In the past several years, India’s low living costs and fast-growing economy have become a beacon for international companies to invest in the country. Its magnificent architecture, rich culture, and long history have also been very attractive for foreign tourists for a very long time. Here, we will be looking at the most affordable universities in India for international students.
However, for some reason, the total number of international students in India barely reaches 50,000—relatively low compared to other nations with big economies. It is surprising considering that the country is home to numerous low-cost but world-class educational institutions. For instance, India’s engineering programs have been popular due to the number of globally competent engineers coming from the country.
Nowadays, along with the growing economy, India also works on strengthening its course offerings, especially those stemming from its unique cultures, such as Ayurveda and Buddhism. Indian universities have also utilized their skills in engineering and technology to construct state-of-the-art facilities and infrastructure to create an even more appealing learning environment for international students.
Cheap Universities in India
1. India Education Center University
- Tuition Fees for Undergraduate Programs: Rs20,000 – Rs110,000
- Tuition Fees for Graduate Programs: Rs25,000– Rs117,000
The India Education Center (IEC) University is a young, government-recognized university established in 1999 in Kallujandah, Himachal Pradesh. Despite having only a little over 20 years of history, the progressive university has already formed academic collaborations with 35 universities from almost 20 countries.
This affordable university in India offers various courses in the schools of Agricultural Sciences, Allied Health Sciences, Art & Fashion, Basic Sciences, Commerce & Business Management, Computer Application, Engineering, Hotel Management, Travel & Tourism, Humanities & Social Sciences, Journalism & Mass Communications, Law, Pharmacy, and Sports & Physical Education.
2. Osmania University
- Tuition Fees for Undergraduate Programs: Rs27,000 – Rs243,000
- Tuition Fees for Graduate Programs: Rs81,000– Rs337,500
The Osmania University, located in Hyderabad, opened in 1918. It has received an A+ Grade rating from the National Assessment and Accreditation Council in India. It has also produced nationally and internationally renowned alumni in various fields, such as film, politics, sports, business, and the academe.
The university has over 5,000 alumni from 87 countries, with degrees from its eight colleges: Arts & Social Sciences, Commerce & Business Management, Education, Engineering, Law, Physical Education, Sciences, and Technology.
Currently, the university hosts roughly 400 international students from almost 30 countries. Osmania University aims to increase the number of international students through forging exchange program partnerships with more universities globally.
3. Bahra University
- Tuition Fees for Undergraduate Programs: Rs44,400 – Rs120,150
- Tuition Fees for Graduate Programs: Rs54,500 – Rs120,150
Bahra University, launched in 2011, is one of the affordable universities in India. It is located in the State of Himachal and currently hosts roughly 2,000 students—including over 100 international students—and employs professors from over 35 countries.
Since its opening, the university has always had a global outlook. It takes advantage of its young and modern identity, born in the 21st century, to offer advanced and globally significant teaching standards and academic programs.
The university offers over 150 degree programs under seven schools: Basic Sciences, Engineering & Technology, Law, Hospitality & Tourism, Management, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy.
4. Uka Tarsadia University
- Tuition Fees for Undergraduate Programs: Rs149,700 – Rs262,000
- Tuition Fees for Graduate Programs: Rs224,500 – Rs374,200
The Uka Tarsadia University (UTU) is a cheap private state university in India established in 1960 with the aim of providing opportunities for higher education to residents of rural areas around Bardoli. It lives by its values that focus on scholarly rigor, academic freedom, integrity, collegiality, equality, and dignity.
UTU features free high-speed WiFi access to all students and staff, a gymnasium, a yoga center, excellent hostel facilities, ergonomic infrastructures, and more. These features contribute to the university’s goal of holistic education wherein students can grow intellectually, emotionally, physically, artistically, socially, and spiritually.
5. Jawaharlal Nehru University
- Tuition Fees for Undergraduate Programs: Rs173,000 – Rs300,000
- Tuition Fees for Graduate Programs: Rs173,000 – Rs300,000
Jawaharlal Nehru University has consistently been among the top universities in India. It opened in 1966 in New Delhi, and its short history has proven its competence by gaining recognition from various national education assessment bodies in the country.
Its outstanding reputation in education hails from its academic structure focusing on continuous learning and its numerous nationally and globally awarded faculty and staff.
The university offers a wide array of courses ranging from arts and aesthetics to engineering and life sciences and had around 9,000 students in 2024—3% of which are international students. JNU has 18 hostels to accommodate its huge number of students.
6. Jadavpur University
Jadavpur University in Kolkata, Bengal, traces its history back to 1905 as part of India’s movement for freedom. It was then known as the National Council of Education and officially adopted its current name in 1955. Now, the university is among the top ten universities based on the recent NIRF results.
This affordable Indian university is home to roughly 11,000 students, including around 100 international students, and offers courses under four faculties: Arts, Engineering & Technology, Interdisciplinary Studies Law & Management, and Sciences.
Jadavpur University has collaboration projects and academic exchange programs locally and abroad, including the Erasmus Mundus program. It allows student and staff exchanges for the acquisition and spread of knowledge through seminars and training.
7. Jamia Millia Islamia
- Tuition Fees for Undergraduate Programs: Rs179,600 – Rs269,400
- Tuition Fees for Graduate Programs: Rs179,600 – Rs269,400
Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) opened as an institution in Aligahr in 1920 and became a central university and moved to New Delhi in 1988.
According to the Indian Ministry of Education’s National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), it is among the top ten universities in the country. It has also gained recognition from world university ranking bodies.
The university has almost 300 programs ranging from middle school to doctoral degree and offers several merit scholarship opportunities to outstanding students. It also has over 140 academic agreements with various universities domestically and abroad to provide a more international experience to its students.