What does a university education in SA cost right now?

By Mieke Vlok
20 September 2016

This is what the first year in a number of popular degrees costs.

The news that tuition fees at South African universities could increase by up to 8% in 2017 has many students hot under the collar.

University education is already expensive and many students are wondering where the money will come from to fund studies next year.

How high are tuition fees at SA universities? We found out what the first year course in a number of popular degrees costs.

BA degrees

BA courses in the arts, literature and social sciences are very popular.

Stellenbosch University: R31 947 to R36 532.

University of Pretoria: R26 970 to R39 160.

University of the Free State: R24 965 to R30 930.

University of Cape Town: R45 000 to R56 000.

North West University: R32 225 to R46 335.

BSc degrees

Science studies include subjects such as genetics, biology and agri-sciences.

Stellenbosch University: R37 880 to R39 079.

University of Pretoria: R29 550 to R55 240.

University of the Free State: R30 135 to R38 440.

University of Cape Town: R43 040 to R51 890.

North West University: R34 300 to R43 665.

Degrees in management sciences

This field of study is popular and includes subjects such as accountancy, business management and marketing.

Stellenbosch University: R33 164 to R46 338.

University of Pretoria: R29 000 to R41 590.

University of the Free State: R26 855 to R35 930.

University of Cape Town: R49 830 to R 62 620.

North West University: R37 740 to R40 065.


A law degree can be obtained only at a university.

Stellenbosch University: R39 606 to R42 856.

University of Pretoria: R34 040 to R40 130.

University of the Free State: R30 110 to R31 980.

University of Cape Town: R46 420.

North West University: R37 205.


Careers in this field are popular, from foundation phase to high school teaching.

Stellenbosch University: R32 198.

University of Pretoria: R27 710 to R33 390.

University of the Free State: R26 875.

University of Cape Town: Not offered as an undergraduate course.

North West University: R30 950 to R31 065.

Health sciences

These courses include medical studies, physiotherapy, optometry and dietetics.

Stellenbosch University: R37 118 to R64 844.

University of Pretoria: R37 590 to R54 370.

University of the Free State: R25 230 to R41 260.

University of Cape Town: R51 300 to R64 370.

North West University: R31 325 to R32 585.


Students can choose mechanical-, mechatronic-, civil- or electrical engineering.

Stellenbosch University: R45 070.

University of Pretoria: R37 680 to R42 750.

University of the Free State: Engineering not offered.

University of Cape Town: R51 620 to R53 330.

North West University: R43 270.

For more information on tuition fees go to the following universities’ yearbooks.

Stellenbosch University.

University of Pretoria.

University of the Free State.

University of Cape Town.

North West University.

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