5 Affordable Universities in Austria 2024-2025

Many public universities in Austria offer free tuition even to international students, making the country a perfect destination for a sought-after European degree. Some universities do charge tuition fees, but they come at a pretty affordable price. Here, we will be looking at some of the free and affordable universities in Austria for international students. In addition, there are plenty of scholarship programs available for international students, and the cost of living is relatively reasonable.

Austria is a small country with vibrant nightlife, culture, and cuisine. Roughly 15% of the university student population in the country consists of international students, offering a diverse, multicultural community that can provide opportunities to build global connections and relationships.

Excellent career opportunities are also available in the country. Graduates who want to pursue a career anywhere in Europe can easily do so with their degree in Austria recognized by EU-member countries. That is why despite the highly competitive admissions in Austrian universities, there is still an increasing number of incoming international students every year.

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Cheap Universities in Austria

1. FH Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences

FH Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences started as a technical school in 1989 and gained university status in 1999. Since then, the university has expanded to offer degree programs in Business Administration, Design, Engineering & Technology, and Social Work & Health.

This free university in Austria is relatively small, hosting only around 1,600 students, but takes pride in its high-quality, student-focused education with a 1:12 teacher-student ratio. This setup allows the teaching staff to offer a more in-depth lesson strategy to cater to the learning needs of individuals in small class sizes. In addition, the university uses state-of-the-art facilities suitable for 21st-century learners.

FH Vorarlberg offers several courses in English to accommodate full-time degree-seeking international students and incoming exchange students from its huge number of partner universities from all over the world. The university also sends many of its students for a semester or year abroad through its exchange programs to strengthen its internationalization initiatives.

2. University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences

The University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna (BOKU) is an affordable university in Austria that was founded in 1872 as an agricultural college. BOKU went through several organizational and curriculum changes in its history, primarily due to the Nazi regime. Despite the dismissal of Jewish professors and strict political control at the time, thanks to the circumstances, the university was able to focus more on research than teaching.

To this day, the university specializes in researches in Agricultural Production & Food, Biotechnology, Ecosystem Management & Biodiversity, Renewable Raw Materials & New Technologies, Resources & Societal Dynamics, and Landscape, Water, Habitat, and Infrastructure.

Currently, BOKU focuses on agriculture and has developed highly sustainable standards following the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals. BOKU has 15 departments that offer offers seven Bachelor’s, 27 Master’s, and 9 Doctoral programs that work together in an interdisciplinary environment to strengthen its research specialties further.

3. University of Vienna

Initially called the Alma Mater Rudolphina Vindobonensis, the University of Vienna was launched in 1365 by Duke Rudolph IV. Its over 650 years of history—marked with societal, political, and religious conflicts—helped shape its development. Now, the university is one of the oldest and most prominent in the country, with over 60 branches in Vienna.

The University of Vienna hosts approximately 90,000 students spread among 178 degree programs under 15 faculties and five centers. Thirty percent of the population consists of international students from around 140 countries. The university employs over 10,000 competent teaching and non-teaching staff to attend to the massive number of students.

It takes pride in its highly diverse and inclusive school community where people with different religions, nationalities, races, genders, or disabilities receive equal opportunities to learn. The university also balances the number of male and female teaching staff and uses gender-neutral language inside the classroom and even in textbooks.

4. Paris Lodron University of Salzburg

The Paris Lodron University of Salzburg (PLUS) was founded in 1622 by Prince Archbishop Paris Lodron, whom the university was named after. The university values equality and lives by its four guiding principles: Art in Context, Development & Sustainability, Digital Life, and Health & Mind.

This cheap university in Austria is currently home to roughly 18,000 students taking up undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs under four faculties: Catholic Theology, Cultural & Social Sciences, Law, and Natural Sciences. Prospective international students interested in taking up any of these courses must present a certificate of proficiency in the German language.

In addition to affordable quality education, international students can also enjoy various sports, fitness, and fun activities in the university and the city of Salzburg all year round. There are also various cultural events for students to participate in and discounts available to enjoy authentic regional and seasonal cuisines.

5. TU Wien

TU Wien, also known as the Vienna University of Technology, started in 1815 as the Royal and Imperial Polytechnic Institute of Vienna. Numerous political shifts and two world wars brought about significant impacts on the university and, for a time, stunted or slowed its development. It was only in 2004 that the university was able to enjoy full legal independence and expand its faculties.

This affordable university in Austria has secured a spot in world rankings, making it one of the most prestigious universities in Austria. As a result, it continues to attract a large number of students every year. It is currently home to roughly 27,000 students under 13 Bachelor’s, 31 Master’s, and three Doctoral Degree programs.

TU Wien students can take advantage of the university’s extensive partnerships with several companies, organizations, and industries for future career opportunities after graduation. The university also offers guidance and practical support for students who want to launch a startup business.

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