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Berlin named as the cheapest city in Europe to be a university student

Berlin charges no tuition fees, whereas London universities charge students up to £9,000 each year

Aftab Ali
Student Editor
Wednesday 10 February 2016 10:07 GMT
Berlin has been lauded for its low cost of living and free tuition fees
Berlin has been lauded for its low cost of living and free tuition fees (KAY NIETFELD/AFP/Getty Images)

Students in parts of the UK who have had a passing thought about studying overseas should perhaps give it a serious look at, as Berlin has been named the cheapest city to be a student in, followed by Paris, Copenhagen, Brussels, and Amsterdam.

When compared with UK tuition fees, Berlin and Copenhagen do not charge any, while Paris charges an average annual amount of around £136, Brussels around £621, and Amsterdam £1,950. London, on the other hand, requires student to pay an average sum of £8,770.

The team at cash transfer site TransferWise polled 1,000 students from the ten cities in mainland Europe with the highest population of UK students, and data was analysed on the factors of - among many others - value for money, cost of tuition fees, English-taught courses, standard of culture and nightlife, ease of getting around the city, and of travelling back to the UK were all considered too.

Top 10 cheapest European cities for UK students:

  1. Berlin
  2. Paris
  3. Copenhagen
  4. Brussels
  5. Amsterdam
  6. Vienna
  7. Stockholm
  8. Madrid
  9. Bologna
  10. Zurich

Beating nine other cities, Berlin was named top city due to its free tuition fees, cultural activities, vibrant nightlife, and value for money. Paris and Copenhagen - where tuition fees are also virtually non-existent - followed closely behind with ample availability of English­-taught degree courses and affordable flights home.

Zurich, though, ranked the lowest, and TransferWise said it was let down by pricey tuition fees, costly nightlife, and a relatively small international student community.

The vast majority of students (87 per cent) told the poll the cost of going to university in the UK is too expensive, yet added how they had been unaware of low cost options abroad.

Half of respondents didn’t know it would be cheaper to study in Europe, and 62 per cent of UK students say they would only consider studying in the UK

Nilan Peiris, vice president growth at TransferWise, reflected on her own time as a student in Berlin, and said: “It’s a shame to see so few British students looking to Europe for their university education.

“My time spent abroad was priceless: I gained a network of friends around the globe and a greater world perspective. Most of all, I learned to be independent. I loved Germany so much, I stayed well past my graduation.”

To see a complete interactive guide of all ten cities, please click here

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