South African Education Expenses: Vital Information for You

With tuition costs expected to increase over the next decade, university fees are still a major consideration for many South African students.


It is important for parents to start saving as early as possible in order to avoid this shock. Parents should consider the solutions that fit their individual needs, budget and time-frame when choosing an education savings plan.

According to data from Old Mutual, the average cost to send a graduate to university in South Africa is R55 900 in 2023, which is expected to accelerate to R95 700 by 2030 – and reach R177 200 by 2038.


The fees apply to first-year studies for 2023 and only act as an approximation and exclude other fees such as textbooks, travel and residency.

Public primary school fees are currently about R24 408 a year, while private primary schools cost about R71 496 on average a year. Sending your child to a government high school will cost around R36 072 a year, while a private high school is likely to cost you around R105 084 a year.

South Africans have the option of studying at local universities not only for the reasons of a good education, but also because it is the most affordable. However, for those who can afford it, the most popular countries to study include the USA, the UK, Australia and Germany, reported education platform Erudera.


Overseas the living costs alone cost, on average, upwards of R200 000 per annum, whereas students who choose local institutions typically pay almost half that, which includes tuition and residence.

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