Thailand is known to offer free basic education for its constituents. For this, the country enjoys an astonishing 96.7% literacy rate. Although it only has an intermediate showing in education rankings, many foreign students prefer to study in Thailand. After all, it has a low cost of living – with universities that offer good education at affordable prices. In this article, we will be looking at cheap universities in Thailand.
How much do Thailand universities cost for international students?
Tuition fees depend on the programs and universities. However, as you will see, the universities in Thailand are very affordable. Undergraduate applicants may need to pay $1,000 to $ 4,000 per year. Post-graduate students, on the other hand, may have to pay $1,000 to $2,000 per year. There is a cost of living as well as tuition that international students need to take care of. If you are interested, read about How to Study in Thailand for Free (7 Steps).
What are the admission requirements for foreign applicants?
Students who wish to enroll in baccalaureate programs need to submit a certification for secondary studies, academic transcripts, and results of TOEFL or IELTS exams.
Masters or doctorate applicants, on the other hand, need to submit their academic transcripts, TOEFL/IELTS results, and two recommendation letters.
If you want more information about the application procedures, I highly recommend that you read How to Study in Thailand for International Students (4 Steps).
Affordable Universities in Other Countries
Here are some of the affordable universities in other countries:
- Free Universities in Europe for International Students
- Free Universities in the United States for International Students
- Cheap Universities in Canada for International Students
Cheap Universities in Thailand
1. Chiang Mai University
Chiang Mai University or CMU is an educational institution based in Northern Thailand. Founded in 1964, it has campuses located in downtown Chiang Mai and Doi Suthep. Chiang Mai University is the cheapest university in Thailand for international students.
The research university has 20 faculties and 1 college. The Department of Science and Technology houses the departments of Agriculture, Agro-Industry, Architecture, Engineering, Science, and Arts Media.
The Department of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, on the other hand, is home to the Faculties of Business Administration, Economics, Education, Fine Arts, Humanities, Law, Political Science, Social Science, and Mass Communications.
The Department of Health Science governs over the Faculties of Associated Medical Sciences, Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Veterinary Medicine.
CMU is considered the fourth-best university in Thailand according to the World Rankings. It is also recognized as one of the best in Asia (251 to 300 bracket).
2. Rangsit University
Rangsit University (RSU) is a private educational institution located in Pathum Thani, Thailand. It was established in 1986 as Rangsit College before it was upgraded to a university in 1990.
RSU is fully accredited by the Thai Government’s Commission on Higher Education, Ministry of Education. It is the only private university marked “very good” by the Office for National Education Standards and Quality Assessment (ONESQA).
To date, RSU offers 83 undergraduate, 36 master’s, and 11 doctorate programs. Out of all these offerings, the university is more known for its degrees in information technology, public health, design, and music.
RSU students get to study in the 117-acre campus in the Lak-Hok sub-district, which is only 30 minutes away from the capital of Bangkok.
Interested students can also participate in exchange programs with RSU’s partner schools, including the Lingnan Normal University in China, Kansai University in Japan, Gyeongju University in South Korea, and the National University of Kaohsiung in Taiwan.
3. Siam University – International College
Siam University, otherwise known as SU, is a private coeducational institution located in the district of Phasi Charoen. This cheap university in Thailand was founded by Narong Mongkhonvanit in 1965 as the Siam Technical College. In 1986, it became the Siam Technological University. It finally became SU in 1989.
SU is recognized as the fifth-largest private university in Thailand. To date, it has 15,000 students enrolled in 13 departments.
Its foreign students, on the other hand, are housed in the specialized International College. It was established in 1995 in response to the growing demand for foreign education. Currently, it hosts 1,000 students who come from 15 countries across the globe.
The International College offers baccalaureate degrees in International Business Administration and Hotel & Tourism Management. The Graduate School, on the other hand, offers a master’s degree in Business Administration and a doctorate in Information Technology.
4. Khon Kaen University – International College
- Minimum Tuition: USD $3,221 (THB 102,500)
Khon Kaen University or KKU is a public educational institution located in northeastern Thailand. Established in 1962, it was previously known as the Khon Kaen Institute of Technology. It was renamed the “University of Northeast Thailand” before it was granted its current name in 1965.
To date, KKU is known to be the oldest and largest university in the region. As such, it offers 105 undergraduate degrees, 129 master’s programs, and 59 doctorate degrees.
With its 26 research centers of excellence, KKU has become an internationally-renowned research university. It is lauded for its breakthrough publications in the fields of tropical medicine and public health.
According to the World Rankings, KKU is the sixth-best university in Thailand. It is included in the 251-300 bracket of Asia’s finest universities. It is also featured in the 101-200 bracket for impact rankings.
5. Bangkok University International
Established in 1962, Bangkok University is one of the oldest private institutions in Thailand. Its main campus is based in the capital, though it has another school in the province of Pathum Thani.
Bangkok University degrees are usually delivered in the native Thai language. To cater to the growing demand for international students, this affordable university in Thailand has established its very own international program. Here, instructions are delivered in the English language.
Undergraduate degrees available in the International College include Business Management, Digital Media, Law, Communication Arts, Accountancy, Humanities, Tourism Management, Engineering, Fine Arts, Architecture, Information Technology, and Economics.
It also offers Master’s degrees in the fields of Entrepreneurship, Law, Strategic Communications, Tourism, Architecture, Engineering, Communication Arts, and Business Administration.
Bangkok University also has doctorate courses for Communication Arts, Business Administration, and Engineering.
6. Prince of Songkla University
Prince of Songkla University or PSU was established in 1967 in Hat Yai, Thailand. It was named after the former Prince of Songkla, Mahidol Adulyadej, who is also known to be the Father of Modern Medicine in Thailand. He is the grandfather of the current king, Maha Vajiralongkorn.
As the first university in Southern Thailand, PSU has been granted four campuses in Hat Yai (main), Pattani, Phuket, and Surat Thani.
PSU, like most Thai universities, is a popular destination amongst international students. Most of its foreign enrollees are based on the Phuket campus. They are usually part of the International Study Program in Phuket.
According to the World Rankings, PSU is the 12th best university in Thailand. This cheap university in Thailand is also included in the 301-350 bracket for Asia’s top universities.
7. Assumption University
Established in 1969 by the Brothers of St. Gabriel, Assumption University or AU is one of the few catholic institutions in the country. Formerly the Assumption Commercial College, it has campuses in Huamak, downtown Bangkok, Suvarnabhumi, and Sathorn.
It offers 38 bachelor’s degrees, 19 master’s degrees, and 13 doctorate programs.
AU is accredited by the OHEC (Office of Higher Education Commission), Thailand, and the ONESQA (Office for National Education Standards and Quality Assessment). It is also a member of the Association of Christian Universities and Colleges in Asia (ACUCA), the Association of Southeast Asian Institution of Higher Learning (ASAIHL), and the International Federation of Catholic Universities (IFCU).
8. Asia-Pacific International University
Asia-Pacific International University or APIU is a private Christian institution based in Saraburi. Formerly called Mission College, it is the only university governed by the Southeast Asia Union Mission of Seventh-day Adventists.
Established in 1947, this cheap Thai university is a result of a merger between three schools. Students from its 5 faculties (Arts & Humanities, Business Administration, Education & Psychology, Religious Studies, and Science) are based on its main campus in Muak Lek. Its nursing students, on the other hand, are based in downtown Bangkok.
9. Dhurakij Pundit University
Dhurakij Pundit University or DPU is a private educational institution based in the Thai capital. It was established as a college in 1968 before it was promoted as a university in 1984.
DPU has several departments that offer undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. They include Law, Liberal Arts, Communication Arts, Fine Arts, Public Administration, Tourism, Design, Business, Integrative Medicine, Engineering, Aviation, and Education.
DPU also offers exchange programs with partner schools in the US, Japan, Canada, France, China, and Sweden, to name a few.
10. Chulalongkorn University
The final candidate in our list of cheapest universities in Thailand is Chulalongkorn University, also known as Chula. It is a research-intensive public institution based in Bangkok, Thailand. It traces its history to 1899, during the reign of King Chulalongkorn. However, it was only made a national university in 1917, 7 years after the death of the namesake monarch.
Chula started with four faculties, which have currently grown into 19. These are divided according to three departments: Health Sciences, Science & Technology, and Social science & humanities.
Chula’s most recognized programs are that of Engineering, Accounting, Architecture, Pharmacy, Political Science, and International Studies.
Chula has rightly earned the distinction of being the third-best Thai university, at least according to World Rankings. It is also ranked 176th out of all the universities in Asia.
Given its royal status, Chula has produced several Thai monarchs, including Prince Mahidol Adulyadej of Songkhla, Princess Galyani Vadhana, Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana, and Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, to name a few.
I hope that this article was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Scholarships Page!