Cost of University Fees 2024

by Staff Reporter

Going to university in South Africa is exciting, but it can also be expensive. It’s therefore important to understand the costs you’ll encounter at university and how to handle them.

In this article, we break down the cost of university fees in 2024, so that you can better prepare yourself for the new academic year. Ready to dive in? Let’s go!

Table of Contents

university fees

2024 University Application Fees

Before you can study at a South African university, you may be required to pay a small application fee. Although not all universities charge application fees, a majority of them do. Remember, these fees are all non-refundable and do not guarantee you a place at the university.

To find out which universities are charging students a fee for applications, keep reading!


Application Fee

  • Local Students: None
  • International Students: R500
  • Local Students: None
  • International Students: R600
  • Local Students: R100
  • International Students: R100
  • Local Students: R300
  • International Students: R300
  • Local Students: R100
  • Graduate School of Business (GSB) Students (Local): R2,070
  • Graduate School of Business (GSB) Students (International): R300
  • International Students: R300
  • Local Students: R120
  • International Students: R500
  • Online Applicants: None
  • Hardcopy Applicants: R200
  • International Students: R200
  • On-time applications: R210
  • Late applications: R420
  • International Students: R490
  • Local Students: R200
  • International Students: R750
  • RSA Students: R200
  • Other African Residents: R400
  • International Students: R550
  • Local Students: R300
  • Local Students: R135
  • International Students: R135
  • Local Students: R100
  • International Students: R700
student attending university after paying university fees

2024 Tuition Fees

There are plenty of excellent universities in South Africa, each with their own incurring costs. In terms of tuition fees, each university is different and course costs can vary widely. For South African undergraduates, annual tuition fees can range from +-R14,000 to R102,500, depending on the university and course.

To help you get a better understanding of the tuition fees in South Africa, be sure to view a breakdown of the 2024 undergraduate fees at the following universities in South Africa (excluding universities of technology).

*Note that not all universities have their fee structure readily available on their website. If you do not see your university on this list, please visit their website to enquire about the fees.

students attending nelson mandela university after paying university fees

Nelson Mandela University (NMU) Fees

The tuition fees at Nelson Mandela University (NMU) are entirely dependent on the programme you’d like to study. With that said, you can get a personal fee estimate for 2024 by selecting your qualification on the website.

All students are required to pay a portion of their tuition prior to registering at NMU. The estimated costs for the amounts payable before registration are as follows:




Degree programmes, postgraduate programmes and related studies (BTech, Advanced Diploma, Masters, Doctorates)



Diploma, certificate programmes and related occasional studies




Enrollment fee



Medical degree (inclusive of device and non-tuition fee levies) – first year



Residences (students at all campuses)



International students

100% upfront

100% upfront

student attending north-west university after paying university fees

North-West University (NWU) Fees

Tuition fees at North-West University (NWU) for 2024 range from +-R52,400  to +-R73,400, depending on the degree you are looking to qualify for. Thankfully, the university does not expect South African students to pay the full amount upfront, meaning you have time to make your payments.

Registration for North-West University (NWU) closes more or less around February each year. With that said, the university encourages students to pay their minimum payable tuition fees early, either in December or January.

The minimum fees payable at NWU are as follows:

  • Residence Students (All Campuses): R21,870
  • Non-Residence Students: R11,810
  • Distance Learning Students: R11,810
  • International Students: Full cost of study

You can view the tuition fees for first-year undergraduates at North-West University (NWU) below:

  • BA Communication: R52,415
  • LLB: R53,124
  • BA Law: 53,290
  • Nursing Science: R55,881
  • BEd (Senior and FET): R56,475
  • Pharmacy: R59,015
  • BCom Economic Science: R60,585
  • BSc IT: R62,087
  • BCom CA: R65,361
  • Engineering: R72,347
  • BSc Actuarial Sciences: R73,965

Rhodes University (RU) Fees

First-year students looking to study at Rhodes University (RU) can expect to pay anywhere from +-R14,000 up to +-R75,000 for their full-year tuition fees. There are several payment methods that South African students can choose from at RU, including:

  • Option 1: An initial payment fee of 10% of the annual tuition fee and, if applicable, an additional 25% of the annual residence fees. The rest may be paid off monthly as per the student’s fee statements.
  • Option 2: Students may apply for a 5% discount in writing if the full tuition fee and residence fee is paid for prior to the dates set out by the university.
  • Option 3: A debit order with 11 monthly instalments may be set up for the student, to be paid for by the person in charge of the student’s account.
  • Option 4: Students who are unable to pay their study fees may apply for funding at NSFAS or other bursaries in order to pay their tuition fees.
student studying at smu after paying for university fees

Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU) Fees

Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU) is dedicated to training future healthcare professionals. Tuition fees at SMU are tailored to the specific programmes offered, reflecting the university’s commitment to affordable education in the health sciences field.

Undergraduate students who are committed to entering the medicine industry can expect to pay annual tuition fees that start at +-R31,000 and that go up to +-R101,550

Stellenbosch University (Maties) Fees

Stellenbosch University (Maties) aims to provide a world-class education that is accessible to all students. Tuition fees at Maties vary depending on factors such as the programme of study and student residency status.

Generally, South African students studying at Stellenbosch University (Maties) pay approximately +-R52,900 to R87,950 for tuition.

University of Cape Town (UCT) Fees

The University of Cape Town (UCT) is renowned for its academic excellence and commitment to social impact. Typical first-year tuition fees at the University of Cape Town (UCT) are estimated to start at +-R40,000 and go up to +-R102,470

The tuition fees at UCT are as follows:


2024 Tuition Fees


R49,240 – R99,350

Engineering & Built Environment

R68,770 – R84,420

Health Sciences

R75,820 – R102,470


R53,600 – R99,300


R72,020 – R72,570


R40,000 – R78,500

student attending university of fort hare after paying university fees

University of Fort Hare (UFH) Fees

The University of Fort Hare (UFH) has a long history of providing quality education to students at affordable prices. With tuition fees ranging from +-R26,200 to +-44,370, study costs at UFH are dependent on the programme of study as well as the campus location.

You can take a look at the average cost of study at each of UFH’s campuses below. Each of the below costs cover tuition, residence, meals and registration fees:

Alice Campus

  • Faculty of Agriculture and Science: R58,366 to R84,461
  • Faculties of Social Science, Humanities, Management, Commerce, Law, and Education: R58,683 to R87,004

Alice Campus

  • Faculty of Agriculture and Science: R64,920 to R96,961
  • Faculties of Social Science, Humanities, Management, Commerce, Law, and Education: R65,237 to R99,504

University of Johannesburg (UJ) Fees

The University of Johannesburg (UJ) is dedicated to ensuring that education remains accessible to all. Tuition fees at UJ vary depending on the composition of the particular degree.

The most affordable programme for undergraduates at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) is a Diploma in Health Sciences, which starts at a minimum of R33,708. The most expensive course is the Laboratory Modules, which amount to a maximum of R95,840

student studying at ukzn after paying university fees

University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) Fees

With campuses in Durban and Pietermaritzburg, the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) is a premier institution of higher learning. Tuition fees at UKZN range from +-R38,450 to +-68,100 for undergraduate students studying towards a Bachelor’s degree.

In order to pay the tuition fees at UKZN, students have the option of applying for NSFAS or being awarded a scholarship or bursary from the institution.

To learn more about study fees at UKZN, be sure to view the 2024 Fees Booklet.

University of Limpopo (UL) Fees

The University of Limpopo (UL) provides affordable education to students and has a large number of programmes available for those eager to get their degrees in 2024. Tuition fees for UL are categorised according to qualifications and the year of study. Specifically, tuition fees for first-year undergraduates start from R29,600 and go all the way up to R89,300.

You can view the first-year tuition fees according to faculty for UL in the table below:


2024 Tuition Fees

Faculty of Management and Law

R36,000 – R58,800

Faculty of Humanities

R29,600 – R74,400

Faculty of Science and Agriculture

R44,800 – R89,300

Faculty of Health Sciences

R48,100 – R77,000

student attending university of mpumalanga after paying university fees

University of Mpumalanga (UM) Fees

With budget-friendly study fees, the University of Mpumalanga (UM) aims to make education more accessible to students within the region. Tuition fees for undergraduates range from +-31,900 to +-R62,900.

The initial deposit for all programmes is R5,468 and South African students are expected to pay the amount prior to registering for their programme of choice (should they be accepted into the institution).

For more information, be sure to download the 2024 Fee Structure for the University of Mpumalanga (UM).

University of Pretoria (TUKS) Fees

The University of Pretoria (TUKS) offers a diverse range of programmes and is located in the administrative capital of the country.

Regarding study fees, tuition at the University of Pretoria (TUKS) starts at +-R36,000 and goes up to +-R84,000.

To get a better idea of how much the fees at TUKS cost, be sure to take note of the estimated tuition fees for each faculty below:


2024 Tuition Fees

Economic & Management Sciences

R39,000 – R69,000


R47,000 – R69,000


R40,000 – R56,000


R25,000 – R64,000

Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology

R42,000 – R84,000

Veterinary Science

R49,000 – R62,000

Health Sciences

R42,000 – R79,000


R37,000 – R68,000

Natural and Agricultural Sciences

R45,000 – R70,000

student studying at university after paying university fees

University of South Africa (UNISA) Fees

As Africa’s largest distance learning institution, the University of South Africa (UNISA) offers flexible and accessible education to students across the continent and beyond.

According to UNISA, study fees are based on your qualifications and the number of courses you would like to take. Your fees will cover things like registration, other costs and extra study materials. When you sign up online, you can pick your courses and see how much they’ll cost.

University of the Free State (UFS) Fees

The University of the Free State (UFS) has a vast number of programmes available to first-year students in the Free State who are eager to acquire their tertiary qualifications. If you’re a first-year student looking to study at UFS, you will be expected to pay anywhere between +-R21,100 and +-R73,600 for tuition.

An estimation of the tuition fee costs at UFS can be viewed below:


2024 Tuition Fees


R29,490 – R60,260

Economic and Management Sciences

R21,750 – R67,480



Natural and Agricultural Sciences

R21,180 – R54,080


R21,460 – R50,900

Health Sciences

R49,860 – R63,670

student attending wits university after paying university fees

University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) Fees

The University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) is a multi-campus public research university situated in Johannesburg, Gauteng. In terms of tuition at Wits, fees for undergraduate students start at +-R21,800 and go up to +-90,700.

An outline of the tuition fees for undergraduates at Wits can be seen below:


2024 Tuition Fees

Commerce, Law and Management

R43,970 – R78,220

Economic & Management Sciences

R21,750 – R67,480

Engineering & the Built Environment

R62,670 – R90,660


R45,450 – R65,100

Health Sciences

R56,480 – R77,750


R47,770 – R74,080

Health Sciences

R49,860 – R63,670

Student Accommodation Fees

Living arrangements have a large impact on your budget, especially if you’re a first-year student at university. Accommodation fees for first-year students range between +-R10,000 to +-R118,000 annually. 

To get a better idea of how much you’ll be paying for accommodation, here’s a look at the estimated accommodation costs at universities for first-year students in 2024:

*Fees listed below do not include meal allowances or additional registration fees.


Student Accommodation Fees (Cost Per Annum)

  • All residences: R26,900 – R61.940
  • Mahikeng Campus: R25,680 – R43,320
  • Potchefstroom Campus: R31,290 – R44,710
  • Vanderbijlpark Campus: R31,350 – R49,070
  • R84,061 – R88,254
  • R43,630 – R70,300
  • First Tier (Catering): R69,000 – R87,500
  • Second Tier (Catering): R70,900 – R90,200
  • Third Tier (Self-Catering): R54,300 – R159,200
  • Alice Campus: R14,500 – R25,000
  • East London Campus: R21,054 – R37,500
  • Kingsway Campus: R38,220 – R61,516
  • Doornfontein Campus: R37,492 – R50,596
  • Bunting Road Campus: R37,492 – R57,148
  • Soweto Campus: R34,944 – R54,600
  • R9,800 – R50,500
  • Self-catered: R13,519 – R38,986
  • Catered: R42,884 – R67,979
  • Hatfield Campus: R52,700 – R74,000
  • Hillcrest Campus: R61,600 – R70,500
  • Groenkloof Campus: R52,700 – R62,200
  • Prinshof Campus: R52,700 – R90,700
  • Onderstepoort Campus: R56,800 – R69,100
  • Qwaqwa Campus: R33,545 – R52,400
  • South Campus: R48,205 – R52,400
  • Bloemfontein Campus: R33,545 – R52,400
  • Catering: R67,554
  • Self-catering: R59,186 – R117,174
student ready to attend university after paying university fees

Student Financial Aid

When it comes to university expenses, costs can add up real fast. To avoid the stress of wondering where your funds are going to come from, be sure to seek out financial support from various funding organisations

Depending on the organisation, bursary or scholarship, you’ll be able to cover select costs at your university. For example, certain bursaries only pay for tuition, meaning you’ll have to budget for textbooks, devices, accommodation and anything else you may need while studying at university.

Alternatively, you may be able to qualify for a student loan, which will assist you in paying for your studies.

students attending university after paying university fees

Fund Your Studies with Fundi

Tertiary education comes with additional costs that you might not have planned for. Luckily, Fundi can help! Fundi can provide you with the funds you need to achieve your goals.

Curious as to whether you qualify for a Fundi Study Loan? Try out the Fundi Calculator today and take the next step in your academic journey!

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