5 Affordable Universities in Switzerland 2024-2025

Switzerland is a Central European country surrounded by France, Germany, Austria, Italy, and Liechtenstein. Its capital is Bern and its largest city is Davos. As of 2024, the estimated population of Switzerland is 8,698,000. Here we will be looking at some of the best affordable universities in Switzerland for international students.

The country is filled with tall mountains, deep lakes, green valleys, and of course, it has lots of farms within small villages. With that, lots of tourists flock to scenic Switzerland due to its impressive cheese & chocolate factories, the Matterhorn or the “Toblerone” mountain, and the Swiss National Park.

Known as a country with one of the world’s most advanced educational systems, it is not surprising to know that many students who pursue their education abroad opt to go to Switzerland. In the country, there are public and private schools for parents and children to choose from. Public school students do not pay tuition fees or wear uniforms.

Children start with primary education, then move on to secondary education which consists of lower secondary education and upper secondary education. In the latter, the students are given the opportunity to pick from a vocational school, a Baccalaureate school, or an upper secondary specialized school. Afterward, they can go on to attain tertiary education wherein they may choose between attending university to obtain a Matura or Fachhochschule to acquire a VET certificate.

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Cheap Universities in Switzerland

1. University of Geneva

Founded in 1559, the University of Geneva is an affordable public research university in Switzerland. Currently, it is one of Switzerland’s universities with the most number of students. Furthermore, it is included in the list of top 100 universities worldwide.

The center of learning has nine faculties and these are focused on Science, Medicine, Humanities, Law, Theology, Psychology & Educational Sciences, Translation & Interpreting, Economics & Management, and Social Sciences. With that, the university offers 618 programs wherein there are 139 courses for the Bachelor’s & Master’s level and 87 for the PhD level.

As of 2024, there are 17,744 students and 4,565 professors at this prestigious Swiss university. With a diverse international community, 38% of the students are from 154 various countries while 44% of the professors are from 32 different countries across the globe.

The tuition fees are payable in a single installment. The amount of CHF 500 paid per semester comprises CHF 65 in fixed fees and CHF 435 for administrative fees.

2. University of Lausanne

  • Tuition Fee:
    • Bachelor’s & Master’s – CHF 580 per semester
    • PhD – CHF 80 per semester
  • Tuition Link

Known as one of the oldest universities in Switzerland, the University of Lausanne (UNIL) was founded in 1537 and officially established as a university in 1890. Currently, around 15,600 students are thriving at this center of learning.

As it is an eminent university for a long time already, this affordable university in Switzerland has a long list of remarkable alumni including American award-winning character actress Barbara Babcock, German philologist Gerlinde Huber-Rebenich, Turkish journalist & writer Nazlı Ilıcak, Swiss physician & politician Ignazio Cassis, and even the Princess of Thailand Galyani Vadhana.

Its seven faculties are the Faculty of Theology & Sciences of Religions, Faculty of Law, Criminal Justice, & Public Administration, Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Social & Political Sciences, Faculty of Business & Economics, Faculty of Biology & Medicine, and Faculty of Geosciences & Environment. In addition to this, the university has 175 research units and in line with this, the research activities at UNIL are heavily focused on human & social sciences, life sciences & medicine, and environmental sciences.

The tuition fees depend on the student’s specific level.

3. ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich

ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich is an affordable public research university in Switzerland known for its high rankings in the QS World University Rankings and Times Higher Education World University Rankings. It is an esteemed institute of higher education with a focus on producing excellent engineers and scientists.

Currently, the university has 23,420 students from 121 countries. In line with this, the study areas at ETH Zurich include Architecture & Civil Engineering, Engineering Sciences, Natural Sciences & Mathematics, System-​oriented Natural Sciences, and Management & Social Sciences.

Swiss and non-Swiss students pay the same amount of tuition fee which is CHF 730 per semester.

4. Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne

École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) is a public research university specializing in science and technology. It is focused not just on teaching and research, but also on innovation. With that, the international community at this university is big and there are students, professors, & collaborators of around 120 nationalities at EPFL.

The five schools and two colleges at EFPL are the School of Architecture, Civil, & Environmental Engineering, School of Computer & Communication Sciences, School of Basic Sciences, School of Engineering, School of Life Sciences, College of Humanities, and College of Management of Technology. All these offer a wide variety of programs for the students.

The total amount that students pay per semester is CHF 780 and it is comprised of CHF 730 in tuition fee, CHF 25 in AGEPoly membership, CHF 16 in contribution to the sports facilities, and CHF 9 in contribution to the social fund. It must be noted that students who would not like to be an AGEPoly member may coordinate with the association in order to refund the CHF 25 to them.

5. University of Zurich

  • Tuition Fee:
    • Undergraduate – CHF 1,220 per semester
    • Postgraduate – CHF 600 per semester
  • Tuition Link

The largest university in Switzerland is the University of Zurich (UZH) which is a public research university. Founded 188 years ago, this affordable Swiss university is now recognized as a distinguished center of learning in the country. Currently, there are 28,000 enrolled students at UZH.

The seven faculties at the university cover around 100 various subject areas for Bachelor’s Master’s, and PhD students. These faculties are the Faculty of Theology, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Business, Economics, & Informatics, Faculty of Medicine, Vetsuisse Faculty, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, and Faculty of Science.

The exact tuition fee amount depends on the student’s current level.

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