The cost of studying in SA

Have you ever asked your child what they would like to be when they grow up? Chances are that you’ll get answers such as doctor, lawyer, teacher, artist and fashion designer.

While their aspirations are limitless, have you considered what it will cost you when they do decide to attend university or college to achieve those childhood dreams?

Before you start filling out those university application forms though, bear in mind that a university degree is not for everyone. Studying is expensive; to fail is even more expensive.

Choice of tertiary institutions

Together with your child, consider the options – the best option for them not for you. There are several excellent training colleges around South Africa that specialise in a variety of trades such as gastronomy, carpentry, fashion design, nursing, welding, and graphic design. It’s not uncommon for students qualified in these fields to find jobs more easily than for students who leave university with a degree.

Gap or Working Year

If your child has no idea what they want to do after they finish school, why not let them take a gap year or work for the first year?

Tertiary Institutions

Before we get into the costs, it’s good to know the different tertiary institutions there are available. Here are a few examples:

  • Universities of Technology – Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Western Cape, Central University of Technology, Free State, Durban University of Technology, KZN
  • TVET Colleges – click here ( for a complete directory
  • Traditional and comprehensive universities – University of Cape Town, Western Cape, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Eastern Cape, Rhodes University, Eastern Cape
  • Private institutions - CTI Education Group, Damelin, Milpark Education Rosebank College, Varsity College
  • Business - Boston City Campus and Business College, East London Management Institute (ELMI)
  • Creative arts and design - AAA School of Advertising, Red and Yellow School, Design Academy of Fashion
  • Education - Ed-U College, Inscape Education Group
  • Medicine, health, fitness and beauty - Camelot International Health and Skin Care Education, Mediclinic Private Higher Education Institution
  • Hospitality - The International Hotel School, The Swiss Hotel School South Africa
  • Information technology - Durban Computer College, Richfield Graduate Institute of Technology
  • Music and production - Academy of Sound Engineering, Campus of Performing Arts
  • Theology - Hebron Theological College, Nazarene Theological College

Below is a list of costs that you will cover, over and above all the other fees.

Studying at University

Please keep in mind, that costs estimated are for 2018/2019 and will increase per year*. This percentage increase is determined by the respective university.

Table on university fees

*Cost per course per year at university level. All costs are according to the University of Cape Town student fees handbook and are the amount stipulated per year.

Cost of Education in SA 1

Studying at College

Please keep in mind, that costs estimated are for 2018 and will increase per year*. This percentage increase is determined by the respective college.

table of college fees

*Cost per course per year at college level. All costs are according to the Varsity College schedule and are the amount stipulated per year.

Table of college faculties
You might want to start think about saving for your child's education while they are still young. Have a look at our Education Plan offers to help you save.

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