How much does it cost to study in Austria compared to the UK?
Tuition Fees Comparison
The table below illustrates the difference in the tuition fees at public Universities in Austria compared to the UK for the academic year 2023-2024.
|Home Fees Undergraduate
|€727 per year
|£9,250 per year cap – England & Scotland (RUK),
£1,820 per year cap Scotland (Home Fees),
£9,000 per year cap – Wales, £4710 per year cap – Northern Ireland.
|International Fees Undergraduate
|€1,453 per year
|Average £22,200 per year
|Home Fees postgraduate
|€727 per year
|Average £12,000 per year
|International Fees Postgraduate
|€1,453 per year
|Average £17,109 per year
Note 1: The UK is made up of 4 countries with devolved powers in certain areas which includes Education. Consequently, there may be slight differences between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Note 2: Tuition fees at Danube University Krems are different to other public Universities in Austria at around €4800 per year (2023-2024).
Home Fee Eligibility
Home Fees are available to Withdrawal AgreementWithdrawal Agreement The Withdrawal Agreement sets out the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and provides for a deal on citizens’ rights. It sets out a transition period which lasts until 31 December 2020. During this time you can continue to live, work and study in the EU broadly as you did before 31 January 2020. If you are resident in Austria at the end of the transition period, you will be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, and your rights will be protected for as long as you remain resident in Austria. Any rights that are not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement will be the subject of future negotiations. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/new-withdrawal-agreement-and-political-declaration beneficiaries for courses up 31st December 2027. Home Fees are also available to EU nationals with settled status and Irish Nationals.
Home Fees are available to Austrian Students, EU and EEAEEA The European Economic Area (EEA) consists of the 27 EU Member States as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. The United Kingdom is not part of the EEA. nationals and Withdrawal Agreement beneficiaries in Austria.
In addition to this, they are available to holders of Long-Term Resident – EU/ “DaueraufenthaltDaueraufenthalt Daueraufenthalt simply means permanent residence. If you have permanent residence rights, usually from having been legally resident for 5 years, you are eligible for a 10 year residency permit. – EU” (or people who have lived in Austria continuously for 5 years), diplomats and journalists.
Other Eligibility in Austria
If you are a Dual National (British and another Citizenship), you might want to check if you qualify for special terms under your non-British Citizenship.
Austria has numerous partnerships with other countries, particularly those from the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, the Republic of Moldova, North Macedonia and Serbia) so please check for any specific re-imbursement programme.
There are also special rules for those granted Asylum and in particular Ukrainians.
Students from developing countries listed under annex 3, may be exempt from having to pay the tuition fee. (Afghanistan • Angola • Bangladesh • Benin • Bhutan • Burkina Faso • Burundi • Cambodia • Central African Republic • Chad • Comores • Congo – Democratic Republic • Djibouti • Eritrea • Ethiopia • Gambia • Guinea • Guinea-Bissau • Haiti • Kiribati • Lao – People’s Democratic Republic • Lesotho • Liberia • Madagascar • Malawi • Mali • Mauritania • Mazambique • Myanmar • Nepal • Niger • Rwanda • Sâo Tomé and Principe • Senegal • Sierra Leone • Solomon Islands • Somalia • South Sudan • Sudan • United Republic of Tanzania • Timor-Leste • Togo • Tuvalu • Uganda • Yemen • Zambia)
Of-course in both countries, check for any special grants that may be available.
Other Costs to consider
HealthSozialministerium The Austrian Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection is responsible for the following fields: The health care system Initiatives for people with disabilities Consumer protection Public health and medical issues Care and support The rights of consumers and the protection of their health Senior citizens’ policy Social policy Social insurance Insurance
UK residents wanting to study in Austria will need to pay health insurance costs. OeGK Self Insurance for students is €69.13 per month (2024) and please note that a UK Student GHIC is NOT accepted for residency in Austria.
UK nationals who are resident in Austria who plan on studying in the UK, should be covered by the NHS (you need to register with a GP). But, be advised that if you are covered by the NHS, then you are NOT covered by OeGK and will need to apply for a GHIC and travel insurance when travelling back to Austria (e.g. holiday).
The NHS Health surcharge for those requiring a Visa to study in the UK is planned to rise to £776 per year from January 2024 (was £470 in 2023).
Cost of Living
It is difficult to compare the whole of the UK with the whole of Austria in terms of Cost of Living, but this comparison of Vienna vs London may give you an indication. Rent and transport are certainly cheaper (as is beer) in Vienna compared to London.
Student’s Union Fee
Degree students in Austria must pay the Austrian Student Union fee (ÖH fee) of €22.70 (2023) per semester to the Austrian Student Union (ÖH – Österreichische Hochschülerinnen- und Hochschülerschaft).
Student Union fees in the UK are variable, some are free but not mandatory!
Different types of educational establishment in Austria may require different payment terms on fees (i.e. payment upfront or deferred payment), please check! There may be differences between a standard University and University of Applied Science (Fachhochschule).
The UK Student Loan system is too complex for this article, especially as there may be different rules in different countries.
Article 50 – 5 Year Card.
British Nationals with a 5-year Article 50 card in Austria are only entitled to a maximum of 12 months absence, prior to acquiring permanent residence. This would mean that a 3-year Undergraduate course in the UK would not be possible without losing the Article 50 residence rights.
Following Brexit, life is a little bit more complex regarding qualification recognition; this is particularly true for those that want to work in regulated professions. There is some guidance here from the UK Government for those with EU/EEA qualifications wanting to work in the UK, there are also links in the same article going the other way. Here are some EU links on the topic.
As qualifications no longer receive equal status (i.e. A UK qualification is NOT an EU qualification and vice versa), there is now no automatic guarantee they will be accepted in each other’s Country. This could be a potential issue as Austria has 9 provinces with their own laws and the UK has 3 legal jurisdictions (England & Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland).
Both the UK and Austria offer a very good standard of further education, although some UK Universities may score higher in the World Rankings.
An education in Austria certainly offers good value for money and of course the UK does have some very good World-renowned institutions. The choices you make, may depend on where you see your future career and life.
- BiA UK Students Studying in Austria
- Study in Austria Tuition Fees
- Austrian Ministry of Finance Tuition Fees
- Vienna University Decree on Groups of Persons
- British in Europe Home Fees
- Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research Brexit Guidance
- British Council Cost of Studying
- House of Commons Library – Home Fees England
- Wales cost of Studying
- Scotland Funding and Fees
- Eligibility for home fee status and student support in Scotland
- Northern Ireland Tuition Fees
- UCAS Postgraduate Fees and Funding
- .GOV.UK Student Finance
With thanks to Louis Boyle!