10 Most Affordable Universities in Saudi Arabia for International Students – After School Africa

Mercy Awofiranye

Saudi Arabia can also be considered a study-abroad destination for international students who want to further their studies. Over the past few decades, the number of international students studying in the country has increased significantly to about 70,000 students as of 2020 according to a report by UNESCO.
Recently, the government has also been dedicated to improving the educational sector generally and also for the benefit of international students. The Ministry of Education in the country proposed this as part of the top strategies to improve the quality of education offered, foster a positive learning experience, and create a healthy and competitive environment among the students and staff in the country. This implies that international students who choose the country have so much to benefit from, not only in the quality of education offered but also in the cost of education. In this article, we have compiled a list of the top 10 most affordable universities in Saudi Arabia, Who knows, your university of choice might be among them!
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Table of Contents
There are different benefits international students stand to gain when they pick Saudi Arabia as their study-abroad destination. Some of these benefits include: 
The country is currently seeking to increase the number of international students they accommodate and to this effect, there are funding opportunities provided to students who desire to study in Saudi Arabia. This is to help students reduce the cost of education. One of the universities, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), provides students with a fellowship that allows them to enjoy different benefits like tuition support, accommodation support, medical and dental coverage, relocation support, and others. 
This is another benefit international students stand to gain when they study in Saudi Arabia. Compared to other countries like Canada, USA, and others, the cost of living in Saudi Arabia is lower. If you attend a university that offers accommodation on campus then you will be spending even less. If you have to rent a house off-campus, it is also cheaper.
As stated earlier, the government in the country is dedicated to improving the quality of education for the benefit of the students. It also does not stop here, universities in the country also encourage STEM education, and some of the universities are listed among other schools in the QS world ranking list. 
Since the cost of education and the cost of living in Saudi Arabia is significantly low compared to other countries in the West, students can save up their money and then invest it into other ventures. Also, the country is a spot for tourist attractions, so international students can explore the amazing environmental features in the country like the Red Sea, King Fahd’s Fountain, Al-Rahmah Mosque, Jabal Alfil, Al Marjan Island, and others. 
Additionally, studying abroad opens you up to learning new things different from what you used to know before, Students get to learn useful soft skills and adapt and all of these qualities will be useful when they start working in an organization.
Read also: 10 Paying Jobs In The Middle East For Immigrants 
Below is the list of the top 10 most affordable universities in Saudi Arabia: 
Location: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. 
Average Fee: – (but a fee is attached to postgraduate programs)
QS World Ranking: 142 (1 in Arab Region) 
King Abdulaziz University (KAU) is a public university in Saudi Arabia. The top proprietary of the university is to promote the advancement of society by pioneering research and encouraging academic and scientific excellence. It was founded in 1967 and was formerly a private institution. It has a large student base of over 100,000 students and offers a wide range of courses including some not offered in other universities in the country like marine science, meteorology, and astronomy.
Location: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. 
Average Fee: $1,000
QS World Ranking: 203(4 in Arab Region) 
King Saud University is a public university established in 1957. Recently, the management decided to put more effort into ensuring that the university becomes a world-class university and gives students a wholesome learning experience. The school has over 30,000 students with over 3,500 being international students. There are no tuition fees at the university. Additionally, there are massive scholarship opportunities for postgraduates and international students who want to study in the school. 
Location: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. 
Average Fee:
QS World Ranking: 83 (QS world ranking by subject) 
The university was founded in 2009 and it is a private graduate-level research university. The school prioritizes innovation, economic advancement, and social prosperity within the country and globally. Additionally, the university gives prominence to advancing science and technology through research, education, and innovation. It also currently has over 1,000 students with over 600 being international students. Students get to benefit from the KAUST fellowship which offers annual flights, tuition, accommodation, and other benefits. 
Location: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. 
Average Fee: SR 71,400
QS World Ranking: 61-70(In Arab Ranking) 
Effat University is the first non-profit private university, established in 1999 in Saudi Arabia. The school prioritizes innovation, intellectual engagement, and societal impact. In 2009, the school was opened to women who desired to further their education. Effat has four colleges Effat College of Business, Effat College of Architecture and Design, Effat College of Engineering, and Effat College of Science and Humanities and each college offers 12 undergraduate programs and 4 postgraduate programs. 
Location: Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia 
Average Fee: 10,000 USD
QS World Ranking: 590
Prince Mohammad bin Fahd University (PMU) is a fast-growing institution that grooms students for future roles. It is equipped with facilities like smart boards, TV Streaming, and Video Conferencing, e-library access, online courseware to facilitate learning. It focuses on the interests, needs, and unique abilities of students and grooms them to be the best version of themselves. The university has over 2,000 students about 300 being international students and over 200 staff.  
Location:  Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Average Fee: $25,063.9 (Undergraduate programs)
          $53,325.70 (Postgraduate programs)
QS World Ranking: 731-740
It is a private non-profit institution founded in 2002. It has over 3,000 students with over 1,000 being international students. Some of the perks of the university include the presence of over 40 classrooms, ultra-modern laboratories, and workshops, a conference center with a 173-seat lecture theatre and a 1620-seat auditorium, computer laboratories with up-to-date software and hardware, a multimedia library, and more. 
Location:  Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.
Average Fee: $1,500
QS World Ranking: 180
King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals was established in 1963 and it is one of the best universities for STEM courses in Saudi Arabia. It prioritizes research in this aspect and has engaged in research collaborations with prominent universities like as MIT, Georgia Tech, Caltech, and Stanford University. It has over 6,000 students with over 1,000 being international students and over 1,000 staff. 
Location:  Tabuk, Saudi Arabia
Average Fee: 
QS World Ranking: 101-110 (Arab region ranking)
The University of Tabuk was established in 2006. It offers a comprehensive and quality education. It is also accredited and it focuses on developing a strong and sustainable community partnership and the conduction of research. They also offer scholarship opportunities to interested students. 
Location: Diriyah, Saudi Arabia
Average Fee: $18,662.63 (Yearly)
QS World Ranking: 61-70 (Arab region ranking)
Al Maarefa University provides students with a conducive environment to aid their educational journey. Additionally, they offer students the opportunity to gain practical experience by offering between one to three years of internship opportunities. It was established in 2009 and has over 2,000 students over 600 international students and about 200 staff. 
Location:  Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Average Fee: $21,328 (Undergraduate program)
QS World Ranking: 131-150 (Arab region ranking)
Dar Al-Hekma University was established in 1999. The university aims to provide quality education to students and international students alike. The university has over 1,000 students with 312 international students and over 100 staff. It comprises three colleges to include: The Hekma School of Business and Law, School of Engineering, Computing and Design, School of Education, Health and Behavioral Sciences
Read also: 5 Best Cities For International Student Accommodation
International students who desire to choose Saudi Arabia as their study-abroad location will need to meet the below requirements and have the following documents: 
Note that the documents and requirements will differ according to the individual school requirements. Additionally, students will need to apply for a student visa that will enable them to live and study legally in the country. 
The universities in Saudi Arabia offer a wide range of courses, some of which include: 
There are different scholarship opportunities available in Saudi Arabia for international students, some of them include: 
Wondering how to go about your admission processing into schools in the US and Canada? Don’t worry! We’ve got your back! Enrolling in the top universities in the world can increase your chances with employers. Unfortunately, it can be quite expensive to study abroad due to the current economic crisis. But this shouldn’t limit you as there are other options you can explore to enhance your career. 
MPower Finance and Prodigy Finance are some of the best student loan providers for international students. They also do not require any cosigner or collateral before application. At EdXtra Associates, we can help you with your loan application process. We also provide educational consultancy services for international students to help make your journey easier and faster. You can reach out to us, as we’d love to guide you through this journey. 
Read also
10 Affordable Colleges In The USA
10 Affordable Colleges In Canada
Student Accommodation 101: 5 Great Tips For International Students

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