8 Cheapest Universities in India for International Students

India is a country that nearly any person in the world is aware of. Currently holding the record for being the second most populated nation in the world as well as the 7th largest country in the world, it is a land overflowing with a wealth of rich culture, authentic history, and steeped in timeless traditions.

Additionally, India is also one of the fastest-growing countries in the world with a rapidly integrating economy and reaching status as an economic superpower.

To this end, over the past few decades, India has constructively created one of the largest Education systems in the world (surprisingly after China and the US) as well as one of the most complex. Its massive landmass is home to thousands of universities and colleges, both government-based and private.

The country has been ranked in the top 30 education providers in the globe and is particularly renowned for its high quality of academic education in the fields of engineering and technology. Additionally, over 70 of its universities have been consistently ranked in the top universities of the QS university rankings.

These are the reasons that constantly attribute to why India annually attracts an increasing number of foreign students from across the world. Coupled with its rich culture and diversity, one of the main attractions of the higher education system are the relatively cheap costs in terms of tuition as well as the cost of living.

In this article, we present to you a series of universities in India that offer quality education at low tuition fees. To any prospective student who is considering studying in this diverse nation while also considering finances, we trust that the information in this article about cheap universities in India will give you options to think about!

How to Study in India for International Students

To study in India, international students need to prepare in advance. This process is not easy to navigate, so we’ve prepared a guide on How to Study in India for International Students. If you are interested, we recommend you to read the guide!


How much does it usually cost for a student to study in India?

Tuition fees tend to range from as low as USD 400 going up to USD 8000, depending on the nature of the university as well as your major selection. In terms of the costs of living, this will differ according to the location of the university.

Large cities such as Mumbai tend to have a higher cost of living. On average, students can expect to pay between USD 2000 to USD 6000 depending on the circumstances.

If you are interested, read about How to Study in India for Free (8 Steps).


What are the best student cities in India?

The major student cities in India are those with the highest concentration of universities and colleges as well as offering the best student life. Mumbai tends to be one of the largest and most opted for in terms of student locations, closely followed by the cities of Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, and Hyderabad.

Universities tend to be clustered in safe and secure regions and students have access to premium facilities and a quality student life.


What are the chances of getting a scholarship to study in India?

Chances are definitely quite high when considering the availability of scholarships. The primary requirement tends to be academic potential as India has limited opportunities for students on a ‘needs’ basis.

Therefore, if you have an excellent academic track record, the chances of you receiving a scholarship can definitely be high!


Countries near India with Affordable Universities

There are many universities in countries near India that provide a great education at affordable prices! Check this list out!


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Cheap Universities in India

1. Osmania University

Based in the city of Hyderabad, the Osmania University is another public state university that dates back to the early 20th century. This cheap university in India happens to be the 3rd oldest university (by establishments during the British Empire) and is also the first university in the country to offer Urdu as a language of instruction.

With a student population of over 300,00 in total, Osmania has the largest campus in the region with a dense confederation of colleges and associated/affiliated institutes in the country.

It periodically attracts a wide number of international students and currently has approximately 4000 students from over 90 different countries. Osmania is particularly reputed for its provision of education in the fields of Humanities, Commerce, and Sciences. It is ranked among the top 10 state universities in the country as well as the top 300 universities in the Asian continent.


2. Jamia Islamia University

The Jamia Islamia University is a public research university located in the city of New Delhi. It was founded in 1920 as an institution that provides progressive education and Indian nationalism to a multitude of students, particularly Muslim students.

It is academically comprised of 9 major faculties as well as offering different academic programs. These range across the fields of law, psychology, engineering & technology, architecture, humanities, fine arts, social and natural sciences. The university is also one of the largest institutions by student enrolment and currently has a population of over 20,000.


3. Jawaharlal Nehru University

Based in the capital city of New Delhi in India, the Jawaharlal Nehru University is a public university that was founded in 1969. Since its inception, the university has grown into becoming one of the most popular institutions of higher education in the country and is one of the foremost institutions in terms of its high standards of academic teaching and research.

With a student population of over 8000 in total, this cheap university in India for international students was among the first institutions in the country to offer courses in foreign languages (outside of the Hindi language).

Naturally, it is not surprising that the JNU has a large international student population due to its increased flexibility in providing courses and degrees tailored to these students. Students have access to over 100 different courses and degrees of study.

It further periodically maintains connections with numerous other world-class universities across the globe and thereby having many active national and international exchanges.


4. Jadavpur University

The Jadavpur University is a public state university located in the city of Kolkata in the state of West Bengal. With its history dating back to former British India, the university is one of the oldest of its kind in the state and currently has a student population numbering 12,000 in total.

It oversees the operation of two main campuses in Jadavpur as well as in Salt Lake, as well as managing other institutes such as the Jadavpur Institute of Business Management and the JD Birla Institute. It offers over 200 different courses and degrees of study to its student populations.

Additionally, the university focuses strongly on research and is among the only institutions in the region to have certain cutting-edge research facilities. To this end, it comes as no surprise that the university has been consistently ranked in the top 650 universities in the world. It is also one of the top 20 universities in the country.


5. Thapar University

Now known as the Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology, this is a novel institute (and yet to be deemed a university) located in the city of Patiala in Punjab.

Established in 1956, the institution was initially created to provide a close interaction of the industry to its students, as well as providing a strong sense of applied research and practical thinking for its academia. After 6 decades, it has evolved into a large and prestigious institution with a sprawling 250-acre campus. Thapar focuses on providing an integrated engineering and technology-based education and thus offers a range of undergraduate programs leading to BEng and MEng degrees.

Additionally, postgraduate degrees range from MTech, MSc, MCA, and Ph.D. programs. Its high standards of education in the engineering fields have led it to be placed in the top 1000 institutions for engineering in the world as well as in the top 300 in ASIA.


6. Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi

The Indian Institutes of Technology are among the most well-known as well as most prestigious chains of higher education in the country.

Founded in 1961, IIT Delhi is also one of the few ‘Institutes of National Importance’ as well as an ‘Institute of Eminence’ in the country, owing to its contributions to academics as well as research. Based in the area of Hauz Khas in New Delhi, the university primarily offers education to undergraduates and currently has a student enrolment exceeding 5000.

It provides a multitude of programs leading up to the BTech degrees as well as limited options for postgraduate programs. The university further has a very unique campus wherein the interior of the campus itself resembles a city. This cheap university in India strives to provide a very optimal student experience for its population with multiple facilities for recreation and extra-curricular activities so students can achieve a diverse student life.

Over 13 halls of residences are further provided for its students so accommodation is guaranteed for nearly all students. IIT Delhi is one of the foremost universities in the country and is ranked in the top 200 universities in the world as well as the top 5 institutions in the country.


7. National Institute of Technology, Delhi

The National Institute of Technology, Delhi is an elite university located in Delhi. A member of the NIT system of India, it is also one of the few institutions in the country to be classified as an ‘Institute of National Importance.’

Seeing as the university is a member of the NIT network, its rules, regulations, and management are overseen by the central council and are common to the rest of the institutes. As is the case with other institutions, the NIT Delhi solely offers programs in (almost all branches of) engineering at an undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral level.

Admissions of foreign students are on the basis of SAT scores and managed by the Direct Admission for Students Abroad. Admission intake is competitive and depends on the level; as little as 60 students are annually enrolled in an undergraduate course while approximately 15 students are accepted into the postgraduate courses.

However, foreign student intake can be slightly different, going as low as 4 students accepted, which of course, depends on the degree of study that the student is applying to. Academically, the NIT is comprised of 5 main departments including Applied Sciences, Computer Science and Engineering, Electronics, Mechanical Engineering, and Electrical Engineering.

8. Teri University

The last university on our list of cheapest universities in India is Teri University. The TERI School of Advanced Studies is an institution of academics and research that was set up by the Energy and Resources Institute.

Originally established in 1998 as an institute catered towards research in the fields of energy, environment, and sustainable development, it expanded into providing degrees for postgraduate students with final degrees ranging from MA, MSc, MTech, MBA as well as LLM.

The institution is located in the capital of New Delhi. Academically, the university is further comprised of departments such as natural resources, energy & environment, biotechnology, policy studies, and business & sustainability.


I hope that this article was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Scholarships Page!