5 tuition-free universities in Europe every Indian student should consider

tuition-free universities
With the Indian rupee plummeting sharply against the US dollar, consider these tuition-free universities if you are looking for a more affordable option to study your master's abroad. Source: Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFPSource: Sam Panthaky/AFP

A depreciating rupee is bad for Indian students — but not for those at tuition-free universities. The currency breached the 80 rupees per US dollar level twice in July, according to CNBC. For Indian students without deep pockets, it’ll be harder to find the funds to pay up to 10,000 pounds per year for a UK degree and considerably for an American degree.

If you’re an Indian postgraduate student searching for greener pastures, consider tuition-free universities. You don’t have to pay for degrees and courses. Not one rupee goes to application, books, and course materials either, but you may need to pay an administrative fee at some unis.

tuition-free universities

It only costs roughly 525 US dollars to pursue your master’s at the University of Iceland. Source: Halldor Kolbeins/AFP

Tuition-free universities in Europe

1. University of Iceland, Iceland

Did you know that public universities in Iceland do not charge tuition fees for international students? Situated in the heart of Reykjavik, the uni charges only 75,000 Icelandic króna (roughly 525 US dollars) annually for your registration fees.

The university can waive the IELTS or TOEFL requirements if you have sufficient proof of English language from prior studies too, saving you even more money. There is also an impressive range of English-taught master’s programmes.

The best part? You can apply for a work permit to work up to 15 hours a week as an international student in Iceland.

Be prepared for a major cultural shift as there are not many Indians — or people — living in the country. Official Icelandic statistics showed there were only around 305 Indian nationals in Iceland. Outdoor enthusiasts who are passionate to explore the natural wonders within the country, however, will enjoy living here, according to Ankur Kumar, who works at the Embassy of India.

2. Technical University of Munich, Germany

As one of Europe’s leading research institutions, the Technical University of Munich is excellent for those who want to enhance their knowledge in the following fields: 

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Environmental Science and Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Remote Sensing
  • Medical Technology

According to the Global Rankings of Academic Subjects, it is among the 25 best universities in the world for these subjects.

International students from non-EU countries would only need to pay a semester fee ranging from 62 to 130 euros, on top of living costs.

Those who adapt well to the culture and language will enjoy their time here, according to Quora user Anbazhagan Ambrose, who lived in Germany for two years. As a popular international student hub, it’s easy to beat homesickness. For Ambrose, his best friends came from Kyrgyzstan, South Korea, China, and even the locals.

tuition-free universities

Located in the heart of Munich, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München ranks among the world’s top 50 universities. Source: Christof Stache/AFP

3. Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU), Germany

If you are looking for a balance of modern lifestyle with an ethnic feel, consider pursuing your master’s at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. Located in Munich, students studying here are blessed with cultural gems like the world-class Bavarian State Opera, Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, and the iconic Oktoberfest.

LMU’s master’s degree programmes are taught in English and they combine challenging research with professional qualifications — catering to various international career paths. LMU is also among the world’s top 50 universities, according to THE.

Generally, you can expect to pay 138 euros per semester. We recommend you check the individual course for details as the uni does charge tuition fees for some of their master’s programmes.

4. University of Oslo, Norway

There are many reasons to study at the University of Oslo. The university ranked number one in the country and 119 in the world by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (THE) in 2022. It offers various postgraduate courses taught in English, including the likes of astronomy, data science, and European history.

As one of the most expensive countries to live in, the cost of living can make or break your decision to pursue your master’s in the country. Fortunately, you can work up to 20 hours weekly to support yourself. Upon graduation, you can remain and work in Norway for a year.

Arvind Keprate, who completed his PhD and master’s degree in Norway, shares in his Youtube video that library desktops are available and you can loan iPads. You won’t need to buy books since all the notes will be available on the e-learning platform.

5. OsloMet, Norway

OsloMet is another one of Europe’s best tuition-free universities. Since most of their funding comes from the Norwegian government, international students only pay a small administrative fee.

Researchers at OsloMet can contribute to the sustainability and improvement of the state’s welfare through research. Most of their study programmes also have a period of supervised professional training.

Master’s programmes offered span product design, smart mobility and urban analytics, international social welfare and health policy. Pair that with friendly Norwegians and you’re bound to have a pleasant postgraduate experience.