South Africa.

The University Of Fort Hare was known to be the institution of higher education for black Africans from 1916 to 1959.

It offered a Western-style academic education to students from across sub-Saharan Africa, creating the black African elite.

The institutions’ alumni were known to be part of many subsequent independence movements and governments of newly independent African countries.


R26, 000-R45, 000 for international students. That is $1,500 to N3,000 per academic year.

Click here for further details: https://www.ufh.ac.za/

General Tuition Fee in South Africa

Although there are free and low tuition universities in South Africa, the Tuition fee for undergraduate programs in South Africa is about $1500-$4500 while for postgraduate programs it could cost about $2700-$3000.

Choosing a college could be a massive undertaking with lots of different factors to consider. It is known that some students do not give the process enough time or thoughtful consideration.

This can make the selection process much more stressful and your eventual choice much more miserable.

When you consider all of these factors, as well as some of your own, you will eventually navigate your way through the process.

Which College is the best in South Africa?

  • University of Cape Town
  • University of Kwazulu Natal
  • Rhodes University
  • University of Witwatersrand
  • University of Pretoria
  • Nelson Mandela University (NMU)
  • Durban University of Technology (DUT)
  • Stellenbosch University (SU)
  • University of Venda (Univen)
  • University of Fort Hare

Read Also: 30 Best Colleges in South Africa [Full Review]

We trust you have found this article helpful. Please drop a comment in the box below for further questions or inquiries. Best of luck guys!

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